Chelsea FC 4-2 FC Bayern München
Shorn of their emotional leader, Mourinho's side pummelled Bayern Munich into submission during a second half when the rapier was replaced by the sledgehammer. When Didier Drogba stabbed home the fourth from close range after a corner nine minutes from the end, their progress to the European Cup semi-finals seemed inexorable. This being Chelsea, though, no road is pothole-free and stoppage time provided a sobering stumble. Ricardo Carvalho's tug on Michael Ballack's sleeve was the soft side of innocuous, but the Germany midfield player licked his mythical wounds to caress a penalty that ensures there is still work to be done next week. (The Times, England)
Only the gift of a penalty in the dying seconds keeps the door to the next round fractionally ajar, with the game clearly indicating how far adrift Bayern are of the leading teams in Europe. Chelsea proved that they do not need a coach to win comfortably; Mourinho's absence acting as a motivation rather than a hindrance. Bayern, on the other hand, looked troubled with Makaay's absence having a negative influence on the whole team. (Bild, Germany)
AC Milan 2-0 FC Internazionale Milano
Inter were superior to Milan for a half, but Stam's header just before the break changed the colour of the sky over San Siro. Lacking a few important players and lacking self-confidence, the Nerazzurri were unable to react, allowing Milan to play as they liked in the second half. Shevchenko was returning after fracturing his cheekbone 46 days ago, yet did not hesitate to risk his fresh face amid a host of Inter defenders to score a second goal which will almost certainly see Milan compete in the semi-finals. With this Milan, and this Inter, a comeback in the second leg is unthinkable. (Corriere dello Sport, Italy)
Only a miracle would allow Inter to continue their European adventure as Milan's 2-0 lead provides them with insurance against any sort of risk. However, yesterday's match only served to highlight that anything can happen in football. Milan were not superior to Inter - the Nerazzurri deserved to take the lead in the first half, only for Milan to do so. From then on, though, Inter gave up psychologically. Yesterday's game also confirmed that great teams have great defences, and Milan's is much stronger than Inter's. (Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy)
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