Chelsea 0-1 Inter Milan (Inter Win 3-1 on Agg.) – Live Report, Newspaper Reaction, Goal Video

Afternoon everyone,

I’m going to live blog this match. It won’t be a live text commentary as such – the Guardian and BBC already do a good job of that – it’ll just be me sharing a few thoughts and opinions during the game instead of writing about it after the final whistle (which is hard to do if things haven’t gone well).

If you’re online during the match you can add your thoughts in the comments section. The more the merrier. If you’re going to Stamford Bridge and you fancy sharing a live update or two, you can email them to and I’ll add them in real-time.


“In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.”

A wise man said that. No, it wasn’t Jose Mourinho. It was Jean-Paul Sartre. And how right he was.

Anyway, Jose had plenty to say in yesterday’s pre-match press conference.

"I feel sorry but I look forward. I feel sorry because when I look at the big four teams from when I was in England, the managers are all still there: Sir Alex is there. Wenger is there. Benítez is there. I did more than enough to be here. But the decision was made. Chelsea looked forward. I look forward. They move on. I move on. I keep winning important things. They keep winning… something. They won an FA Cup."

Good old Jose. You’ve gotta love him. You can read more here.

I will update this post in the build up to kick-off. No doubt I’ll be a bundle of anxiety by 7:45 p.m. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it.

12:15 p.m.: First update of the afternoon. PeteW gets us in the mood with six of his nightmare matches from the Chelsea chamber of horrors:

4: Champions League semi-final, 2009: Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1

Because it stank but also because we outplayed the best team in Europe with a performance that for many reasons will never be fully appreciated for its brilliance and intelligence. Only placed this low to reflect the contempt with which one should regard the rich man’s roulette that is the Champions League.

12:55 p.m.: I forgot to add that, since I don’t have Sky, I will be watching the match online. If updates stop you will know that my ever unreliable net connection has failed again and I have had to rush to the nearest pub. Hopefully it’ll hold up under the strain, though…

2:00 p.m.: The official website’s pre-match briefing.

The Blues are unbeaten in 21 home Champions League matches since our defeat against Barcelona in 2006.

The Blues have won 54 of the 78 European games at Stamford Bridge. Only Lazio (1999/2000 1-2), Besiktas (2003/04 0-2) and Barcelona (2005/06 1-2) have defeated us.

Chelsea have played 90 games in the Champions League proper (excluding qualifying games). We have won 44, drawn 29 and lost 17.

Chelsea’s win on penalties against Manchester Utd in this season’s Community Shield is our only shoot-out victory in seven attempts.

A penalty shoot-out would probably be the end of me.

2:15 p.m.: Carlo Ancelotti.

"I think some things we have changed since I arrived, and this team has an identity now. Now we have to improve even more. The system of play is a little bit different but we keep possession and play attacking football. Our aim is to keep control of the game with possession of the ball. We have players with a lot quality who can do that. Roman wants to see the team play in this way and I think we are doing this. You will have to ask him whether that is more important than winning things. When I came here Roman never told me I had to win the Champions League. For him it’s the same as winning the Premier League. But these players want to win this competition. They have reached the semi-finals five times in the last six years and, if we get there again, I will deal with the details. This is the worst draw for us, just as it is for Inter, but this is a time to seize the opportunity."

5:45 p.m.: An update from Jonathan in the White Horse on Parson’s Green.

Not much to say – the Inter fans have peacefully taken control of many of the West End’s coffee establishments, whilst the corporates are in evidence here…

I’m not sure this is a useful update, but if anything interesting happens, I’ll let you know!

7:14 p.m.: Team news.

Chelsea: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Zhirkov, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda. Subs: Taylor, Carvalho, Joe Cole, Kalou, Sturridge, Belletti, Bruma.

Inter Milan: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Zanetti, Cambiasso, Sneijder, Motta, Pandev, Eto’o, Milito. Subs: Toldo, Cordoba, Stankovic, Quaresma, Mariga, Materazzi, Santon.

