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Rediff.com  » Sports » Man United, Arsenal seal semi-final berths

Man United, Arsenal seal semi-final berths

Last updated on: April 16, 2009 09:33 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo's spectacular long-range early goal gave Manchester United a 1-0 victory over FC Porto and a spot in the Champions League semi-finals on a 3-2 aggregate, on Wednesday.

The defending champions will meet Arsenal, who cruised into the last four with a 3-0 victory over Villarreal in their second leg quarter-final.

Goals from Theo Walcott, Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie gave the Gunners a 4-1 aggregate.

Porto made most of the play but were done in by Ronaldo's sixth minute goal. The ace striker dispatched a rising shot from 40 meters past diving goalkeeper Helton and into the top corner of the net.

Hard as they pressed for the equalizer which could have taken them into the semis on the away goals rule after a 2-2 draw in the first leg at Old Trafford, Porto were unable to splinter through the crowded United defence.

The victory stretched United's unbeaten run in the Champions League to 23 games and made them the first English team to win at Porto in 12 matches.

Walcott gave Arsenal a 10th minute lead, before Adebayor added the second in the 60th and Van Persie put the issue beyond doubt with a 69th minute penalty.

Villarreal's Sebastian Eguren got a second yellow card for protesting the penalty decision and was sent off, forcing the Spanish team to play the last 21 minutes with ten men.

England will have three sides in the last four for the third successive season. Chelsea withstood a spirited Liverpool comeback on Tuesday, drawing 4-4 with their Premier League rivals at Stamford Bridge to progress 7-5 over the two legs.

Chelsea will next play Barcelona, the Spanish side easing through 5-1 on aggregate against Bayern Munich after a 1-1 draw in Germany.