Cristiano Ronaldo.

Match Rewind: Four April Champions League classics

Wednesday 29 April 2020 10:00

The final 'Match Rewind' game to be shown this month celebrates April itself – a time when Europe's premier competition, the Champions League, really hots up.

As three-time winners, Manchester United have produced many magical moments against continental opposition down the decades, and we're asking you to choose one of our best performances in April to provide the next match we're going to stream in full.
We've been broadcasting three games every week – on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – with users of our Official App deciding between four special games from a specific theme.
Our latest quartet of options are all either quarter-finals or semi-finals from the biggest tournament in club football – though we've omitted the famous 3-2 win over Juventus from 1999, as that match won the 'European Nights' poll we ran several weeks ago (you can watch that game in full any time via our on-demand service).

Scroll down to find out what's on offer this time...
UNITED 3 MILAN 2 (2006/07)
United were chasing a second Treble in eight years when six-time winners AC Milan arrived in M16 for this hum-dinging Champions League semi-final first leg. The Italians had won the trophy at Old Trafford itself four years earlier by beating domestic rivals Juventus in a penalty shoot-out, and were an imperious side that featured genuine legends of the sport such as Paolo Maldini, Clarence Seedorf and Brazilian wunderkind Kaka.
Will you vote for the night Rooney ran the Rossoneri ragged?
United took an early lead through an unlikely source, Gabriel Heinze, who bundled home from a corner at the Scoreboard End. But by half-time, the match's narrative had been bent firmly in the visiting side's favour, with two goals from the aforementioned Kaka, who looked determined to deliver one of the stadium's all-time classic individual performances by an opposition player. But another rising star would have the last laugh. With the Rossoneri looking typically obdurate in defence, a sublime improvisational pass from Paul Scholes and a calm Wayne Rooney finish made it 2-2. And just as the Milanese appeared to have earned an impressive high-scoring away draw to take back to the San Siro, Rooney struck again in the dying moments, whipping Ryan Giggs's set-up cleverly past Brazilian goalkeeper Dida. It sent Old Trafford into raptures, and gave United the edge heading into the second leg.

ROMA 0 UNITED 2 (2007/08)
The Reds had been beaten in the Stadio Olimpico a year earlier, with Paul Scholes sent off on a difficult night that was marred by trouble in the stands. But a year later, they got it incontestably spot-on in the first leg of this quarter-final. Disciplined at the back, creative in midfield, and deadly up front, the Giallorossi were no match for us. 
Scholes made up for the previous year's indiscretion with a delicious cross for the opener, which was powered in with brave, brute force by Cristiano Ronaldo, for one of his most memorable United goals. “You can't deny the boy's confidence and courage,” said a clearly proud Ferguson. Rooney then tapped home a second after the interval, giving us a comfortable advantage for the return leg in M16, where we'd continue on our path to the first of three Champions League finals in four years.
UNITED 1 BARCELONA 0 (2007/08)
What a night this was at Old Trafford. It was a tale of redemption for one man in particular: Paul Scholes. Having missed the 1999 Champions League final due to suspension, the Ginger Prince was desperate to reach another final before hanging up his boots, and managed it almost nine years later by scoring the only goal across 180 minutes against Frank Rijkaard's Barcelona. 
Or how about the night Wes Brown and the United rearguard pacified Messi?
The visitors boasted Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and Henry, but what chance did they have against an inspired United defence – with Wes Brown producing his finest 90 minutes in a red shirt – plus Scholes's spectacular long-ranger and one of the great Old Trafford atmospheres? Not for the faint-hearted, this one was about as tense (and ultimately euphoric) as it gets.
PORTO 0 UNITED 1 (2008/09)
The Portuguese side had escaped from the first leg of this quarter-final with a very useful 2-2 away draw against the then-reigning European champions, having taken an early lead and then grabbed a late equaliser either side of goals from Rooney and Carlos Tevez. If anything, it made them marginal favourites to progress to the semis when the sides reconvened at the Estadio do Dragao a week later.

But what they wouldn't have countenanced was one of the greatest, most pure strikes of a football in memory, delivered by recent Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portugal international was 40 yards out when Anderson innocuously slipped him the ball in midfield and, with little warning, unleashed a hit of almost nuclear proportions. There were still 85 minutes of the tie remaining after it struck the net, but it seemed to shock both the stadium and the Porto players into submission, and United negotiated the rest of the game with the kind of European composure that became second nature during the latter years of Sir Alex's tenure.
Vote for Porto '09 to see Ronaldo's outrageous thunderbolt strike again.
You've assessed the choices, and no doubt taken a pleasant trip down memory lane in your own mind, so now it's time to vote in the Match Rewind live blog!
The poll closes at 16:00 GMT on Thursday, and the match that comes out on top will be streamed in full, for free, at 19:00 GMT on the same day via the Official App and on the homepage of
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