Back to the future as Porto hold United; Adebayor’s cracker earns Arsenal a score draw at Villarreal

Manchester United 2 – Porto 2 (Champions League, April 7, 2009) (Longer highlights here and extended ITV highlights here.) Porto look threatening from the word go and United set off to another stuttering start and four minutes in the Portuguese score, Cristian Rodriguez curling a beauty past Van der Sar after Evans failed to clear in defence. Porto proved to be their own worst enemies, a horrendous no-look back-pass by Bruno Alves was intercepted by Wayne Rooney who, after dummying the keeper into falling, slipped in the equaliser. United continued to produce a hit-and-miss performance after the break, Helton showing off for the cameras to palm away a Vidic header. Just like on Sunday, after rarely looking like scoring United looked to have pulled the rabbit out the hat late on. Neville’s throw-in was craftily flicked on by Rooney using his heel, and Carlos Tevez sent the Stretford End wild sliding the ball home at the near post. But with a minute left United’s luck ran out, Lucho Gonzalez was given space to swing in a right wing cross and Mariano Gonzalez converted at the back post.

Villarreal 1 – Arsenal 1 (Champions League, April 7, 2009) (Longer highlights here, extended highlights here and ITV highlights here.) Villarreal’s main man Marcos Senna pulled out a 30-yard cracker that ripped into the top corner past Almunia’s outstretched hand after 10 minutes. (First half highlights here.) The Gunners upped their game after the break and scored a goal of pure beauty, Cesc floated a ball into Emmanuel Adebayor in the box, the Togolese striker controlled the ball on his chest, ending with a spectacular acrobatic bicycle-kick to score.