UEFA Champions League

April 7, 2009

Full-time

Manchester United

2 - 2

FC Porto

UEFA Champions League

18:45 +00:00, April 7, 2009

Old Trafford, England

Referee: Konrad Plautz

  • 95'

    One postscript - Evans is out of Saturday's game at Sunderland.

  • 95'

    Credit also to Porto for coming to Old Trafford and having a go. Their manager had doubtless noted United's fragility at the back and lack of running power in midfield, and knew also that his team were perfectly equipped to take advantage. Scholes and Carrick just couldn't keep up, so that every time Porto attacked - and they did so in numbers - they looked dangerous.

  • 95'

    United can have no complaints. Although they were the better side in the second half, Porto could have been ahead at half time and caused United trouble all the way through the game. They also kept going when they fell behind, and although they were helped by some compliant defending, their confidence on the ball, passing and movement were all excellent.

  • 95'

    FULL TIME: UNITED 2 PORTO 2

  • 95'

    Porto have done a good job of wasting injury time here.

  • 93'

    Helton is booked for time-wasting over the goalkick.

  • 93'

    Giggs' free kick is plenty high. United's hold on the European Cup is loosening.

  • 93'

    Madrid comes on for fellow sub Costa who is bleeding from his nose.

  • 93'

    United win a free kick in a dangerous position. Ronaldo is fouled and will fancy the free kick, although it's a nice angle for Giggs.

  • 91'

    Hulk runs powerfully with the ball but Vidic wins a throw.

  • 91'

    There will be three added minutes.

  • 90'

    Despite United's poor defending, Porto passed through them very nicely.

  • 88'

    GOAL! More despicably disgusting defending from United, and Mariano equalises for Porto. Neville was drawn into the middle and Mariano had time and space to beat Van der Saar who charged out to try and smother but was too late.

  • 88'

    Carrick, encouraged by the crowd, shoots from 25 yards, but straight at Helton.

  • 87'

    I have to say I don't really rate Tevez, but he does have a nice line in late, important goals.

  • 85'

    GOAL! Gary Neville's throw is brlliantly flicked on by Rooney with his heel and Tevel lifts it high into the net at the near post. United don't really deserve that, but they'll be very pleased with themselves.

  • 85'

    Fernando gives the ball to Carrick and he is fouled. United work it wide to Neville...

  • 85'

    Fernando gives the ball to Carrick and he is fouled. United work it wide to Neville...

  • 85'

    Ronaldo's cross is deflected but Tevez can't control.

  • 84'

    Hulk runs away from Evra but is well tackled by O'Shea. he ball is sent back over from left to right and Lisandro hammers it over the bar.

  • 83'

    Rooney runs onto a pass from Ronaldo that runs along the right touchline but he runs it out of play before he can cut it back.

  • 83'

    The corner is taken short but comes to nothing.

  • 82'

    Cissokho - another who's played very well - wins a corner on the right.

  • 82'

    Great ball from Giggs and well taken by Rooney charging forward but he's run out of it by two covering defenders.

  • 81'

    Carrick wastes the ball. He has been very poor tonight.

  • 80'

    With those changes, plus how long the players subbed took to walk off, it seems as though Porto will be happy with the draw.

  • 78'

    Porto make two changes. Meireles off for Costa and Mariano on for Rodriguez. Rodriguez has looked very handy indeed.

  • 78'

    Lisandro shoots from range, straight at Van der Saar.

  • 77'

    Brilliant cross from Gary Neville wide on the right, but Rooney, running in, can't quite reach it with his head. Having now seen Tevez's tackle again, it was a definite penalty.

  • 76'

    Ronaldo's free kick is smothered by the wall, not without difficulty.

  • 75'

    Alves handles Carrick's long pass and United have a free kick in a dangerous position, left-centre and on the edge of the box. Alves is booked.

  • 75'

    Hulk completely diddles Evra close to the goalline and Tevez appears to foul him but no penalty is given.

