United win the first Champions League battle but Arsenal stay in touching-distance of Rome

Manchester United 1 – Arsenal 0 (Champions League semi-final first-leg, April 29, 2009) (Longer highlights here and extended highlights here.) The hosts started with a high tempo, Ronaldo flashing a cross across the Arsenal box in the early exchanges. Manuel Almunia made a stunning point-blank save to deny Carlos Tevez, and moments later United’s pressure paid dividends with John O’Shea arriving in the box to smash home the opener 17 minutes in. Almunia came to the Gunners’ rescue midway through the half when the Spanish keeper saved brilliantly to deny a Ronaldo header. Arsenal barely tested Van der Sar in the first half, Cesc Fabregas trying his luck from 20-yards out without success. (First half highlights here.) As Adebayor flashed a shot over the bar for Arsenal midway through the second half, Ronaldo came within inches of adding a second only to see his dipping strike crash against the bar.

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Rennes 2 – Bordeaux 3 (Ligue 1, April 29, 2009) Bordeaux kept in touching distance of Marseille thanks to a dramatic win at Rennes. Romain Danze put the home side in front after a minute and on 27 Bordeaux went down to ten men due to the sending off of Marc Planus. Laurent Blanc’s side turned it round in the second half with a fine volley from Yoann Gouffran and then a wicked free-kick from Yoann Gourcuff. On 89 minutes Moussa Sow looked to have secured a draw only for Gourcuff to pop up with a fine late winner.

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AIK Stockholm 0 – Helsingborg 3 (Allsvenskan, April 29, 2009) A Rasmus Jonsson tap-in after good team build-up play in the attack gave Helsingborg a 15th minute lead at AIK. Rasmus Jonsson doubled the visitors lead in the 53rd minute with another tap-in, this time following a corner. Twelve minutes from time Rasmus Jonsson completed his hat-trick with a solo effort to sow up a comfortable away win.

IFK Gothenburg 1 – Orebro 0 (Allsvenskan, April 28, 2009) Tobias Hysen scored the only goal, Nordin Gerzic was sent off early in the second half for Orebro.

GAIS 2 – Hammarby 2 (Allsvenskan, April 28, 2009) The visitors scored first through Nathan Paulse in the 23rd minute, but Par Eriksson and Carneiro Wanderson scored either side of halftime to turn the game on his head. Sebastian Castro-Tello scored eight minutes from time to earn his side a point.

Halmstad 3 – Djurgarden 0 (Allsvenskan, April 28, 2009) Andreas Johansson put Halmstad ahead 23 minutes in, Emir Kujovic coming off the bench to score two goals inside the final ten minutes to seal the win.

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Aalborg BK 1 – Brondby 1 (Ekstra Bladet Cup, April 29, 2009) Caca put the home side in front from close range on 60 minutes, Morten Rasmussen equalised seven minutes later with a tap in.

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MTK Budapest 3 – Ujpest 2 (Borsodi Liga, April 29, 2009)

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Albirex Niigata 2 – JEF United Chiba 2 (J-League, April 29, 2009) Niigata were on course pick up all three points after Hideo Oshima had regained the lead nine minutes after the break after JEF’s Bosnar had cancelled out Marcio Richardes’ 25th minute opener. But Daisuke Saito struck with just four minutes remaining for struggling JEF to leave Albirex in third place.

Kashiwa Reysol 2 – Oita Trinita 1 (J-League, April 29, 2009) Kashiwa Resyol earned their first win in the season after edging out Oita Trinita 2-1 thanks to two late goals from substitutes Hideaki Kitajima and Yuki Otsu.

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Colo Colo 0 – Palmeiras 1 (Copa Libertadores, April 29, 2009) A sensational strike from Cleiton Xavier in the final minutes of the match ensured 10-man Palmeiras advance to the last 16 of the competition.

Lanus 1 – Caracas 1 (Copa Libertadores, April 29, 2009) Figueroa put Caracas into the lead on 31, eight minutes later Macalik headed home the equaliser.

Everton CD 1 – Guadalajara (Chivas) 1 (Copa Libertadores, April 29, 2009) Chivas looked to be cruising into the knockout round when Javier Hernandez scored an early goal after 6 minutes. Chivas only had to avoid defeat to advance, but nerves jangled when Jaime Riveros struck a dipping free-kick to level the scores two minutes after the break. Everton’s Miralles hit the bar with five minutes of regular time to play, but Chivas held on to advance in second place.

LDU de Quito 2 – Sport Recife 3 (Copa Libertadores, April 29, 2009) Andrade scored a double for Sport either side of a header by Igor as the Brazilian club came from behind twice to win. Carlos Espinola opened the scoring and Liga took the lead for the second time through Danny Vera. Liga, which had two men sent off during the match, became only the second reigning champion to exit in the first round, after Internacional of Brazil in 2007.

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Atletico Paranaense 3 – Corinthians 2 (Copa do Brasil, April 29, 2009) Corinthians found themselves 3-down after 50 minutes thanks to goals from Wallyson, Rafael Moura and Chico. Despite losing  Ronaldo to a serious looking rib-injury, Corinthians fought back with goals from Cristian and Denthino in the final four minutes set up a tense second leg.

Vitoria 3 – Atletico Mineiro 0 (Copa do Brasil, April 29, 2009) Striker Neto Baiano was the star of the game as he scored twice, while defender Victor Ramos added another with a header.

CSA 0 – Coritiba 4 (Copa do Brasil, April 29, 2009) Marcelinho Paraiba scored twice for the winners while Marcio Gabriel and Carlinhos Paraiba added one apiece.

Flamengo 0 – Fortaleza 0 (Copa do Brasil, April 29, 2009)


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