Jose leaves Stamford Bridge happy - as usual

LONDON - Jose Mourinho did what he usually does at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, out-thinking and outfoxing opponents who ended up battered, bruised and beaten.

Mourinho's tactical acumen caused Inter Milan team to send Chelsea slithering out of the Champions League, beaten far more comprehensively than the 1-0 score in the second leg suggests.

The 3-1 aggregate result more accurately reflects another emphatic Mourinho success.

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"I wanted to sow doubt and I saw doubt, (Branko) Ivanovic and Yuriy Stojkovic didnt know whether to attack or stay back, and it caused them real problems. Chelsea were frustrated, because today Inter were the better team," Mourinho told reporters.

"Today I was not the special one for Chelsea but Inter were special. Today I was the enemy, but that's life."

But at the start of the press conferece after the match he still managed to thank the steward who gave him his favourite custard cream biscuits.

"He did this for me for three years and today as well," Mourinho joked.


Apart from a League Cup defeat by Charlton Athletic on penalties, Mourinho only ever lost one match at Stamford Bridge in his electrifying reign at Chelsea between 2004 and 2007 - a Champions League tie to Barcelona in 2006.

Now although the self-proclaimed "special one" has been gone from south-west London for over two years the sight of him on the visitors' bench was a strange one.

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The focus of every photographers' lens as he took his place next to the dugout in a smart overcoat, Chelsea blue silk-shirt and, somewhat ill-matching brown suede shoes, Mourinho sat passively in the pre-match build-up while the cameramen surrounded him.

He was also unusually unemotional for the opening half hour, watching as his pre-match plan began to work to perfection as an effective attack of Diego Milito, Samuel Eto'o and hard-working Wesley Sneijder put Chelsea under increasing pressure.

He was far more animated in the second half, pointing this way and that as Inter worked as a brilliant defensive unit and thwarted a Chelsea side, who rarely moved out of second gear.

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Eventually the one goal from Eto'o 12 minutes from the end sent Inter through to the last eight - and opened up a bigger picture for Mourinho than just seeing off his old mates from south-west London.

Inter Milan have not been champions of Europe since successive victories in 1964 and 1965, but after this victory Mourinho, who took Porto to the European title in 2004, can be forgiven for dreaming of winning the European Cup again.

Asked if he thought this