John O'Shea scored the only goal of the game as betting favourites Manchester United edged a narrow 1-0 victory against Arsenal in their Champions League semi-final first leg clash at Old Trafford.
In the first half only a superb display by Manuel Almunia kept United at bay, but the Gunners improved in an even second period and Nicklas Bendtner almost headed a late equaliser.
United make a whirlwind start to the match and, in only the second minute, Darren Fletcher's cross found Wayne Rooney whose looping header was clawed away by Almunia.
When Kieran Gibbs slipped, Cristiano Ronaldo then drilled over a low cross that evaded everyone before Almunia denied United again in the 17th minute.
The Spanish goalkeeper made a superb save, getting down well to keep Carlos Tevez's close-range shot out after good play by O'Shea.
However, the deadlock was broken from the resulting corner which wasn't properly dealt with. Michael Carrick's cross was deflected into the path of the unmarked O'Shea who was allowed to ram his shot into the roof of the net.
Arsenal's first shot on target didn't arrive until the 28th minute when Cesc Fabregas forced Edwin van der Sar to keep his 25-yard shot out after tricky play by Theo Walcott.
On the half-hour mark, only another brilliant save by Almunia stopped United doubling their lead. Ronaldo's header from Tevez's pinpoint cross seemed certain to burst the net, but the goalkeeper somehow kept the ball out.
After a quiet opening to the second period, United substitute Ryan Giggs made an instant impression in the 69th minute when he set up Ronaldo who rifled in a fierce shot that crashed back off the crossbar.
Carrick's 30-yard drive was inches wide with Almunia struggling to get across his goal and Giggs had the ball in the net only for the veteran Welshman to be denied by the linesman's flag.
However, Arsenal almost grabbed an equaliser with four minutes left when substitute Bendtner got his head to Fabregas' free-kick only to send the ball over the bar.
In cricket's Indian Premier League, Bangalore Royal Challengers sealed a final-over victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders, with Mark Boucher hitting the penultimate ball of the game for four to earn the win.
The clash between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians also resulted in a close finish, with the former recording a three-run win after making a mere 119-8 from their 20 overs.
At snooker's World Championships, John Higgins reached the semi-finals with a second successive 13-12 victory, this time over Mark Selby.
The Scot will face Northern Ireland's Mark Allen in the last four after the left-hander edged out Ryan Day 13-11.
In the other semi-final, Shaun Murphy takes on Neil Robertson after the pair saw off Stephen Hendry and Stephen Maguire respectively.
In tennis, Andy Murray slumped to a shock second round defeat to Juan Monaco at the Rome Masters, but Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer both eased into round three.