Milito fires in to give Inter a third-minute lead at the San Siro
By Phil Dawkes
Chelsea suffered a first leg defeat to former boss Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan in their Champions League last 16 tie.
Inter got off to the perfect start when Diego Milito cut inside and fired in with only three minutes gone.
Chelsea rallied from the early blow and after Salomon Kalou was denied a strong first-half penalty claim he was on hand to fire Chelsea level after half-time.
Parity was short-lived, with Esteban Cambiasso drilling in to give Inter a narrow lead to take to Stamford Bridge.
Predictably, it was Mourinho who took centre stage as it was the first match against the club he led for two-and-a-half seasons, but this was an encounter laden with context.
Current Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti led Inter's local rivals AC Milan with aplomb between 2001 and 2009 and this was the first time he has brought a side to the city since leaving for west London last summer.
In addition, there is the added spice that former Champions League winners Mourinho and Ancelotti - the Portuguese with Porto in 2004, the Italian with Milan in 2003 and 2007 - are managers charged with repeating their feat in Europe's premier club competition with their current clubs.
Under Mourinho, Chelsea were often accused of an overly cautious approach that came at the expense of entertainment, but Ancelotti affords his charges greater licence to be expansive and, on the front foot, they are an attractive team to watch.
Unfortunately, they are occasionally susceptible at the back as a result and Inter capitalised on this fallibility with their very first attack.
With the ball won just inside the Chelsea half, firstly Thiago Motta and then Samuel Eto'o fed the ball through for Milito who, with space afforded by Wesley Sneijder's presence, stepped inside John Terry and beat Petr Cech at the near post.
Despite falling behind, Chelsea were not overawed and slowly began to assert themselves on the game, claiming the greater share of possession and attacking with intent.
However, they were limited to a series of long-range efforts by a hard-working home side.
Didier Drogba came closest with a powerfully struck 25-yard free-kick which beat Julio Cesar but struck the underside of the crossbar before being cleared to safety.
Ivory Coast international Drogba is the only African player with more career Champions League goals than ordinarily lethal Cameroonian Eto'o.
However, the Inter number nine missed a glorious opportunity to add to his tally of 18 Champions League goals just after the half-hour mark.
Sneijder cut in from the left and drove a low cross over for the centrally positioned Eto'o in plenty of space and only eight yards out but he badly miscued his effort.
The half ended in controversy when a mistake in midfield gave Kalou a clear run on goal, but before he was able to shoot he was felled by a last-ditch tackle from Walter Samuel.
Referee Mejuto Gonzalez waved away calls for a penalty but replays showed that Kalou's heels had been clipped by the defender.
Within five minutes of the restart Kalou's anger had turned to jubilation as he brought his side level.
Branislav Ivanovic carried the ball deep into Inter territory, evading a number of challenges, before feeding Kalou 20 yards out and his side-foot shot beat Cesar and found the corner of the net.
Once again the sides were level but only for three minutes.
Sneijder's cross from the right was headed away by Ricardo Carvalho to Cambiasso, whose first shot was blocked by Ivanovic but his second, from 18 yards was drilled perfectly into the far corner.
It was a decisive blow so soon after Chelsea had deservedly levelled and the Blues never fully recovered their composure.
There were intermittent glimpses of their capabilities; most notably when Drogba and Nicolas Anelka combined for the latter to provide a golden chance for Frank Lampard eight yards out, but Cesar was equal to it.
A single-goal first leg deficit will not worry Ancelotti, but the sight of goalkeeper Cech being carried injured from the pitch was more concerning with the season entering a crucial phase.
Fears that Cech had badly damaged a knee were dispelled when it was revealed that he had suffered a calf injury.
90:00+2:19 Foul by Didier Drogba on Ferreira Lucio, free kick awarded. Walter Samuel takes the direct free kick.
90:00+1:09 Corner taken by Frank Lampard, Close range effort by Michael Ballack goes wide of the right-hand upright.
89:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by Didier Drogba on Ferreira Lucio. Soares Julio Cesar restarts play with the free kick.
87:38 Effort on goal by Mikel from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
86:31 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ferreira Lucio by Mikel. Direct free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
86:09 Foul by Javier Zanetti on Didier Drogba, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Branislav Ivanovic.
83:19 Direct free kick taken by Florent Malouda.
83:19 Substitution Sulley Muntari joins the action as a substitute, replacing Dejan Stankovic.
83:19 Mario Balotelli challenges Frank Lampard unfairly and gives away a free kick.
82:42 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ferreira Lucio by Didier Drogba. Soares Julio Cesar takes the free kick.
81:05 The ball is crossed by Branislav Ivanovic, save by Soares Julio Cesar.
79:32 Sisenando Maicon concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Sturridge. Direct free kick taken by Florent Malouda.
78:30 The offside flag is raised against Mario Balotelli. Free kick taken by Henrique Hilario.
78:04 Florent Malouda challenges Mario Balotelli unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sisenando Maicon takes the direct free kick.
76:52 Free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
76:52 Substitution (Chelsea) makes a substitution, with Daniel Sturridge coming on for Salomon Kalou.
76:52 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ferreira Lucio by Salomon Kalou.
75:43 Effort by Sisenando Maicon from a long way out goes over the target.
72:19 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard played to the near post.
70:00 Esteban Cambiasso takes a shot. Branislav Ivanovic gets a block in.
69:06 The referee blows for offside against Nicolas Anelka. Walter Samuel takes the indirect free kick.
68:16 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Florent Malouda by Mario Balotelli. Direct free kick taken by John Terry.