  • 73'

    Great tackle from the excellnt Fernando to halt Ronaldo.

  • 73'

    Tevez wins a corner but it's easily cleared.

  • 72'

    Tevez on for the beginning to look his age Scholes, and Evans is replaced by Neville. He goes to right back and O'Shea goes into the middle. Porto must not know whether to laugh or laugh.

  • 71'

    The pace has slowed a little, which is unsurprising - this game has been most un-European.

  • 71'

    Ronaldo shoots from 20 yards following an excellent knock-back from Rooney but his shot is straight at the keeper.

  • 70'

    Tevez and Neville are preparing to come on for United.

  • 68'

    Rooney clear the corner but Van der Saar is forced intot a smart save from Cissokho's shot from distance.

  • 68'

    Lisandro finds space between United's centre backs, running onto Hulk's pass, and Van der Saar tips his low shot arouns his right-hand post.

  • 68'

    Adebayor has scored to make it Villareal 1 Arsenal 1

  • 67'

    Hullk attempts the difficult task of going outside the rotund O'Shea and fails.

  • 66'

    Evans is limping a bit, but after Gary Neville's performance against Villa, it'd take an amputation for him to be replaced.

  • 66'

    Scholes gives the ball away and Evra is forced to concede a free kick on the halfway line.

  • 64'

    Fletcher lofts a cross from a weak defensive header but it's not flat enough to cause Helton any trouble.

  • 63'

    Lisandro works the ball wide right to Hulk, who comes in on his left and squeezes a shot wide of Van der Saar's near post.

  • 62'

    Good ball from Carrick is worked to Ronaldo by Rooney and United win a free kick.

  • 61'

    Cissokho, charging forward, wins a throw, but United win it back. Rooney tries to find Ronaldo but his pass is too long.

  • 59'

    Brilliant effort from Rooney - tries a chip, but Helton tips it over. From the corner, he makes another excellent save from Vidic header. United are getting closer.

  • 58'

    Giggs' free kick is good one but Porto manage to get it away.

  • 58'

    Great touch from Evra taking the ball out of the air. He plays a one-two with Rooney and is unceremoniously brought down. Before the free kick can be taken, Giggs replaces Park.

  • 58'

    United are getting a lot of joy on their right hand side but need to cross the ball better and get more men in the box.

  • 57'

    United look much better this half - their passing is more accurate and has greater purpose.

  • 55'

    Various scrambles ensue around the Porto area but Helton's goal is never in serious danger.

  • 54'

    Ronaldo gets free on the right, but his low cross is held by Helton. Porto break immediately but Van der Saar saves Lisandro's shot.

  • 54'

    Evans gives the ball away but Porto can't capitalise.

  • 53'

    Good cross by Park but Porto scramble the ball away.

  • 51'

    Park hits a shot from 20 yards with good power and technique to keep it low but it's straight at Helton.

  • 51'

    Both teams look desperate to score again.

  • 50'

    Rodriguez into Hulk and Vidic is close enough to win the physical battle without conceding a penalty.

  • 50'

    Rooney spreads it wide to O'Shea but his cross is characteristically poor.

  • 49'

    Carrick burst forward with the ball but runs into trouble

  • 47'

    With Fletcher and Park wide for United, they may struggle if Porto run at them centrally.

  • 47'

    Rooney finds Ronaldo on the run, but he is surrounded by three men and relieved of possession.

  • 46'

    Vidic slices the ball out for a throw unecessarily.

  • 45'

    United ready to kick off having no doubt heard a few quiet words from their manager.

  • 45'

    Be interesting to see how both sides aproach the second half. Porto will be happy with things as they are, but at the same time will fancy themselves to score again. United will think it imperative they score at least once more, but will be wary of giving away another.

  • 45'

  • 45'

    HALF TIME: UNITED 1 PORTO 1. A really enjoyable half of football. Porto started very well and United struggled to contain them. Their passing was slick and incisive and United defended like hibernating alcoholics under anaesthetic. United did then improve, and although the goal was a gift, credit to Rooney, for pressurising Alves and being there to take advantage of his error.

