Arsenal thump Porto; Berbatov’s back as United ease past Aalborg; Real win at Zenit; BATE frustrate Juve

Arsenal 4 – Porto 0 (Champions League, September 30, 2008) (Longer highlights here.)  Just after the half hour mark Arsenal took the lead over Porto, Fabregas’ perfectly timed pass put Adebayor through and his cutback was scored by Robin van Persie. In the 40th minute the Gunners doubled their advantage when Adebayor headed home van Persie’s corner. (First half highlights here.) Immediately after the restart Arsenal killed the game with a third, van Persie finding the bottom corner after Porto failed to clear the ball out of defence. A frustrated Porto then gave away a needless penalty, Guarin hacking down Bendtner, allowing Emmanuel Adebayor to bag his second and Arsenal’s fourth.

Aalborg 0 – Manchester United 3 (Champions League, September 30, 2008) (Longer highlights here.)  After dominating the early possession and tempo of the match, Manchester United got on the scoreboard when Giggs (a substitute for the injured Paul Scholes) split open the Aalborg defence with Rooney slotting the ball home. Aalborg shot themselves in the foot early in the second half, poor defending gifted Dimitar Berbatov a free shot on target and the Bulgarian broke his duck for United. And once he got one the second was quickly chalked up, Ronaldo skinned the left back to pick out Berbatov in the box and the number 9 acrobatically scored the third.

Zenit St. Petesburg 1 – Real Madrid 2 (Champions League, September 30, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) Madrid moved into a 4th minute lead in Russia, Zenit failed to clear a corner and Hubocan turned the ball into his own net. Zenit hit back through playmaker Danny, converting a cross after great work by Arshavin on the left hand side. Real quickly restored their advantage, the ball broke to Ruud van Nistelrooy in the box and the Dutch marksman made no mistake in finding the far corner. (First half highlights here.) With no more goals coming in the second half, Zenit look doomed in the group with no points after two games. (Second half highlights here.)

BATE Borisov 2 – Juventus 2 (Champions League, September 30, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) BATE Borisov took a shock lead at home to Juventus, a neat pass from midfield fed Krivets who rounded Manninger to score the opener. Incredibly, the Belorussians then moved two to the good when Stasevich added a second six minutes later by beating Nedved to a back post header. But the Old Lady halved the deficit before the half hour as Iaquinta headed home Giovinco’s cross. On the stroke of halftime Juve drew level, once again Giovinco was the provider for CONCACAF Champions League, September 30, 2008)