INTER MILAN (2) v/s CHELSEA (1)
INTER Milan boss Jose Mourinho goaded Chelsea after drawing first blood in the duel with his former team, saying: “I am lucky at Stamford Bridge”.
Goals from Diego Milito and Esteban Cambiasso ensured the Italian champions will take a slender advantage into the last 16 tie’s second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Salomon Kalou briefly drew Chelsea level with an away goal that could yet prove invaluable and was controversially denied a penalty just before half time.
But Mourinho, who never lost a home league game during a glittering three years in charge of the Blues, is confident of pressing home his advantage when he makes an emotional return to west London.
“This time I will go back to a different dressing room, a different dugout but I know normally Mourinho is lucky at Stamford Bridge,” he said. “We can go there with a legitimate ambition to go through. The most important thing is the result and we are ahead.”
Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti, whose personal rivalry with Mourinho injected the tie with further spice, insisted his side had been denied a legitimate spot kick.
“I think it was a penalty in the first half, but the penalty is when the referee whistles,” he said of Walter Samuel’s challenge on Kalou. “I think we were unlucky and we hope it will be better in the future. The result is not so positive but not so bad.”
Chelsea made the worst possible start, falling behind in the third minute when Milito turned captain John Terry and rifled a near-post shot past Petr Cech. The Blues then took control and were unlucky not to equalise when Didier Drogba’s free-kick beat Julio Cesar but hit the underside of the crossbar.
Kalou did draw them level in the 51st minute, however, his placed 20-yard effort slipping through the fingertips of Julio Cesar. But four minutes later Inter were back in front when Cambiasso drove home at the second attempt after his initial effort was charged down.
Goalkeeper Cech gave Chelsea a scare when he was later carried off, but post-match tests revealed his calf injury to be a minor one.