Inter Milan will take a slender advantage into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash with CSKA Moscow next week after Diego Milito earned them a 1-0 win at the San Siro
Jose Mourinho's side took over an hour to get warmed up, but they were then guilty of wasting a hatful of chances to settle the tie after Milito's solitary strike in the 65th minute.
Nevertheless, the Nerazzurri will still fancy their chances of finishing off the job in the Russian capital next week after keeping a clean sheet at home.
Inter struggled to find a way through a well organised block of CSKA Moscow players in the opening 45 minutes, and the visitors waited patiently for their chance to break with the lively Pavel Mamaev and Milos Krasic looking dangerous on the ball.
Inter then started to create a few chances with Walter Sneijder's shot from a free-kick punched clear by Igor Akinfeev to Stankovic, who shot wide from 20 yards. Goran Pandev came closest for the hosts in the opening period when he shot narrowly over from 25-yards, but the CSKA goal was rarely under any real threat.
CSKA made a bright start to the second half with Mamaev shooting just over the crossbar from 25 yards. In the 55th minute, Evgeni Aldonin's 20-yard shot swirled in the air, forcing Julio Cesar to tip it over the crossbar.
That effort seemed to spark Inter back into life and they should have gone ahead after an hour when Esteban Cambiasso threaded the ball through to Stankovic, but he never really gained full control of it and could only strike a weak shot straight into Akinfeev's arms. Pandev then exchanged passes with Sneijder before placing his left-footed shot towards the far corner where it was pushed away by Akinfeev.
Samuel Eto'o's shot in the 65th minute was saved on the line by the CSKA goalkeeper, but he was unable to get to Milito's effort moments later as the Argentinian put the home side ahead with a low shot from just outside the penalty area.
Inter searched for a second with Pandev coming within inches of finding it in the 72nd minute. He did all of the hard work in dribbling the ball past Akinfeev after being sent through by Milito, but Berezutski came in around the back to clear his shot off the goalline with a desperate lunge.
Sneijder chose the wrong option as he shot into the side-netting in the 84th minute before Cambiasso's shot was punched out by Akinfeev, who then somehow managed to lift Stankovic's follow-up shot over the crossbar.
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