MILAN - Inter Milan battled to a 2-1 win
over an impressive Chelsea to hold a slight advantage after
their Champions League last-16 first leg at the San Siro on
Home striker Diego Milito netted on three minutes when he
easily turned John Terry and fired in at the near post from six
metres, prompting little reaction from Inter's former Chelsea
coach Jose Mourinho who had promised not to celebrate.
NEWS: Ancelotti - Chelsea denied penalty
The Londoners dominated a thrilling game for long spells and
Salomon Kalou deservedly equalised on 51 minutes with a 20-metre
shot before Esteban Cambiasso soon put the hosts back ahead
after his first shot was blocked.
Chelsea keeper Petr Cech was carried off on a stretcher in
the second half with a calf injury but Carlo Ancelotti, who
spent eight years at the San Siro as AC Milan coach, will be
confident of turning the tie around in the second leg on March
"It was a high-level Champions League game," Mourinho told
ITV Sport. "I said to my players, 'they are not better than us,
they are different to us'.
"Chelsea and Inter can both play better. This is the
Champions League, it is difficult to fully express yourself
because of the pressure."
Just like rivals AC Milan in their defeat by Manchester
United on the same pitch last week, Serie A champions Inter got
off to a good start.
Thiago Motta threaded the ball forward and Samuel Eto'o
miscontrolled it before strike partner Milito confirmed his
excellent form this season by cutting in from the left and
beating Cech at the near post.
Chelsea's heads failed to drop despite the vast roar from
the Inter crowd and they were soon troubling keeper Julio Cesar,
playing despite being shaken in a car crash early this week.
A Michael Ballack piledriver forced the Brazilian into his
best save and Didier Drogba rattled the bar with a vicious free-kick.
Kalou, included on the left with Florent Malouda employed at
left back, then had a strong shout for a penalty turned down on
the stroke of halftime after a challenge by Walter Samuel five
The Ivorian had his reward after 51 minutes when Julio Cesar
failed to stop his curling shot through a crowd of players.
Argentine Cambiasso then grabbed the winner, blasting in at
the second attempt from the edge of the box.
"I think on the balance of play, possession, the shots we
had, we were the stronger team," said Chelsea midfielder Frank
"We knew they like to soak up pressure and they got the
early goal which made it easier for them but we've got an away
goal and with a performance like that in London we've got a
NEWS: Lampard - Chelsea the stronger side
NEWS: Malouda enjoyed unfamiliar left-back role
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