Mourinho takes down old employers

Portuguese returns to Chelsea and leads his Inter side to ECL quarters with single Eto'o goal.

    Eto'o fires home the winner to give his coach a winning return to his former club [AFP]

    Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge to dump former side Chelsea out of the European Champions League as Inter deservedly won 1-0 in the second leg of their last 16 tie.

    Samuel Eto'o, who scored in last year's final for Barcelona, struck from Wesley Sneijder's ball over the top with 12 minutes left to send the Italian champions through to the quarter-finals 3-1 on aggregate.

    CSKA Moscow are also through after beating Sevilla 2-1 in Spain to progress 3-2.

    "I think it was a real war today but we deserved to win," Inter's Dutch international midfielder Sneijder told Sky Sports.

    "(Mourinho) told us Chelsea are a strong team, fantastic individual players but the most important thing was that we had to play our game. And we did it. We did it really well.

    "Chelsea are one of the biggest teams in the world and this is a big step."

    Eto'o too slow

    After winning 2-1 at the San Siro two weeks ago, Inter should have gone 3-1 up in the tie – with a valuable away goal – just after half an hour when John Terry missed Maicon's deep cross and Eto'o was slow to react, heading down into the ground and over Ross Turnbull's bar.

    Results & fixtures

    Tuesday March 16

     Chelsea 0-1 Inter Milan (1-3)
     Sevilla 1-2 CSKA Moscow (2-3)

    Wednesday March 17

     Barcelona v Stuttgart (1-1)
     Bordeaux v Olympiakos (1-0)

    Aggregate score in brackets

    Then with five minutes to go in the half, Chelsea laid siege to the Italian goal.

    Nicolas Anelka displayed all the subtlety of the forward's craft as he engineered space for Florent Malouda to twist and shoot – only for Walter Samuel to make a fantastic sliding block.

    The half-time whistle came at the wrong time for the Blues as they lost momentum in the second 45, with Inter taking their turn to carve out chances.

    On 59 minutes, Sneijder backheeled a pass to Goran Pandev, but the Macedonian took too many touches as he sprinted through on goal and his shot was blocked by the recovering Yuri Zhirkov. Turnbull then saved a Diego Milito shot from the resulting corner.

    Six minutes later Milito ran through but skewed a volley wide of the stand-in Chelsea keeper's goal.

    Thiago Motta then missed a free header as Mourinho, who brought two league titles to the club in three years at Stamford Bridge, became increasingly frustrated at his new side's profligacy. 

    But the man who proclaimed himself the "Special One" on his arrival at Chelsea in 2004 couldn't stop himself celebrating as Cameroonian Eto'o rifled home under pursuit by Branislav Ivanovic.

    Mourinho celebrates

    "I celebrated a lot in the dressing room after the victory because it's a big win for my team," Mourinho told Sky Sports.

    "We were the best team. Best team by far"

    Jose Mourinho, Inter Milan coach

    "Chelsea are a great team. I love Chelsea but I'm a professional.

    "I was a bit scared when we missed so many chances but when we scored everything was ok.

    "We were the best team. Best team by far."

    Chelsea striker Didier Drogba was sent off late on for a stamp on Motta.

    "We played better in Milan but couldn't repeat it, and Inter deserved to win," said Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, who had a spiky relationship with Mourinho while in charge of city rivals AC Milan last year.

    "Congratulations to Inter."

    In Spain, Sevilla started with the advantage after securing an away goal in Russia two weeks ago but CSKA made it 2-1 on aggregate when Tomas Necid netted on 39 minutes.

    The Andalusians were back on level terms soon after through Diego Perotti, before Sevilla keeper Andres Palop flapped at a Keisuke Honda free kick to put the Muscovites into the quarter-finals for the first time since 1993.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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