All roads lead to Rome as United make light work of Arsenal in the Champions League

Arsenal 1 – Manchester United 3 (Agg. 1-4) (Champions League semi-final second-leg, May 5, 2009) (Longer highlights here, extended ITV highlights here and here.) United killed the tie inside 10 minutes. A terrible slip by Kieron Gibbs allowed a Ronaldo cross to reach Park Ji-Sung after 6 minutes and the South Korean made no mistake beating Almunia. Minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo silenced the Emirates with a stunning free-kick that left Almunia grabbing a fresh air. Wayne Rooney forced a finger-tip save from Almunia as United looked for a third. (First half goals here.) Almunia made another terrific save to deny Ronaldo at the start of the second half. On the hour mark United scored a brilliant third. Breaking out of defence from a corner, Ronaldo started a lightening move which Rooney carried up-field, the number 10 returning the ball back into Ronaldo’s path with the Portuguese forward coolly finding the net. 15 minutes from time United’s night soured, Darren Fletcher was (harshly?) sent off for a foul on Fabregas in the box, with Robin van Persie scoring a superb penalty.

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Elfsborg 2 – IFK Gothenburg 0 (Allsvenskan, May 4, 2009) Goals from Daniel Mobaeck and Emir Bajrami secured the win for Elfsborg. To complete a bad night for IFK they had Sebastian Eriksson sent off after 59 minutes.

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Young Boys 6 – Vaduz 0 (Swiss Super League, May 5, 2009) A Stefan Iten own goal put Young Boys ahead after 14 minutes and following Marco Schneuwly’s strike, Vaduz saw Senna Marcio red carded. After the break the rampant hosts scored further goals through Saif Ghezal, Seydou Doumbia, Xavier Hochstrasser (the pick of the goals) and Gilles Yapi Yapo’s late penalty.

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All the goals from last  weekend’s action in the MLS can be seen here.

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Pohang Steelers 3 – Central Coast Mariners 2 (Asian Champions League, May 5, 2009) A second half double from Adam Kwasnik set the up Mariners up to claim a must-win victory after Denilson had given Pohang the lead with an early penalty. But Denilson capitalised on some poor defending to strike again in the 70th and 88th minutes to complete his hat-trick and make it impossible for the Mariners to progress to the knockout stages.

Singapore Armed Forces 1 – Shanghai Shenhua 1 (Asian Champions League, May 5, 2009) Singapore took the lead just before the half hour mark thanks to Ahmad Latiff’s volley from the edge of the box, while Hernan Barcos equalised for Shanghai with a tidy finish in injury time at the end of the match.

Esteghlal 1 – Al Ittihad 1 (Asian Champions League, May 5, 2009) The match burst into life in the final ten minutes, Hicham Aboucharouane fired the Saudi visitors into an 80th minute lead before Ali Alizadeh levelled the match with an 88th minute header.

Al Ettifaq 4 – Bunyodkor 0 (Asian Champions League, May 5, 2009) Prince Tagoe, a reported target for Fulham, struck twice (first and second) in the first half to put the home side in control before goals after the break by Saleh Bashar and Waleed Al Rajaa ensured that the Saudi side finished top of Group D

Al-Shabab 2 – Sepahan 1 (Asian Champions League, May 5, 2009) Al Shabab opened the scoring just 65 seconds into the game when Mguni collected a pass from Carlos Renato before smartly chipping the ball over the onrushing Rahman Ahmadi. Sepahan were then reduced to 10-men as Lovinian kicked out at Essa Shirook and was shown the red card. Al Shabab quickly added a second through Salem Alabadla, before Rabee’s first-time shot halved the deficit late on.

Tianjin Teda 3 – Kawasaki Frontale 1 (Asian Champions League, May 5, 2009) Ma Leilei scored in the 11th and 18th minutes and Damiano Tommasi also netted for the hosts while Renatinho grabbed a consolation strike for Kawasaki.

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Palmeiras 1 – Sport Recife 0 (Copa Libertadores, May 5, 2009) A Jose Maria Ortigoza free-kick 15 minutes from time missed everyone before nestling in the net.

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Albirex Niigata 3 – Jubilo Iwata 3 (J-League, May 5, 2009) Brazilian forward Gilsinho scored twice and South Korea forward Lee Keun-ho scored his fourth brace in five matches as Jubilo Iwata overcame a 3-nil deficit to battle back for a draw at Niigata.

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Ponte Preta 2 – Americano 1 (Copa do Brasil, May 5, 2009)