MILAN, Nov 8 (Reuters) Inter Milan stormed back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 against CSKA Moscow and take charge of Champions League Group G while knocking the Russians out.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Esteban Cambiasso grabbed two goals apiece yesterday to turn the tide against a CSKA team that got off to a flying start after two emphatic finishes in half-an-hour.
CSKA had raced into the lead thanks to Brazilian strikers Jo and Vagner Love but Inter quickly hit back with Ibrahimovic and Cambiasso netting from close range in a frantic first period.
The Italian champions, who won 2-1 in Moscow two weeks ago, seized the initiative after the break when Cambiasso was again given too much space to score after 67 minutes and Ibrahimovic sent a 25-metre rocket into the top corner.
Inter are top with nine points from four games and need two points from their last t games to guarantee reaching the last 16 while CSKA are out of contention at the bottom with one.
''It was a beautiful game. We were a bit sleepy at the start. The guys have done really well to recover so quickly,'' Inter coach Roberto Mancini told a news conference.
The first half had started slowly but soon burst into life with CSKA's Brazilian front pair linking up well and Love going close with two long-range efforts.
After 23 minutes Love played a neat one-two with Jo, who unleashed a cracker from the edge of the box that a diving Julio Cesar could do nothing about.
Jo had opened the scoring in similar style in CSKA's defeat by Inter in October but this time the outgoing Russian champions quickly rammed home their advantage while they were on top with Love scoring a deserved second goal after 31 minutes.
The striker with blue beaded hair latched on to a long through ball and twisted and turned Inter's defence before blasting the ball home from inside the area.
Injury-hit Inter, who had a Javier Zanetti penalty appeal waved away, increased the tempo and Sweden striker Ibrahimovic flicked the ball in at the far post after 33 minutes.
A minute later Hernan Crespo dummied Maicon's pass and Argentine midfielder Cambiasso exploited a hole in the CSKA defence to slot home and bring the Italian champions level.
The frantic 10 minute spell continued when Crespo laid the ball off for compatriot Cambiasso only to fall over when poised to collect the return pass in a good position inside the area.
CSKA, third in their domestic league but out of the running for the title with just one game left, substituted Jo at halftime and were not the same threat after the break.
Cambiasso missed a header from almost on the line but made amends by turning home a corner that eluded the defence.
Ibrahimovic saved the best for last when he skilfully freed himself from the attention of the CSKA defenders and thumped in a screamer to the delight of a spartan San Siro crowd.
''A goal like Marco Van Basten? He scored more goals than me and more beautiful ones,'' the Swede told Sky when asked about his second. ''But I like it when I have responsibility.'' REUTERS AB SSC1048