Serie A

Inter Beat Chelsea 2-1 In Champions League First Leg

In what was one of Inter’s better performances in Europe in recent years, they beat Chelsea 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie.

It took Inter only three minutes to score as Thiago Motta served Eto’o and an instinctive dummy from Sneijder let the ball roll through to Milito, who turned Terry before firing past a hapless Petr Cech.

Inter mostly limited Chelsea to long range shots, but the visitors did come close to scoring when Didier Drogba hit the underside of the crossbar with a fantastic 30-yard free kick.

Inter did a good job soaking up Chelsea’s pressure and hitting them on the counter-attack. With one of those attacks, Eto’o missed a great chance to score from six yards out when he totally miss hit a low cross from Sneijder.

Within six minutes of the second half starting Chelsea were level when Julio Cesar let a shot from Kalou bounce in front of him and into the net. A really bad goal to concede.

But instead of getting down after conceding such a poor goal, Inter went off in search of a second and got it four minutes later when Cambiasso beat Cech with a stunning low strike after his first shot was blocked by Carvalho to put the Nerazzurri deservedly back in front.

Chelsea played the last thirty minutes with Hilario between the posts after Cech was forced off injured, but the Portuguese custodian had hardly a save to make as the Nerazzurri couldn’t capitalise on their counter-attacking initiative.

Instead, Julio Cesar had more work to do and he made a crucial save from Lampard’s close-range effort from Drogba’s cross to protect Inter’s lead ahead of next month’s return leg at Stamford Bridge.

Overall a really good Inter performance. Mourinho got the tactics right, the midfield ran and ran and ran, and the Inter back four looked very solid. It will be a difficult game at Stamford Bridge but Chelsea look vulnerable to the counter-attack and I can see Inter scoring in the second leg. The question is whether Chelsea can score two against Inter and I am not so sure about that.