MILAN – Exactly ten years ago, Samuel Eto’o scored a fantastic goal of vital importance that contributed to an extraordinary journey which culminated in a magic night in Madrid. Inter took to the pitch at Stamford Bridge to play the return fixture of their two-legged round of 16 clash against Ancelotti’s Chelsea, with the first leg having finished 2-1 to the Nerazzurri thanks to goals from Milito and Cambiasso. It was a crucial match: a Chelsea goal without reply would have sent the English side through. Instead, it was Inter who progressed thanks to a superb team display where the Nerazzurri proved their strength on both a physical and mental level. The team had won a huge battle and were very much aware of what they could achieve.
Zanetti and Maicon started in the full-back positions, with Lucio and Samuel the Nerazzurri’s centre-backs in front of Julio Cesar. Cambiasso and Thiago Motta lined up in midfield, while Sneijder was there to support a front three of Pandev, Milito and Eto’o. Following a goalless first half, the deadlock was broken with 78 minutes on the clock: the Dutchman produced a perfect pass and an onrushing Samuel Eto’o fired past Turnball with the outside of his right foot. And so Inter successfully qualified for the quarter-finals.
16/03/2010: CHELSEA 0-1 INTER
Goal: 78’ Eto'o
Chelsea: 22 Turnbull; 2 Ivanovic, 26 Terry, 33 Alex, 18 Zhirkov (74’ Kalou); 13 Ballack (62’ J. Cole), 12 Mikel, 8 Lampard; 39 Anelka, 11 Drogba, 15 Malouda
Substitutes: 30 Taylor, 6 Carvalho, 35 Belletti, 23 Sturridge, 43 Bruma
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti
Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 25 Samuel, 4 Zanetti; 19 Cambiasso, 8 Motta (92’ Materazzi); 10 Sneijder (85’ Mariga); 27 Pandev (75’ Stankovic), 22 Milito, 9 Eto'o
Substitutes: 1 Toldo, 2 Cordoba, 39 Santon, 7 Quaresma
Coach: José Mourinho
Referee: Wolfgang Stark
Notes. Bookings: 18' Eto'o, 48’ Thiago Motta, 54’ Lucio, 55’ Malouda, 57’ Drogba, 82’ Julio Cesar, 83’ Alex. Sent off: 87’ Drogba. Added time: 1', 0'. Attendance: 42,500