  • 45'

    Evra loses the ball to Hulk, but Evans deals with it well and puts it out for a throw.

  • 45'

    Park beats Sapanaru on the lef but overhits his cross.

  • 45'

    The free kick is easily taken by Van der Saar.

  • 44'

    Rooney, chasing Hulk, concedes a foul.

  • 44'

    Perceptive pass to Park from Evra, but Park is sleeping and the ball goes out for a throw.

  • 43'

    Fletcher seizes onto the ball after Cissokho slips, but runs the ball out of play.

  • 42'

    Good possession from Porto but United win the ball back. United need to get closer to Porto when they have the ball - these boys know how to pass and move.

  • 41'

    O'Shea is tempted into a lunge by Cissokho with no chance of getting the ball and is, accordingly, skinned, but the cross is cleared.

  • 40'

    United are getting closer. Scholes is beginning to find his range, sending a pass out to Evra and then challenging for his cross, but the ball goes behind for a goal kick.

  • 39'

    Excellent play from United. Scholes hit a long diagonal ball from left to right, Ronaldo headed it back to Fletcher and his shot was deflected behind for a corner that came to nothing.

  • 38'

    Park is unluckily penalised for a foul when trying to reach Carrick's lofted pass on the left edge of the area.

  • 37'

    Lovely move by United, one touch passing between Scholes and O'Shea, but the final one is just too strong.

  • 36'

    Fletcher's cross from the right is easily caught by Helton.

  • 35'

    Poro's movement and pace in the final third is excellent.

  • 35'

    Hulk runs at United but Evans does enough to cut out his pass when it reaches Lisandro.

  • 34'

    Worth noting how much better the refereeing almost always is in Europe.

  • 34'

    Fletcher slips inside the area and the crowd screams for a penalty but the referee is having none of it.

  • 33'

    United push forwards and Park loses the ball but bundles in to win it back and United have a throw.

  • 32'

    Evra heads Cissokho's cross clear but Porto win possession back.

  • 31'

    Helton kicks the ball out from a goal kick and United look to build. They fail.

  • 29'

    O'Shea loses the ball nt once but twice, and Hulk drifts a shot only just wide. The ball deflected off Evans but the referee gave a goal kick.

  • 28'

    Rodriguez wins the ball in the air from the corner but it's straight at the keeper. United's marking is currently badder than Michael Jackson.

  • 28'

    Lisandro cuts inside from the left, lays it back to Meireles and Van der Saar is forced to tip the resultant shot over for a corner.

  • 26'

    Ronaldo gives the ball away (again) and Porto break well but Evra snuffs out the danger.

  • 26'

    O'Shea's cross is charged down and United have a throw. They concede possession but then win it back.

  • 25'

    The game is very open. Evra chests a cross back to the keepr and United immediately look to get forward.

  • 24'

    United are passing the ball a little better now but Porto still look the more threatening.

  • 23'

    O'Shea is robbed and Porto break. Hulk beats Vidic down the left but his cross is cleared.

  • 22'

    Fletcher is now wide on the right of United's midfield to stem Porto's attacks from that flank.

  • 22'

    Park's cross from the left is deflected and Porto clear.

  • 20'

    Despite Vidic's return United are still shakier at the back than an arthritic hand.

  • 19'

    Seeing the goal again, Bruno Alves is blaming his keeper for not giving him a call - as well he might, but he was the one who looked silly.

  • 18'

    Good chance for Porto, but Rodrigeuz's header from Lucho's cross is straight at Van der Saar.

  • 17'

    The United bench are all wearing very stern faces despite their proximity to Gary Neville's moustache.

  • 15'

    GOAL! An outrageous piece of luck for United. Bruno Alves passes the ball back to Helton without checking his rearview, where lurked Wayne Rooney, who lifted the ball over the keeper, barely able to contain his laughter. United had improved the last few minutes, but that was a gift.

