Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Blues' Dreams Extinguished; Mourinho Victorious on Return to Stamford Bridge

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Blues' Dreams Extinguished; Mourinho Victorious on Return to Stamford Bridge

Article excerpt

Chelsea 0 Inter Milan 1 (Inter Milan win 3-1 on aggregate) JOSE Mourinho made a triumphant return to Stamford Bridge to dump his former club out of the Champions League. Inter, leading 2-1 from the opening leg of this last-16 tie in the San Siro, secured their place in the last eight when Samuel Eto'o scored the winner in the 78th minute.

Chelsea's campaign ended in more misery when Didier Drogba was sent off in the 87th minute for a stamp on Thiago Motta.

Mourinho, who never lost a home league game during his time as manager at Chelsea, had begun the evening with a low-profile entry from the tunnel into his dugout seat.

Chelsea fans responded with warm applause but Mourinho refrained from hogging the limelight.

In the 11th minute, Chelsea's Michael Ballack collected a pass from Frank Lampard and sent a 20-yard low drive just wide of the post.

The low intensity of the game was briefly interrupted in the 15th minute when Florent Malouda was kicked in the face by Lucio.

Drogba quickly squared-up to the Inter defender before referee Wolfgang Stark, who had a poor game, restored calm.

The Serie A side were doing everything to protect their lead and Maicon was the hero in the 25th minute when he blocked a shot from Drogba.

Milan responded with the miss of the half from Eto'o. Maicon's cross eluded Chelsea captain John Terry and fell straight to the Inter striker at the far post. But instead of planting his header into the net, Eto'o headed the ball down and over the cross bar.

The home side then had two penalty claims rejected. First Motta escaped when he rugby-tackled Branislav Ivanovic and moments later Walter Samuel was guilty of an atrocious challenge on Drogba as the Ivorian attempted to lose his marker from a corner.

Amazingly, Stark missed both offences and Motta then cleared off the line after Nicolas Anelka had turned a pass from Drogba towards the goal.

Malouda briefly threatened to take the game to the Italians and his trickery earned Motta a booking in the 47th minute. …

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