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)

I’m happy to see Alex picked ahead of Carvalho. And Zhirkov at left-back is a bonus. We’ve got more than enough quality on the pitch and on the bench to win this – we just have to stop Inter from scoring! I wonder if Turnbull’s any better at saving penalties than Cech?

7:33 p.m.: New Radicals’ You Get What You Give playing at the Bridge. Great song. I’m feeling surprisingly calm.

The match

7:45 p.m.: We’re off and kicking! Jose’s team selection suggests he’s going for the goal. Remember he’s never lost a game at the Bridge. Until tonight? Great atmosphere. I bet he misses Chelsea.

7:49 p.m.: Nice, steady start. Bit scrappy. Malouda’s looking pretty good again.

7:50 p.m.: My heart nearly stopped when Sneijder hit that shot. Great block by Alex.

7:52 p.m.: The first denied penalty shout of the night. Could have been given.

7:55 p.m.: Zhirkov needs to keep an eye on Maicon raiding down the right wing.

7:58 p.m.: Well done Anelka. Branners needs to work on his Delap-esque throw though.

8:00 p.m.: Sneijder’s Inter’s danger man. Great free kick.

8:01 p.m.: It’s bubbling up nicely.

8:07 p.m.: We’re playing reasonably well but aren’t creating anything. Jose’s teams are experts at holding on to leads. My pessimistic side is winning out at the moment…

8:10 p.m.: Ballack having another iffy game… apart from one good strike on goal. He’s given the ball away cheaply a couple of times.

8:15 p.m.: Neither keeper’s had much to do, which suits Inter fine. Alex’s free kick still rising…

8:20 p.m.: Eto’o should have scored. We got off lightly there. Lucio seems to have Drogba’s number again at the other end. I’m concerned about how few chances we’re creating…

8:29 p.m.: Jose’s winning the tactical battle at the moment. Both teams are defending really well… too well in Inter’s case. Two more great blocks by the Inter back four. We’re getting closer though… come on you Blues!

8:30 p.m.: Samuel’s a master of the dark arts of defending, typical Argentinian. How many penalties could we have had now?

Half-time: We improved as the half went on, but Inter are defending brilliantly. Eto’o should have done better. No one player’s stood out for us. Turnbull’s had next to nothing to do. It’s going to be one of those nights – anguish right up to the final whistle.

As promised, another football quote: "I fell in love with football as I was later to fall in love with women: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring." – Nick Hornby

Pain. Pain. Pain.

A quick brew of that English panacea for all disasters… tea.

8:41 p.m.: Sky showing all the, as Clive rightly puts it in the comments, "rugby tackling" of our players in Inter’s penalty box. I point you to #18’s comment below (number 11): "History proves that opposing teams are allowed to use any means necessary to stop Chelsea scoring in the box, and that what actually happens on the pitch often has as much bearing on the outcome of the match as me sitting in my office thousands of miles away with my fingers crossed."

8:49 p.m.: Second half under way. Malouda’s started brightly.

8:50 p.m.: So we get free kicks when our players are dragged down outside the area… both teams’ free kicks have been poor so far.

8:56 p.m.: Eto’o’s half the player he was at Barca, thank fuck.

Great surprise shot by Malouda, well saved at his near post by Cesar. We’re slowly building up the pressure.

9:00 p.m.: Rash of yellow cards for both teams. My money’s on us being reduced to 10 men…

9:02 p.m.: Fuck! Great defending by Zhirkov. I’m starting to feel sick with worry…

9:05 p.m.: Joe Cole on for the pretty ineffectual Ballack. Cole’s got 30 minutes to change things. If there’s one player who can do it…

“It’s a simple game made complicated by too many. Don’t knock the genius in your team, that’s why people come through the turnstiles. Fans don’t want to see a team just winning. They want to see the skills. They want entertainment. They want class.” – Alan Hudson

9:07 p.m.: Another heart-stopping moment. Phew. Inter have been closer to scoring than us, they’re well on top at the moment.

9:10 p.m.: Sensible refereeing alert! I thought Malouda was going to be given his marching orders.

9:12 p.m.: Jeez! Let’s hope Inter rue not taking their chances. My heart can’t take much more of this.

