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Sneijder strike takes Inter into semis

Published: Tuesday 6 April 2010, 20.30CET
PFC CSKA Moskva 0-1 FC Internazionale Milano (agg: 0-2)
An early free-kick from Wesley Sneijder effectively settled the tie and sent Inter into their first semi-final since 2003.
by Paul Saffer

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Match statistics

CSKA MoskvaInternazionale

Goals scored0
1
Attempts on target3
 
7
Attempts off target9
 
6
Corners3
 
2
Offsides0
4
Fouls committed14
 
14
Yellow cards3
 
1
Red cards1
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 6 April 2010, 20.30CET

Sneijder strike takes Inter into semis

PFC CSKA Moskva 0-1 FC Internazionale Milano (agg: 0-2)
An early free-kick from Wesley Sneijder effectively settled the tie and sent Inter into their first semi-final since 2003.

Wesley Sneijder's early free-kick was the key to FC Internazionale Milano ending their seven-year wait to return to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Already a goal down from last week's trip to Milan, PFC CSKA Moskva were left needing to score three after Sneijder, a doubt before kick-off with an ankle injury, found the target. A CSKA comeback never looked likely, especially after substitute Chidi Odiah's 49th-minute red card, and Inter take on familair opponents from the group stage, holders FC Barcelona, on 20 and 28 April with the first leg at home.

The suspensions of Evgeni Aldonin and the hugely influential Miloš Krasić meant starts for Mark González and Alan Dzagoev with Keisuke Honda moved into a defensive midfield position but that did not stop the Japanese international having an early effort just wide. However, just six minutes were on the clock when Inter broke the deadlock, Sneijder sending a low free-kick beneath the leaping Honda and past the bamboozled Igor Akinfeev.

That was a cue for an early CSKA change with Odiah replacing Vasili Berezutski, who had hurt his leg in the warm-up. Odiah had the freedom to push forward and found Tomaš Necid on the edge of the box to put a shot just past the post.

CSKA were certainly pressing an Inter defence strengthened by the return of Lucio after a first-leg suspension and restricting their hosts to long-range efforts, notably several Honda free-kicks that sailed over and an Odiah effort that Júlio César was forced to tip wide. One flowing move set Dzagoev free in the box but he slipped, allowing Inter to break and first-leg goalscorer Diego Milito to test Akinfeev.

Only four minutes into the second half, CSKA's task was made harder when Odiah's foul on Samuel Eto'o earned the substitute a second yellow card. Still the home side were doing more of the attacking and they came close when Honda cross from the right just eluded the overhead kick of Dzagoev but fell nicely to González, whose effort was matched by Júlio César's save.

Gradually, though, the ten men of CSKA seemed to tire and Inter began to have chances. Akinfeev denied Sneijder from distance and moments later produced an excellent diving stop to block Dejan Stanković's swerving drive. Milito then shot straight at the goalkeeper and soon after was sent clear only for Akinfeev to again stand firm.

Mario Balotelli replaced Milito as Inter became more and more dominant, CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky trying to refresh things by bringing on Elvir Rahimić for Honda. Stanković shot fractionally wide and Sergei Ignashevich's last-gasp tackle denied Eto'o as he jinked into a goalscoring position, but the tie was already secure for the visitors.

Last updated: 27/11/12 3.40CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000030/match=2000481/postmatch/report/index.html#inter+through+semi+finals

Quotes

  • José Mourinho

    Read more"Inter's fortunes in the Champions League have completely changed because now the team have the right mentality and confidence"

  • Leonid Slutsky

    Read more"An early goal and Vasili Berezutski's injury made our mission almost impossible, and at the beginning of the second half came the red card"

At a glance

What happened
Wesley Sneijder's early free-kick left CSKA needing to score three and their hopes were fading even before substitute Chidi Odiah's 49th-minute dismissal.

Key moment
Sneijder had been a doubt with an ankle injury but started and almost immediately decided the tie with a low strike that bamboozled Igor Akinfeev.

Numbers game
Seven years have passed since Inter's previous appearance in the semi-finals against AC Milan, the season before José Mourinho won with FC Porto.

One on one
Keisuke Honda was in a withdrawn role but still came forward, however it was Sneijder who proved the probing playmaker that made the difference.

Crowd pleaser
Midway through the second half fine long-range efforts from Sneijder and Dejan Stanković forced a couple of fine Akinfeev saves in quick succession.

What it means
Inter welcome holders FC Barcelona or Arsenal FC in the first leg of their semi-final on Tuesday 20 April before the away return eight days later.

Lineups

cska moskva

CSKA Moskva

internazionale

Internazionale

35
AkinfeevIgor Akinfeev (GK) (C)
12
Júlio CésarJúlio César (GK)
2
ŠemberasDeividas Šemberas
4
ZanettiJavier Zanetti (C)
4
IgnashevichSergei Ignashevich
5
StankovićDejan Stanković
Yellow Card16
6
A. BerezutskiAleksei Berezutski
6
LúcioLúcio
10
DzagoevAlan Dzagoev
9
Eto'oSamuel Eto'o
11
MamaevPavel Mamaev
Yellow Card63
10
SneijderWesley Sneijder
Goal6
Substitution86
13
GonzálezMark González
13
MaiconMaicon
18
HondaKeisuke Honda
Substitution77
19
CambiassoEsteban Cambiasso
24
V. BerezutskiVasili Berezutski
Substitution14
22
Milito Diego Milito
Substitution74
42
SchennikovGeorgi Schennikov
25
SamuelWalter Samuel
89
NecidTomáš Necid
Substitution71
27
PandevGoran Pandev
Substitution63

Substitutes

1
ChepchugovSergei Chepchugov (GK)
21
OrlandoniPaolo Orlandoni (GK)
14
NababkinKirill Nababkin
2
CórdobaIván Córdoba
15
OdiahChidi Odiah
Substitution14
Yellow Card38
Red Card49
7
QuaresmaRicardo Quaresma
20
GuilhermeGuilherme
Substitution71
11
MuntariSulley Muntari
Substitution86
23
PilievNika Piliev
23
MaterazziMarco Materazzi
25
RahimićElvir Rahimić
Substitution77
26
ChivuCristian Chivu
Substitution63
26
OlisehSekou Oliseh
45
BalotelliMario Balotelli
Substitution74

Coach

Leonid Slutski (RUS) José Mourinho (POR)

Referee

Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)

Assistant referees

Eric Dansault (FRA), Laurent Ugo (FRA)

Fourth official

Antony Gautier (FRA)

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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