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Sports

English sides draw in Champions League quarterfinals

The quarterfinals of Europe's premier club competition have kicked off with title-holders Manchester United held to a 2-2 home draw by FC Porto and Arsenal snatching a 1-1 tie with Villareal in Spain

Porto's Cristian Rodriguez, celebrates with teammate Lucho Gonzalez

Porto could profit from the two away goals

Manchester United extended their record Champions League unbeaten streak to 22 matches but failed to clinch victory and gave away two crucial goals on home turf at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

The Portuguese visitors opened the scoring in the fourth minute, courtesy of Cristian Rodriguez, but then squandered early success when Wayne Rooney equalised 11 minutes later thanks to a defensive error.

Arsenal's Alexandre Song Billong battles for the ball with Villarreal's Giuseppe Rossi

Arsenal were lucky to be only 1-0 down at half-time

The final goals came in the dying minutes. Carlos Tevez looked to have snatched victory for United, scoring in the 85th minute, only for Mariano Gonzalez to grab an 89th-minute equalizer.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson described the result as "about right."

"The first half they were the better side," he said. "But to get a 2-1 lead with four to five minutes to go, you really should be seeing it out."

Arsenal gain the advantage

Meanwhile in Spain, Arsenal secured an important 1-1 away tie with Villareal ahead of their second-leg meeting.

Villareal scored first with a driving long-range shot by midfielder Marcos Senna in the 10th minute and were unlucky not to extend that lead with another shot by Senna and follow up effort by Joan Capdevila. However, the Gunners came back in spectacular fashion in the second half when Emmanuel Adebayor scored with a bicycle kick in the 66th minute.

"I don't even know how I scored that, but the most important thing was that the ball went into the back of the net," Adebayor told ITV. "We got a good result to take home and we are very happy."

The other quarterfinal matches take place this Wednesday. Germany's Bayern Munich face FC Barcelona in Spain while Liverpool host fellow English side Chelsea.