  • 15'

    United have a man over down their left, but Park - who has started badly - overhits his pass to the overlapping Evra.

  • 13'

    Good save from Elton - Rooney and Park combine and from O'Shea's s cross, the ball is turned behind for a corner, which is cleared easily.

  • 12'

    Easily collected by Van der Saar, who holds onto the ball so no break can be launched.

  • 12'

    Hulk's shot is deflected behind for a corner from the left.

  • 12'

    Fletcher fouls Hulk and Porto have a free kick in the middle of the pitch 30 or so yards from goal.

  • 11'

    Vidic cuts out Cissokho's ball down the left but United give possession away again.

  • 10'

    Villareal 1 Arsenal 0 in the other game tonight, Senna with the goal.

  • 9'

    United's first few passes strung together.

  • 8'

    Free kick into the United box and the flag is up.

  • 6'

    Porto cause more trouble and Lisandro's low shot is saved by Van der Saar low to his left. Evans looks very pale indeed and well he might.

  • 6'

    Porto look sharp. Should have taken my own tip.

  • 3'

    GOAL! Cristian Rodriguez curls it low past Van der Saar from the right hand side of the area. Ronaldo loses possession trying to break and Evans' clearance was poor, teeing up Rodriguez who stepped around him and finished very well indeed.

  • 3'

    Ronaldo slices the kick behind for another corner on the right. This time Ronaldo heads clear.

  • 3'

    Great effort by Hulk, bashing the ball from 20 yards on the right hand side, tipped round the post by Van der Saar. Corner.

  • 3'

    Long cross by Ronaldo, easy for the keeper.

  • 2'

    For United, Ronaldo is on the left to begin with, Park on the right, Rooney in the middle.

  • 1'

    Hulk exchnaged passes with Rodriguez and flings himself to the floor in a very unsuperhero-like fashion. I was lying about ending the puns.

  • 1'

    United kick off.

  •  

    And before we start, let's get all the Hulk puns out of the way now. You won't like him when he's angry, incredible goal by Hulk, etc etc.

  •  

    And to amuse you all, United's back 5 that night was Tim Howard, Phil Neville, Wes Brown, Gary Neville and bodybuilding piranha Quinton Fortune. Suddenly that battering doesn't seem such a surprise.

  •  

    Of course the last time the clubs met in Europe, Porto eliminated United en route to an improbable tournament win. Fergie is still keen to blame a disallowed goal in the second leg, and it's true that without it, Jose Mourinho might still be best known as Bobby Robson's translater, but it's also fair to say that Porto battered United in the first leg of that tie.

  •  

    Alternatively, Ronaldo may play up front, with Park on the left and Fletcher on the right.

  •  

    United, meanwhile, have been forced to play a fairly solid side. With Tevez tired from his trip to Bolivia last week and Giggs unable to play two games in 48 hours, they've had little option but to proect the back four with three central midfielders, leaving Rooney flanked by Park and Ronaldo.

  •  

    Despite ridiculous odds against Porto in the UK, they are not rubbish and this'll be a difficult test for the holders. Porto will look to exploit United's weakness (otherwise known as John O'Shea) on the right hand side of their defence with Cissokho bombing forward in support of Cristian Rodriguez, and Lucho, Hulkn and Lisandro Lopez are all decent players.

  •  

    Subs are: Foster, Neville, Eckersley, Giggs, Nani, Tevez, Macheda for United. Nuno, Stepanov, Mariano Gonzalez, Costa, Madrid, Farias, Sektioui for Porto.

  •  

    So it's United v Porto at Old Trafford and here are tonight's teams: Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Scholes, Ronaldo, Rooney, Park. Helton, Sapunaru, Rolando, Bruno Alves, Cissokho, Lucho Gonzalez, Fernando, Raul Meireles, Lopez, Hulk, Rodriguez.