Eto'o's goal silenced the Stamford Bridge crowd and delighted Jose Mourinho
By Phil McNulty
BBC Sport at Stamford Bridge
Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge in triumph as Inter Milan sent Chelsea crashing out of the Champions League.
Samuel Eto's clinical strike 11 minutes from time settled a scrappy encounter and sealed a place in the quarter-finals for Mourinho at the expense of the club he left in 2007 after a hugely successful three-and-a-half years.
And the misery for Chelsea and coach Carlo Ancelotti was complete when Didier Drogba was sent off in the closing minutes after a penalty area clash with Thiago Motta.
Mourinho's Inter were able to keep a subdued Chelsea at arm's length for the majority of a tense evening littered with fouls and spells of ill-feeling, with even the self-appointed "Special One" being targeted for abuse by the supporters who once idolised him as frustration spread around Stamford Bridge in the closing moments.
He celebrated in relatively muted fashion when Eto'o capped a spell of Inter pressure with the crucial goal, after Diego Milito had missed the chance to seal Chelsea's fate even earlier.
Chelsea had their moments in a frantic first half, with Michael Ballack shooting just wide and Nicolas Anelka seeing a close-range effort cleared off the line by Motta, while keeper Julio Cesar saved well from Florent Malouda after the break.
And Chelsea were also left claiming they were victims of a clear injustice in the first half when Drogba was dragged to the ground by Walter Samuel as they wrestled to reach a corner.
This apart, Inter were able to restrict Chelsea, who failed to show the wit and guile required to break them down, demonstrating the defensive discipline and resilience that is the trademark of any Mourinho team.
He did not milk Inter's win at the final whistle, but Mourinho may just appreciate the irony of the fact that he has ended Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's dream of bringing the Champions League to Stamford Bridge.
For Ancelotti and Chelsea, the task is now to regroup and refocus their sights on the Premier League and the FA Cup.
Mourinho stated his attacking intent with the presence of Goran Pandev, Milito and Eto'o, but after a positive start the game soon descended into a predictable war of attrition.
Chelsea's Ballack posted the first moment of danger, but he dragged his shot low and wide past Cesar's upright from the edge of the area. Drogba was also denied by a defiant block from Maicon as he closed in on goal.
Mourinho won two league titles in three full seasons at Chelsea
Inter knew that vital away goal would leave Chelsea with a huge task, and Eto'o wasted a wonderful opportunity to provide it for them after 33 minutes.
Maicon's cross deceived John Terry, but Eto'o appeared surprised at getting the chance and directed a poor header down and well over the bar.
In a frantic finale to the first 45 minutes, Walter Samuel threw himself in front of Malouda as he drove into the box, while Motta rescued Inter with a goalline clearance as Anelka forced a shot beyond Cesar.
The tension was robbing the game of any real quality and also resulted in plenty of short tempers. And Chelsea were particularly infuriated when referee Wolfgang Stark ignored penalty appeals as Drogba was clearly dragged to the ground by Samuel as the grappled to reach a corner.
Both teams left the pitch to a frustrated chorus of jeering at the interval, with Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins clearly angry at the events of the first half.
Mourinho's gestures from the sidelines made it clear he wanted Inter to exploit the areas around Chelsea left-back Yuri Zhirkov, but the Russian full-back twice rescued his side with perfect challenges on Eto'o and Pandev as they closed in on keeper Ross Turnbull.
Malouda brought a fine save from Julio Cesar at his near post, but once again Chelsea were having trouble producing the invention needed to break the deadlock.
Ancelotti responded by sending on Joe Cole just after the hour, but this was only the signal for Inter to create, and waste, their best chance as Milito snatched at his effort with only Turnbull to beat, much to Stamford Bridge's relief.
Inter had been the more dangerous team after the break, and the killer away goal they had been threatening duly came with 11 minutes left. Wesley Sneijder's pass cut Chelsea apart and Eto's showed great expertise to guide his finish around Turnbull.
Mourinho indulged in some fairly low-key fist-pumping, but the rest of Inter's backroom staff and players celebrated wildly as Chelsea's players were forced to accept their Champions League hopes were over for another year.
As time ran out and emotions ran high, Drogba appeared to stand on Motta's foot and saw red. It was a moment that summed up Chelsea's miserable night.
