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.