AWAY GOAL ENOUGH TO SEE CHELSEA THROUGH BUT CECH INJURY A WORRY

By on February 25, 2010

By Football Talk.

Inter Milan 2-1 Chelsea

What a surprising game. Champions league first leg in Italy and it was an open exciting match! I thought it would be far more cagey and cautious, with perhaps only a single goal being scored. But there rewe three goals, penalty appeals and a superb free-kick crashed against the bar. Amazing stuff.

The match started at a frantic pace and Inter stunned Chelsea within three minutes. Millito received the ball inside the box, cut inside Terry far to easily and beat Cech at his near post to give Inter an early lead. Mourinho didn’t celebrate, he just gave an approving nod.

1-0 Millito (3)

I suppose the early Inter Milan goal set the tone and opened the game up. Had we reached 30 minutes without a goal the game would have been far different. But when Millito twisted past Terry to fire past Cech it forced Chelsea to attack and look for the away goal.

Chelsea reacted well to the setback and we’re the better side for most of the first half. Ballack won a free-kick 25 yards out and Drogba stepped up to smash against the underside of the bar, with the rebound unlucky not to deflect in off the diving Cesar. What a goal that would have been.

The first penalty appeal came in the 22nd minute when Millito threw himself to the floor after expecting a Carvalho challenge that never arrived, the referee booked him for diving.

Despite Chelsea dominating, Inter created a great chance to double their lead. But Eto’o spurned the chance when unmarked on the 6-yard box. Very surprising as Eto’o is usually deadly in those positions.

Minutes before half-time the second penalty appeal came when Kalou burst into the box, Walter Samuel seemed to clip him from behind but the referee waived play on. Replays showed there was contact but i think Kalou could have stayed on his feet and got a shot off.

The equalizer came 6 minutes into the second half and Milan goalkeeper Cesar wont want to see it again. Kalou tried a 20 yard curler from the edge of the area that Cesar should have easily tipped round the post, but he made a real hash of it and the ball found the bottom corner. A crucial away goal for Chelsea.

1-1 Kalou (51)

Chelsea’s lead didn’t last long though as Inter took the lead for the second time in the match. Argentinian midfielder Cambiasso fired into the bottom corner of Cech’s net from 18 yards, after Ivanovic did well to block his first effort.

2-1 Cambiasso (55)

Lampard had a great opportunity to make it 2-2 but his close range shot was saved by Cesar. Goalkeeper Cech had to be replaced after picking up a calf injury. For the remaining 20 minutes Chelsea were the better side but couldn’t force an equalizer. Inter take a 2-1 lead to Stamford Bridge but Chelsea should be favourites thanks to Kalou’s away goal.

I think Chelsea showed they have enough to beat Inter at home but John Terry will need to sort himself out or Millito and Eto’o may grab a goal at Stamford Bridge. Terry hasn’t been his usual dominant-self on the pitch since his private life has been splashed all-over the papers. He was caught-out a couple of times last night and let Millito cut inside too easily to open the scoring.

But i still feel Chelsea will progress. I said  in my pre-match post that Chelsea would score and unless Inter got three Chelsea were in decent shape. Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti agrees that his can turn things around.

“I think that what we saw tonight, we have the chance to turn it around.

“I think we played well. We leave without a positive result, but it’s not an ugly one either.

A worry for Ancelotti is the injury to Cech. They can’t afford to lose him for any length of time. It looks like he will certainly miss the Manchester City game on Saturday and may be ruled out for 2-3 weeks making him a doubt for the Milan return leg.

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