Manchester United dominate Inter Milan in goalless draw

February 25th, 2009 - 12:37 pm ICT by IANS  

ChelseaMilan, Feb 25 (DPA) The first half was a nightmare for Inter Milan fans who had believed in Jose Mourinho’s optimism that his side was going to have the better of Manchester United.

Things scarcely improved for the hosts after the break of the Champions League last-16 game despite the likely scolding that the dark-clad, grey-scarfed Mourinho - who calls himself the Special One - administered to his men in the changing rooms.

Inter, whose Brazilian striker Adriano had promised that he and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were going “to shoulder past United”, were far from the side which is dominating the Italian Serie A and spent most of the first 45 minutes in their midfield defending against United’s relentless attacks.

The scoreless draw that sealed the game must have been a disappointing result for the Inter fans filling a brimming Giuseppe Meazza holding 81,000 viewers for 3.5 millions euros ($4.5 million) in takings.

Despite the good economic result, the hosts missed the expected thrust from Adriano and Ibra, while goalkeeper Julio Cesar turned out to be his side’s best player with great saves on a couple of nasty efforts from the inspired Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Brazil custodian was the only Inter player able to say he was content with his own performance after the game. “I am happy for what I did and I was ready when the team needed me.”

Mourinho, who said before that game that a goalless draw would be a good result, agreed with commentators that Inter lacked their usual pace and pressing and said that “Manchester are not Bologna (a lowly side whom Inter beat 2-1 at the weekend) and the Champions League is not the (Italian) league.”

Mourinho, whose public spats with United coach Alex Ferguson when he was still in charge of Chelsea before moving to Inter are well documented, was not satisfied with the result after the match.

“The 0-0 score is difficult for us because we can’t lose at Old Trafford, but a draw with goals takes us to the quarter-finals. Manchester were better than us in the first half. We did better in the second half. They started off well and we played too defensively.”

Inter president Massimo Moratti is likely to have been the most disappointed as he must be fearing a further farewell to a tournament his club last won in 1965.

If his side should be knocked out in Manchester, Moratti could consider changing his attitude toward coaches.

Since taking over the presidency at the club in 1995 he has changed coaches 11 times - recalling two of them. United, on the other hand, have kept Ferguson at the helm since 1986 and have won two Champions League titles under him.

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