Wayne Rooney let his feet do the talking with a superb first-half goal to give Manchester United a 1-0 first leg win at Chelsea and tip the balance of the Champions League quarter-final their way on Wednesday.
Rooney, facing an FA charge for swearing live on TV last Saturday which could see him banned for two domestic matches, steered in a sweetly-struck 24th minute goal off the post after a flowing United build-up.
United dominated the match for long periods with Rooney providing much of their inspiration in midfield and attack to leave Chelsea a huge task of saving the tie in the second leg at Old Trafford next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Barcelona took a giant stride towards securing a likely semi-final against arch rivals Real Madrid when they swept to a 5-1 demolition of Shakhtar Donetsk in their quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.
Andres Iniesta starred for the rampant 2009 winners, three days after becoming a father for the first time, scoring Barca's opener in the second minute at the Nou Camp and creating a second for Daniel Alves just after the half hour.
Gerard Pique added to the home side's tally in the second half and their domination was only briefly checked by a Yaroslav Rakitskiy goal before Seydou Keita and Xavi put Barca almost out of sight ahead of next week's second leg in Ukraine.
A mouth watering all-Spanish semi-final is a near certainty following Real's 4-0 drubbing of Tottenham Hotspur at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, meaning the La Liga giants would meet an incredible four times in just over two weeks.