Internazionale will travel to Stamford Bridge in just under three weeks with a 2-1 lead to preserve, having defeated Chelsea at the San Siro.
Diego Milito and Esteban Cambiasso scored for Jose Mourinho’s side, whilst Salomon Kalou scored for Chelsea. The Blues also lost Petr Cech to a serious looking injury in the second half.
Florent Malouda was preferred to Juliano Belletti at left back for Chelsea, which mean that Kalou was drafted into the starting line up in Malouda’s usual attacking midfield position.
However, it was Inter that took the lead in just the third minute, Milito drilling home with the first shot of the match. Looking to hit back, Didier Drogba crashed a long range free kick against the bar.
Chelsea should have been awarded a penalty in the last minute of the first half though, when Walter Samuel clearly fouled Kalou who was in on goal. Instead, the referee waived play on and Samuel escaped a red card.
It was Kalou though who equalised, early in the second half. A storming run from Branislav Ivanovic ended with Kalou curling a beautiful finish from outside the area into the far corner. Julio Cesar might have done better, but the placement was perfect from the Ivorian.
Once more, Inter went ahead again in three minutes. Cambiasso’s first shot was blocked by Ivanovic but the Argentine crashed the rebound past Cech to give Inter the lead.
Soon after, the Chelsea keeper picked up a serious looking injury, having caught a cross unchallenged. He immediately signalled to the bench to be subbed and was unable to walk from the field, even assisted.
Hilario was his replacement and could well have a big role to play in the near future, particularly in the return leg with the tie evenly poised at 2-1.