Thursday 22 February 2018

Sneijder fires Inter through

Inter milan cruised into the last four of the Champions League for the first time since 2003 last night as Jose Mourinho's side produced a controlled performance that made light of any fears they would struggle to defend a slender 1-0 first-leg advantage in Moscow.

After only six minutes Wesley Sneijder had doubled that aggregate lead when his low free-kick found its way through the CSKA Moscow wall and beyond goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

Things got worse for the hosts when they had substitute Chidi Odiah sent off early in the second half and Inter were comfortably able to repel any pressure from the Russians.

Sneijder's goal meant the hosts needed three goals to have any chance of going through, but it was Inter who went close to getting a second as Macedonian striker Goran Pandev had a sight of goal, but Akinfeev comfortably held his shot.

The home side did go close to grabbing a goal back when Tomas Necid fired wide after controlling Odiah's pass in the 24th minute. CSKA carved out another chance in the 34th minute as they broke through Mark Gonzalez, but Alan Dzagoev made a mess of the finish.

Just after half-time Odiah was dismissed as his rash lunge saw him bring down Samuel Eto'o to earn a second yellow card.

Sneijder and Dejan Stankovic both forced Akinfeev into action with powerful efforts before the game petered out, although Eto'o just failed to add a second as he shot over the bar in the final minutes.

Irish Independent

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