16.03.10 / 22:47
LONDON - Attack proved the best form of defence for Inter as José Mourinho's Nerazzurri successfully defended their 2-1 advantage over Chelsea to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
With Chelsea struggling to find the net in front of their home fans, Samuel Eto'o's pre-match dreams came true when he popped up with the winning goal twelve minutes from time to complete a 3-1 aggregate victory.
Mourinho named Pandev, Eto'o and Milito in front of Sneijder in an attacking starting lineup and the Blues had a tactical battle on their hands from the outset.
There was hardly anything between the teams in a first half in which neither goalkeeper had a save to make, with Eto'o's downwards header bouncing up over the bar and Ballack firing a low shot wide before Anelka wasted a chance in front of goal on the stroke of half time.
Chelsea's strong start to second half saw Malouda took the ball past Maicon before seeing his angled drive kept out by Julio Cesar.
The Nerazzurri replied with a sustained period of pressure, with Milito forcing a save from Turnbull before dragging a second opportunity wide, and Thiago Motta heading over Sneijder's cross.
At the heart of Inter's attacking play, Sneijder set up the winning goal on 78 minutes. He floated a cross into the path of Eto'o who took a quick touch before slotting beyond the onrushing Turnbull with the outside of his right foot.
Worse was to follow for the Blues when Drogba, already on a booking, was shown a straight red for stamping on Thiago Motta.
Eto'o went close to a second in added time when his angled shot was blocked by the legs of Turnbull.
Chelsea 0-1 Inter (HT: 0-0; AGG 1-3)
Scorer: Eto'o 78.
Chelsea: 22 Turnbull; 2 Ivanovic, 33 Alex, 26 Terry, 18 Zhirkov (21 Kalou 74); 13 Ballack (10 J.Cole 62), 12 Obi Mikel, 8 Lampard; 39 Anelka, 11 Drogba, 15 Malouda.
Subs not used: 30 Taylor, 6 Carvalho, 23 Sturridge, 35 Belletti, 43 Bruma.
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti.
Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 25 Samuel, 4 Zanetti; 19 Cambiasso, 8 Thiago Motta (23 Materazzi 90+2); 10 Sneijder (17 Mariga 85); 27 Pandev (5 Stankovic 75), 22 Milito, 9 Eto'o.
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 2 Cordoba, 7 Quaresma, 39 Santon.
Coach: José Mourinho.
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany).
Booked: Eto'o 17, Thiago Motta 48, Lucio 54, Malouda 55, Drogba 57, Julio Cesar 82, Alex 83, Mariga 89.
Sent off: Drogba 87.