90:00+2:43 Dejan Stankovic decides to take a short corner.
90:00+2:22 Samuel Eto'o takes a shot. Save by Ross Turnbull.
90:00+1:38 Indirect free kick taken by Branislav Ivanovic.
90:00+1:38 Substitution Thiago Motta goes off and Marco Materazzi comes on.
90:00+1:38 The official flags Diego Milito offside.
89:13 A cross is delivered by Salomon Kalou, Ferreira Lucio manages to make a clearance.
88:13 Sisenando Maicon takes the free kick.
88:13 Booking John Terry is given a yellow card.
88:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by John Terry on McDonald Mariga.
86:10 Direct free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
86:10 Sent off Didier Drogba shown a red card.
85:52 Didier Drogba gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Thiago Motta.
84:35 Substitution McDonald Mariga is brought on as a substitute for Wesley Sneijder.
82:30 Booking Alex receives a yellow card for dissent.
82:22 Free kick awarded for a foul by Branislav Ivanovic on Samuel Eto'o. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Wesley Sneijder
from left wing.
81:51 Soares Julio Cesar takes the indirect free kick.
81:51 Booking The referee shows Soares Julio Cesar a yellow card.
81:14 The referee blows for offside against Didier Drogba.
Correction - 78:05 Assist by Wesley Sneijder.
78:05 Thiago Motta provided the assist for the goal.
78:05 GOAL - Samuel Eto'o:Chelsea 0 - 1 Inter Milan Goal scored by Samuel Eto'o from the edge of the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 0 (1)-(3) 1 Inter Milan.
77:01 Diego Milito is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Florent Malouda takes the indirect free kick.
76:05 Joe Cole is adjudged to have handled the ball. Soares Julio Cesar takes the free kick.
75:27 Salomon Kalou produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
74:08 Substitution Dejan Stankovic comes on in place of Goran Pandev.
73:21 Diego Milito is caught offside. Alex takes the free kick.
72:42 Substitution Salomon Kalou joins the action as a substitute, replacing Yuri Zhirkov.
71:38 Wesley Sneijder crosses the ball.
Correction - 68:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by John Terry on Diego Milito. Wesley Sneijder produces a cross, Thiago Motta produces a header
from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the crossbar.
68:55 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Diego Milito by John Terry. Centre by Wesley Sneijder, Close range header by
Walter Samuel goes over the bar.
67:49 The referee gives a free kick against Joe Cole for handball. Strike comes in from Wesley Sneijder from the free kick.
66:39 Foul by Florent Malouda on Ferreira Lucio, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Sisenando Maicon.
64:44 Effort on goal by Diego Milito from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.
63:41 Sisenando Maicon sends in a cross, clearance made by Branislav Ivanovic.
63:05 Walter Samuel is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Ross Turnbull restarts play with the free kick.
62:29 Joe Cole concedes a free kick for a foul on Thiago Motta. Free kick crossed by Wesley Sneijder, clearance by Didier Drogba.
61:39 Substitution Joe Cole replaces Michael Ballack.
60:38 Florent Malouda takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Goran Pandev.
59:54 Mikel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Goran Pandev. Walter Samuel takes the direct free kick.
59:34 Diego Milito takes a shot. Save by Ross Turnbull.
59:16 Corner from left by-line taken by Wesley Sneijder.
59:02 Goran Pandev takes a shot. Yuri Zhirkov gets a block in.
57:21 Corner taken right-footed by Wesley Sneijder from the right by-line, Diego Milito gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge
on Didier Drogba. Ross Turnbull restarts play with the free kick.
56:18 Free kick taken by Walter Samuel.
56:18 Booking Didier Drogba goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
56:14 Didier Drogba gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Thiago Motta.
55:43 Free kick awarded for a foul by Diego Milito on Branislav Ivanovic. Branislav Ivanovic takes the free kick.
54:55 Foul by Didier Drogba on Javier Zanetti, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Thiago Motta.
54:14 Sisenando Maicon restarts play with the free kick.
54:14 Booking Florent Malouda receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
54:12 Foul by Florent Malouda on Wesley Sneijder, free kick awarded.
53:05 Booking Ferreira Lucio is booked.
