Alberto Abbondandolo, Pietro Majer

We prove that a Morse–Smale gradient-like flow on a closed manifold has a “system of compatible invariant stable foliations” that is analogous to the object introduced by Palis and Smale in their proof of the structural stability of Morse–Smale diffeomorphisms and flows, but with finer regularity and geometric properties. We show how these invariant foliations can be used in order to give a self-contained proof of the well-known but quite delicate theorem stating that the unstable manifolds of a Morse–Smale gradient-like flow on a closed manifold $M$ are the open cells of a CW-decomposition of $M$.