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Milito edges Inter noses in front

Published: Wednesday 31 March 2010, 22.30CET
FC Internazionale Milano 1-0 PFC CSKA Moskva
Diego Milito finally ended CSKA's resistance but a brilliant display from goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev means it is all to play for next Tuesday.
by Richard Aikman
from Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

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Match statistics

InternazionaleCSKA Moskva

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target9
 
4
Attempts off target8
 
5
Corners9
 
4
Offsides5
 
0
Fouls committed9
 
22
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 31 March 2010, 22.30CET

Milito edges Inter noses in front

FC Internazionale Milano 1-0 PFC CSKA Moskva
Diego Milito finally ended CSKA's resistance but a brilliant display from goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev means it is all to play for next Tuesday.

FC Internazionale Milano will be hopeful of reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time in seven years after overcoming PFC CSKA Moskva at San Siro, but a fine performance from goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev means Diego Milito's goal is all that separates the sides.

Milito scored midway through the second half after a sustained spell of Nerazzurri pressure, but Inter may rue a succession of late chances that could have given them more daylight. Akinfeev was largely responsible for that, though suspensions to Miloš Krasić and Evgeni Aldonin, who both picked up bookings, could prove just as telling in the second leg.

With so much at stake it was perhaps understandable that the game got off to a cagey start, identical 4-2-3-1 formations serving to cancel each other out, reducing both sides to bypassing cluttered defences with shots from range. Wesley Sneijder's early free-kick and Dejan Stanković's half-volley both flew wide while Goran Pandev's venomous curler just cleared the bar as Inter tried to increase the tempo. CSKA were happy to lie deep and hit them on the break, usually through Krasić.

All the visitors had to show for their conservative approach was a low 13th-minute free-kick by Sergei Ignashevich and a wild Tomáš Necid effort from a tight angle. The longer they sat back the more pressure they invited, with Sneijder, Esteban Cambiasso and Milito finding chinks in their armour with quick passing moves. Inter failed to exploit their possession, however, Sneijder coming the closest before the break after a probing run from deep led to a give-and-go with Milito, but resulted in a shot at full stretch which lacked power and direction.

CSKA showed greater purpose after the break. Pavel Mamaev tried his luck from range and Aldonin forced Júlio César to tip his blistering strike over the bar, while Marco Materazzi was forced into a last-ditch tackle to cut out Krasić's low cross. It was Inter, though, who might have been ahead on the hour after Cambiasso's incisive pass found Stanković, only for the midfielder's control to betray him, his end product weak. Suddenly Inter were at full tilt, Eto'o forcing Akinfeev into a save low to his right.

The goal promptly arrived following a flowing move, Sneijder whirring down the left and picking out Milito on the edge of the area; the striker guided a crisp low strike past the Russia No1. It could soon have been two as Pandev, following an exchange with Milito, wove his way around the keeper only to see his goalbound shot superbly cleared off the line by Aleksei Berezutski.

In a frenetic last five minutes Inter could have extended their lead, Sneijder breaking into the area, only to send his shot past the near post. Then it was all Akinfeev, who twice made instinctive saves to deny Cambiasso from close range before cooling Stanković's deflected follow-up after it had fizzed though a crowded area. It is all to play for next Tuesday.

Last updated: 10/12/12 11.31CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000030/match=2000479/postmatch/report/index.html#milito+edges+inter+ahead

Quotes

  • José Mourinho

    Read more"It's a win and we got the result, so with a goal in the second leg we can be pretty much secure of qualification."

  • Leonid Slutsky

    Read more"It is difficult to remain focused for the full 90 minutes under such pressure and that was the reason we conceded that goal."

At a glance

What happened
José Mourinho warned that CSKA would be tough to break down and so it proved for 65 minutes until Diego Milito fired a crisp low shot inside the upright.

Key moment
Igor Akinfeev was imperious in the second half but Aleksei Berezutski's goal line intervention was no less important, hooking clear Goran Pandev's shot.

Numbers game
Javier Zanetti made his 167th consecutive appearance in Serie A and the UEFA Champions League, a run that will come to an end on Saturday as he is banned.

One on one
Wesley Sneijder was Chelsea FC's tormentor in chief in the last 16 but he seldom escaped Deividas Šemberas – until his run and pass teed up Milito.

Crowd pleaser
Milito is beginning to convert the goalscoring form that makes him feared in Serie A to the European stage and made no mistake when given an chance.

What it means
Inter's hopes of reaching the semi-finals for the first time since 2003 are alive especially as Miloš Krasić and Evgeni Aldonin are banned on Tuesday.

Lineups

internazionale

Internazionale

cska moskva

CSKA Moskva

12
Júlio CésarJúlio César (GK)
35
AkinfeevIgor Akinfeev (GK) (C)
4
ZanettiJavier Zanetti (C)
2
ŠemberasDeividas Šemberas
5
StankovićDejan Stanković
4
IgnashevichSergei Ignashevich
9
Eto'oSamuel Eto'o
6
A. BerezutskiAleksei Berezutski
10
SneijderWesley Sneijder
11
MamaevPavel Mamaev
Substitution73
13
MaiconMaicon
17
KrasićMiloš Krasić
Yellow Card32
19
CambiassoEsteban Cambiasso
18
HondaKeisuke Honda
Substitution70
22
Milito Diego Milito
Goal65
22
AldoninEvgeni Aldonin
Yellow Card37
Substitution76
23
MaterazziMarco Materazzi
Yellow Card12
24
V. BerezutskiVasili Berezutski
25
SamuelWalter Samuel
42
SchennikovGeorgi Schennikov
27
PandevGoran Pandev
Substitution90+4
89
NecidTomáš Necid

Substitutes

1
ToldoFrancesco Toldo (GK)
1
ChepchugovSergei Chepchugov (GK)
2
CórdobaIván Córdoba
10
DzagoevAlan Dzagoev
Substitution70
7
QuaresmaRicardo Quaresma
13
GonzálezMark González
Substitution73
11
MuntariSulley Muntari
14
NababkinKirill Nababkin
17
MarigaMacDonald Mariga
Substitution90+4
15
OdiahChidi Odiah
26
ChivuCristian Chivu
20
GuilhermeGuilherme
89
ArnautovicMarko Arnautovic
25
RahimićElvir Rahimić
Substitution76

Coach

José Mourinho (POR) Leonid Slutski (RUS)

Referee

Howard Webb (ENG)

Assistant referees

Michael Mullarkey (ENG), Darren Cann (ENG)

Fourth official

Mark Clattenburg (ENG)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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