9:15 p.m.: Carlo’s got to do something to change things. Inter are well on top and we’re not creating anything. Piss-poor.

9:16 p.m.: On comes Kalou for Zhirkov. Malouda to left-back. Kalou’s the man for a moment like this.

9:17 p.m.: Kalou almost has an immediate impact. Air shot from Anelka. Anelka’s lacking confidence in front of goal. Fifteen minutes to go…

9:20 p.m.: Sneijder almost finds the killer pass… offside!

9:21 p.m.: 1-0 Inter. Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck. Sneijder finds the killer pass. It had been coming. It had to be Eto’o. Two goals to take it to extra-time. No chance? No chance the way we’re playing.

9:27 p.m.: Bloody hell do I feel sick. We’ve been really, really poor and can have no complaints.

9:28 p.m.: Sneijder subbed. By far the best player on the pitch tonight.

Andy Gray’s a nob.

9:29 p.m. Drogba sent off. As I feared, we’re the ones reduced to 10 men. It’s un-fucking-believable. Drogba didn’t appear to do much…

9:30 p.m.: Update from Jonathan at the Bridge:

There is a certain crushing inevitability about it all…

9:34 p.m.: Four added minutes. Two goals required. Down to 10 men. What a load of bollocks. Not that we expected things to be any different. I know I didn’t.

9:35 p.m.: Great save by Turnbull to deny Eto’o a second.


Full-time: Inter fans chanting "Easy, easy, easy" (I think) at the end. John Terry arguing with and barracking anyone in a yellow shirt. Another Champions League campaign ends in despair. The officiating was poor once again. Inter were the best team, though, so we can’t have any complaints. They came and did exactly what was required. It was typical Mourinho. Well done, Jose. I know who I’ll be supporting in the next round.

The one good thing about tonight’s result is that we’ve been spared the pain and anguish of watching at least two more Champions League games. In a weird way it’s somewhat of a relief. It would have been far worse to lose to Barca or Man Utd. At least we can concentrate on the league now.

One last quote: "The ball is round, the game lasts 90 minutes. Everything else is theory." – Sepp Herberger. No-one knows more about the theory than Jose Mourinho.

I will add all the post-match newspaper reports, links and the goal video later. I’m going to have a lie down.

9:52 p.m.: Jose: "Best team by far. We had the ball, we created the best chances. With 10 minutes to go they were completely out of the game." I bet Jose’s elated inside. A nice "Fuck you!" to Roman.

9:58 pm.: Carlo looks pretty distraught in his Sky post-match interview. Is his job in danger? Stupid thing to say, but you never know with Roman.

Newspaper reports

The Guardian, Kevin McCarra: "José Mourinho returned to make one last mark on Chelsea’s history. It is, to be precise, an ugly blot in the annals of the club. Internazionale ensured that they would be eliminated from the Champions League as early as the last 16 for the first time since 2006. The Portuguese has probably done even more profound harm to his old employers."

Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: "Still the Special One. Still the king of Stamford Bridge. Still the tactical grand master. Jose Mourinho, Inter’s inspiration, orchestrated Chelsea’s first home defeat in the Champions League in 22 games, sending his old club crashing out of the competition that Carlo Ancelotti was so expensively brought in to win."

The Times, Oliver Kay: "Of all the many traits that José Mourinho instilled in this Chelsea team, the only one that surfaced last night was their persecution complex. Once again John Terry and his team-mates left the pitch venting their anger at the match officials as the final whistle signalled the end of an inglorious Champions League campaign, but this time the talk of a Uefa refereeing conspiracy should give way to some serious self-examination."

The Independent, Sam Wallace: "Not in Mourinho’s dreams; not in those dark days at the end of September 2007 when he mulled over the coup that unseated him at Chelsea can he have envisaged a night quite as satisfying as this. The day that he came back to Stamford Bridge and rubbed owner Roman Abramovich’s nose in it with one of those textbook Mourinho performances in which his team embodies his own fiendish cunning."

Official Chelsea FC Website: "We will have to wait another year for Champions League success after being beaten at home by an Inter side we found impossible to break down."

The goal

79′ Eto’o 0-1

Related links