Milito's goal gives Inter a lead to take to Moscow for the second leg
Inter Milan will take a narrow lead into next week's Champions League quarter-final second leg following a deserved win over CSKA Moscow.
But Jose Mourinho's men may yet rue not having added to Diego Milito's well-placed strike from the edge of the CSKA area at the San Siro.
Only profligacy from the Italians and good goalkeeping from Igor Akinfeev prevented Inter increasing their lead.
Barring a brace of long-range shots, the visitors offered little themselves.
The Moscow outfit can take much pride from the manner in which they frustrated Inter but will have to give a more positive showing next Tuesday if they are to overturn the deficit on the plastic pitch of the Luzhniki Stadium.
Mourinho continued his tirade against Italian football this week, declaring, "I don't like it and it doesn't like me", to place further doubts over his future but for now he remains a committed to the Inter cause and on course to deliver on his mandate of Champions League success.
The Italians are unbeaten at home this season, whilst Mourinho himself has a 100% record in Champions League quarter-finals, having won at this stage with Porto in 2004 and Chelsea in 2005 and 2006.
The preservation of the first of these records, against a disciplined but ultimately inferior CSKA side, ensures the Portuguese has every chance of extending his own personal landmark.
However, for much of the match the visitors, very much the underdogs, gave as good as they got, producing two long-range first-half efforts - from Yevgeny Aldonin and Deividas Semberas - that tested Inter keeper Julio Cesar.
As the half wore on the home side took control but were held to the break by CSKA, who faded as an attacking threat, but remained resolute at the back.
Goran Pandev's 22nd-minute strike from long range failed to dip quickly enough to prevent it going over while Wesley Sneijder could only shoot harmlessly wide in the final minute of the half after a neat one-two with fellow attacker Milito.
Inter continued to press after the break and should have taken the lead when Esteban Cambiasso drove into the box and flicked a pass to Dejan Stankovic.
But, with the goal at his mercy, Serb Stankovic got the ball caught under his feet and could only flick a tame effort which Akinfeev saved easily.
However, Mourinho's men did not have wait much longer to finally break the deadlock.
In the space of two minutes after the hour, both Samuel Eto'o and Pandev tested Akinfeev before Milito struck with a superbly driven low-shot from 18 yards into the corner of the goal.
For the remainder of the match the home side battered the visitors but failed to add to their lead.
Pandev produced a neat piece of trickery to beat two defenders in the box only for a superb one-handed save from Akinfeev to palm the shot away.
Eto'o teed up Sneijder in acres of space on the left-hand side of the box and with only the keeper to beat but he dragged his near-post shot wide.
Finally, late in the game a cleared corner was hammered back goalwards by Cambiasso but blocked by Akinfeev and then from a second return-shot from Stankovic the keeper was able to palm up and over the goal.
Inter coach Jose Mourinho: "If before the game someone offered me this result I'd have taken it straight away because it's a good result in the Champions League.
"It's a win and we'll go ahead with that. But we played in a way where we should be able to be already thinking about the semi-finals but unfortunately we are not and we have a difficult game in Moscow to come."
CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky: "Of course 1-0 is a good result but we should have been able to do better.
"We hoped to get a 0-0 but given how many chances they had it could have been a lot worse than this.
"It didn't go the way we hoped it would, especially in attack. We were under a lot of pressure in defence and it was a difficult game.
"I hope that in Moscow in the return leg we'll be able to better organise our play."
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.