CSKA Moscow 0 – 1 Inter Milan (agg 0 – 2)

first_imgInter Milan booked a Champions League semi-final against Barcelona with the minimum of fuss in Moscow.The Italian side all but ended the tie after six minutes when Wesley Sneijder smacked a low free-kick under the wall and past an unsighted Igor Akinfeev.That left CSKA needing three goals to advance, a task which always looked beyond them, even before Chidi Odiah was sent off for a second booking.Diego Milito spurned two good chances to make Inter’s win more emphatic.But the 2-0 aggregate score means Jose Mourinho becomes the first manager to lead three different clubs to the Champions League semi-finals, and sends Inter into the last four for the first time since 2003.The Italian champions could have wrapped up the tie in the first leg, such was their dominance, but they only had Milito’s goal to show for their superiority, a factor which might have worried them. And Mourinho was in typically outspoken mood in the lead-up to the game.He criticised CSKA’s plastic pitch and questioned the decision to postpone the Russian side’s weekend league match following the bombings in Moscow last week.But all those concerns were wiped out inside 10 minutes at the Luzhniki Stadium when Sergei Ignashevich fouled Milito 25 yards out and Sneijder threaded the free-kick through the legs of Keisuke Honda in the wall, with Akinfeev unable to react in time.Not long after, CSKA boss Leonid Slutsky introduced Odiah for Vasily Berezutsky, a decision which almost paid dividends when the defender’s 30-yard strike bounced dangerously in front of Julio Cesar, the Inter keeper doing well to scramble the ball around the post.Long-range shots were all CSKA could muster against a well-organised Inter defence, and their task became all but impossible four minutes into the second half when Odiah, booked in the first half for a foul on Sneijder, careered into Samuel Eto’o and collected his second booking. From that point, the game completely lost impetus, with even Milito – who has scored 18 goals in Serie A this season – wasting two good chances to wrap up the tie when one-on-one with Akinfeev.“The plan was to score before them,” said Mourinho.“In Milan, we scored on the 10th shot. Today we scored on the first one and the tie was in the pocket.“True, maybe it wasn’t the most exciting game, but the real prize was reaching the semi-finals.“There were 500 Inter fans here in Moscow and our job was to make the semi-finals, not put on a show, and that’s what we did.” Slutsky appeared content to have led his side to their first Champions League quarter-final.“I can’t hold anything against my men today. They did all they could,” he said.“I consider nevertheless that we looked good in both of our matches with Inter and deservedly had a place in the last eight.”Source: BBClast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *