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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League Images: Mourinho leaves Stamford Bridge in triumph

Champions League Images: Mourinho leaves Stamford Bridge in triumph

Last updated on: March 17, 2010 10:08 IST

Mourinho leaves Stamford Bridge in triumph

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Jose Mourinho did what he usually does at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, out-thinking and outfoxing opponents who ended up battered, bruised and beaten.

Mourinho's tactical acumen caused Inter Milan team to send Chelsea slithering out of the Champions League, beaten far more comprehensively than the 1-0 score in the second leg suggests.

The 3-1 aggregate result more accurately reflects another emphatic Mourinho success.


Image: Inter Milan players celebrate after their win over Chelsea
Photographs: Reuters
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'Today I was not the special one for Chelsea but Inter were special'

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"I wanted to sow doubt and I saw doubt, (Branko) Ivanovic and Yuriy Stojkovic didn't know whether to attack or stay back, and it caused them real problems. Chelsea were frustrated, because today Inter were the better team," Mourinho told reporters.

"Today I was not the special one for Chelsea but Inter were special. Today I was the enemy, but that's life," he added.


Image: Jose Mourinho

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'We were never fully in control'

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As Mourinho danced and gestured animatedly in his technical area, Ancelotti was still and silent.

Even when assistant coach Ray Wilkins went ballistic over an early high tackle -- having to be held back from the Inter bench by the fourth official -- Ancelotti looked on almost as a detached observer.

His only real attempt to change the course of the game was the introduction of Joe Cole after an hour but even then the England midfielder tucked into a congested centre and failed to deliver the width his team and the fans were crying out for.

"I was not surprised by their formation -- that's how they played in the last 30 minutes at the San Siro," said Ancelotti.

"It's fair to say we were never fully in control, they put us under a lot of pressure, they controlled the pace of the game," he added.


Image: Carlo Ancelotti

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Emotional night for the 'Special One'

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The focus of every photographers' lens as he took his place next to the dugout in a smart overcoat, Chelsea blue silk-shirt and, somewhat ill-matching brown suede shoes, Mourinho sat passively in the pre-match build-up while the cameramen surrounded him.

He was also unusually unemotional for the opening half hour, watching as his pre-match plan began to work to perfection as an effective attack of Diego Milito, Samuel Eto'o and hard-working Wesley Sneijder put Chelsea under increasing pressure.

He was far more animated in the second half, pointing this way and that as Inter worked as a brilliant defensive unit and thwarted a Chelsea side, who rarely moved out of second gear.


Image: Jose Mourinho

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Eto'o strikes it rich

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Eventually the one goal from Eto'o 12 minutes from the end sent Inter through to the last eight -- and opened up a bigger picture for Mourinho than just seeing off his old mates from south-west London.

Inter Milan have not been champions of Europe since successive victories in 1964 and 1965, but after this victory Mourinho, who took Porto to the European title in 2004, can be forgiven for dreaming of winning the European Cup again.

Asked if he thought this victory was as good as winning the title he replied: "I hope that my biggest success is still in the future," he said.


Image: Samuel Eto'o celebrates after scoring

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Chelsea failed as a unit

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If Ancelotti was guilty of an inability to change the course of the game, he was not alone in the dock.

Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard are key midfield playmakers failed to impose themselves on the game and were outshone by man of the match Wesley Sneijder.

Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka were kept at arm's length with ease by the impressive Inter duo of Lucio and Eto'o while Florent Malouda and John Obi Mikel were anonymous.

And to make the matter worse, Chelsea were reduced to 10 men by a late red card for Didier Drogba after a clash with Motta.


Image: Chelsea players dejected after losing the second leg match

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Palop howler sends Russians through

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CSKA Moscow upset Sevilla 2-1 on Tuesday to send the Russian team into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 17 years.

A well-struck Keisuke Honda free kick ended Sevilla's hopes of making their quarter-final debut and secured victory for the well-organised Muscovites to put them into the last eight for the first time since 1992-93.

After a 1-1 draw in Moscow last month, goals from CSKA's Tomas Necid and Sevilla's Diego Perotti had the sides tied at 2-2 on aggregate at the break before Honda's 55th-minute strike flew into the top corner off Sevilla goalkeeper Andres Palop.


Image: Andres Palop reacts after conceding a goal

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Honda nets the winner

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Six minutes before the break, a mistake by Serbian defender Ivica Dragutinovic let in Necid, who rifled a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Sevilla were level within two minutes. A long Palop punt bounced through to Navas and he crossed for Perotti to poke the ball past Akinfeyev.

Honda's winner came from a long-range free kick, which Palop failed to deal with as the ball ricocheted into the top corner off the keeper's fists.


Image: Keisuke Honda

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