66:43 Sisenando Maicon takes the direct free kick.
66:43 Substitution Goran Pandev comes on in place of Samuel Eto'o.
66:43 Sisenando Maicon fouled by Florent Malouda, the ref awards a free kick.
65:10 Free kick awarded for a foul by Didier Drogba on Samuel Eto'o. Esteban Cambiasso restarts play with the free kick.
64:38 The ball is sent over by Nicolas Anelka, Frank Lampard produces a volleyed right-footed shot from 12 yards. Save by Soares
63:52 Samuel Eto'o has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
62:03 Samuel Eto'o fouled by Branislav Ivanovic, the ref awards a free kick. Soares Julio Cesar restarts play with the free kick.
59:16 Free kick taken by Mikel.
59:16 Substitution (Chelsea) makes a substitution, with Henrique Hilario coming on for Petr Cech.
59:16 Unfair challenge on Mikel by Esteban Cambiasso results in a free kick.
58:04 Unfair challenge on Mario Balotelli by Mikel results in a free kick. Sisenando Maicon takes the free kick.
57:21 Substitution Mario Balotelli replaces Thiago Motta.
54:20 GOAL - Esteban Cambiasso:Inter Milan 2 - 1 Chelsea Esteban Cambiasso finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the
goal. Inter Milan 2-1 Chelsea.
54:11 Esteban Cambiasso produces a volleyed left-footed shot from 25 yards. Ricardo Carvalho gets a block in.
53:23 The ball is delivered by Florent Malouda, save by Soares Julio Cesar.
52:52 The ball is crossed by Nicolas Anelka, Esteban Cambiasso makes a clearance.
51:59 Nicolas Anelka concedes a free kick for a foul on Wesley Sneijder. Free kick taken by Javier Zanetti.
50:08 Assist on the goal came from Branislav Ivanovic.
50:08 GOAL - Salomon Kalou:Inter Milan 1 - 1 Chelsea Salomon Kalou fires in a goal from outside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Inter Milan 1-1 Chelsea.
48:51 The ball is swung over by Branislav Ivanovic, save by Soares Julio Cesar.
46:38 Florent Malouda delivers the ball, Header from close range by Didier Drogba misses to the right of the target.
46:09 Samuel Eto'o is ruled offside. Ricardo Carvalho takes the indirect free kick.
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00+1:16 It is the end of the first-half.
43:15 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Thiago Motta by Michael Ballack. Wesley Sneijder produces a shot on goal direct
from the free kick.
42:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Florent Malouda on Dejan Stankovic. Free kick taken by Sisenando Maicon.
41:12 The official flags Samuel Eto'o offside. Indirect free kick taken by Petr Cech.
40:23 Frank Lampard takes a shot. Walter Samuel gets a block in.
39:41 Frank Lampard takes a outswinging corner.
36:51 Unfair challenge on Michael Ballack by Diego Milito results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Ballack.
36:25 The ball is delivered by Didier Drogba, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Salomon Kalou goes harmlessly over
35:26 Florent Malouda fouled by Thiago Motta, the ref awards a free kick. Petr Cech takes the free kick.
33:57 Branislav Ivanovic sends in a cross, clearance by Walter Samuel.
Correction - 32:53 Samuel Eto'o takes a shot. John Terry makes a clearance.
32:53 Samuel Eto'o takes a shot. John Terry gets a block in.
32:40 Wesley Sneijder sends in a cross, Didier Drogba manages to make a clearance.
32:00 Branislav Ivanovic concedes a free kick for a foul on Diego Milito. Wesley Sneijder crosses the ball in from the free kick,
save by Petr Cech.
31:23 Shot from 35 yards by Frank Lampard went wide right of the target.
30:12 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Save by Soares Julio Cesar.
28:56 Mikel takes a shot. Save by Soares Julio Cesar.
28:38 Nicolas Anelka fouled by Dejan Stankovic, the ref awards a free kick. Salomon Kalou takes the direct free kick.
27:04 Salomon Kalou gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ferreira Lucio. Free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
23:23 Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Didier Drogba goes wide of the right-hand upright.
22:45 Esteban Cambiasso takes the direct free kick.
22:45 Booking The referee shows Salomon Kalou a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
22:28 Wesley Sneijder fouled by Salomon Kalou, the ref awards a free kick.
21:35 Booking Booking for Diego Milito.
18:10 Effort from inside the area by Didier Drogba misses to the left of the target.
17:46 Michael Ballack takes a shot. Save made by Soares Julio Cesar.
Correction - 15:07 Salomon Kalou takes a shot. Save by Soares Julio Cesar.
15:07 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Soares Julio Cesar makes a save.
13:45 Dejan Stankovic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Ballack. Strike comes in from Didier Drogba from
the free kick,
12:53 Shot by Samuel Eto'o. Petr Cech makes a comfortable save.
11:39 Salomon Kalou takes a shot. Save by Soares Julio Cesar.
10:40 Nicolas Anelka has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
9:17 Free kick taken by John Terry.
9:17 Booking Thiago Motta is booked.
8:41 Thiago Motta concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Ballack.
6:05 Unfair challenge on Dejan Stankovic by Frank Lampard results in a free kick. Soares Julio Cesar takes the free kick.
5:51 The ball is sent over by Branislav Ivanovic, clearance made by Walter Samuel.
4:19 Frank Lampard is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Walter Samuel.
2:40 Samuel Eto'o provided the assist for the goal.
2:40 GOAL - Diego Milito:Inter Milan 1 - 0 Chelsea Diego Milito scores a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Inter Milan 1-0 Chelsea.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
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