52:09 Foul by Samuel Eto'o on Frank Lampard, free kick awarded. Didier Drogba crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from
51:53 Short corner taken by Florent Malouda.
51:38 Florent Malouda takes a shot. Save made by Soares Julio Cesar.
49:11 Corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda, clearance made by Wesley Sneijder.
47:12 Shot comes in from Didier Drogba from the free kick, save made by Soares Julio Cesar.
47:12 Booking Thiago Motta shown a yellow card.
47:09 Thiago Motta challenges Florent Malouda unfairly and gives away a free kick.
45:23 The assistant referee flags for offside against Nicolas Anelka. Soares Julio Cesar takes the free kick.
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00+1:22 The first half comes to an end.
45:00+1:07 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda from the left by-line.
45:00+0:13 Corner taken by Florent Malouda played to the near post, Diego Milito manages to make a clearance.
42:06 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Save by Soares Julio Cesar. Corner taken by Florent Malouda.
40:43 Florent Malouda takes a shot. Blocked by Ferreira Lucio.
38:01 Alex concedes a free kick for a foul on Samuel Eto'o. Shot on goal comes in from Wesley Sneijder from the free kick.
37:20 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Wesley Sneijder, Didier Drogba makes a clearance.
35:40 Free kick awarded for a foul by Yuri Zhirkov on Thiago Motta. Soares Julio Cesar restarts play with the free kick.
34:33 Diego Milito concedes a free kick for a foul on Frank Lampard. Direct free kick taken by Frank Lampard.
33:50 Alex is caught offside. Soares Julio Cesar takes the indirect free kick.
33:25 Frank Lampard takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Sisenando Maicon.
32:46 Sisenando Maicon crosses the ball, Samuel Eto'o has a headed effort from close range and clears the crossbar.
28:18 Didier Drogba fouled by Walter Samuel, the ref awards a free kick. Alex produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
27:17 Michael Ballack gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Diego Milito. Wesley Sneijder delivers the ball from the
free kick right-footed from right wing, clearance by Michael Ballack.
27:01 Centre by Sisenando Maicon, John Terry manages to make a clearance.
25:56 Effort from outside the area by Frank Lampard goes wide right of the goal.
25:39 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Sisenando Maicon gets a block in.
23:37 Unfair challenge on Wesley Sneijder by Mikel results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Javier Zanetti.
23:03 Sisenando Maicon crosses the ball, John Terry makes a clearance.
21:47 A cross is delivered by Yuri Zhirkov, clearance by Ferreira Lucio.
21:29 The referee blows for offside against Diego Milito. Free kick taken by Mikel.
20:27 Walter Samuel concedes a free kick for a foul on Didier Drogba. Mikel restarts play with the free kick.
17:38 Javier Zanetti challenges Didier Drogba unfairly and gives away a free kick. Branislav Ivanovic takes the free kick.
16:40 Alex restarts play with the free kick.
16:40 Booking Samuel Eto'o goes into the book for dissent.
16:37 The referee blows for offside against Diego Milito.
14:50 Unfair challenge on Florent Malouda by Ferreira Lucio results in a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from
13:25 Samuel Eto'o fouled by Mikel, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Wesley Sneijder from right channel.
10:59 Effort from outside the penalty area by Michael Ballack goes wide left of the target.
10:15 Thiago Motta gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Didier Drogba. Mikel takes the free kick.
9:05 Shot on goal by Sisenando Maicon from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
5:06 Free kick awarded for a foul by Esteban Cambiasso on Florent Malouda. Frank Lampard takes the direct free kick.
4:56 Wesley Sneijder takes a shot. Blocked by John Terry.
3:14 Free kick awarded for a foul by Didier Drogba on Ferreira Lucio. Soares Julio Cesar takes the direct free kick.
2:20 Florent Malouda fouled by Diego Milito, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Yuri Zhirkov.
1:57 Unfair challenge on Samuel Eto'o by Yuri Zhirkov results in a free kick. Sisenando Maicon restarts play with the free kick.
1:19 The offside flag is raised against Diego Milito. Branislav Ivanovic restarts play with the free kick.
0:53 Yuri Zhirkov challenges Diego Milito unfairly and gives away a free kick. Wesley Sneijder restarts play with the free kick.
0:00 The game gets underway.
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