Inter Milan edge Chelsea, CSKA hold Sevilla
LONDON: Esteban Cambiasso fired Inter Milan to a 2-1 first-leg victory over Chelsea in the Champions League last 16, first leg match, while a 30-yard drive by Mark Gonzalez salvaged a 1-1 draw for CSKA Moscow against Sevilla.
In a high quality and evenly contested game at San Siro, Inter coach Jose Mourinho gained an advantage over the Premier League team he led to back-to-back English titles in 2005-06. But Chelsea, managed by former AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti, needs only to win the second leg 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on March 16 to reach the quarter-finals.
In a city where he successfully served Milan with Champions League titles both as a player and coach, Ancelotti fielded an attacking formation of three strikers but his side trailed by the three minutes. Argentina forward Diego Milito collected a ball from Samuel Eto’o and easily sidestepped Chelsea captain John Terry before firing past keeper Petr Cech.
After Chelsea striker Didier Drogba’s free kick from 25 yards hit the bar, the visitors equalised in the 51st minute. Salomon Kalou scored with a 22-yard shot inside the far post after a determined run by Branislav Ivanovic had opened up the defense.
But Chelsea was level for only four minutes. Cambiasso hit a shot that was blocked and followed up with a low, left-footer that flew inside the far post. Chelsea lost Cech with what appeared a serious knee injury in the 60th and replaced him with Hilario.
At the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Sevilla went ahead in the 25th minute when an unmarked Alvaro Negredo tapped the ball into an empty net following a cross from Jesus Navas. But CSKA earned the draw when Gonzalez fired in a left-footed shot in the 66th minute.