Atletico Madrid reach Europa League semifinals despite defeat in Lisbon
Sporting Lisbon 1 - 0 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid reach Europa League semifinals despite defeat in Lisbon

12/04/2018

Atletico Madrid overcame a scare to see off the challenge of a fired-up Sporting Lisbon and book their place in the semifinals of the Europa League.

Fredy Montero's first-half header gave Sporting hope of overturning their 2-0 first-leg deficit but Atletico comfortably protected their narrow lead after the break to advance to Friday's draw despite losing 1-0 in the Portuguese capital.

Sporting went into the game at Estadio Jose Alvalade at loggerheads with club president Bruno de Carvalho after he heavily criticised the players for their performance in last week's fixture.

The disgruntled players were unhappy and put out a joint statement on their Twitter feeds, which saw Carvalho retaliate by threatening to suspend 19 of them.

Carvalho lashed out again on the eve of the return leg and Sporting began the contest like a side with a point to prove.

Koke put Atletico in front after only 23 seconds of the first leg but they were on the back foot in the early stages in Lisbon.

Marcos Acuna nodded just over for Sporting before Sebastian Coates' powerful header was clawed out by scrambling Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

The hosts got the goal their start deserved on 28 minutes when Oblak flapped at Bruno Fernandes' right-wing cross and Montero, who missed a golden chance in stoppage time last week, stooped to head home from a tight angle at the back post.

Sporting continued to dominate and went close to levelling the tie on the stroke of half-time as Bryan Ruiz's long-range strike forced Oblak into a fingertip save.

Diego Costa's frustrating evening ended when he hobbled off shortly after the break and was replaced by Fernando Torres, featuring for the first time since announcing he had decided to leave Atletico in the summer.

Torres flashed a header over after Antoine Griezmann had sparked Atletico into life with a left-footed shot which was saved low down by Rui Patricio.

The Spanish side continued in search of a crucial away goal, with Griezmann bending a free kick just wide before fluffing two one-on-ones.

In the end it was not required as Atletico avoided the drama endured by La Liga rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Champions League to remain on course for their third Europa League crown.

Related news

Arsenal drawn to face Atletico Madrid in Europa League semifinal

Arsenal drawn to face Atletico Madrid in Europa League semifinal

Arsenal will face Atletico Madrid later this month in their first appearance in the Europa League semifinals since 2000.

Marseille stun RB Leipzig to reach Europa semis after topsy-turvy tie

Marseille stun RB Leipzig to reach Europa semis after topsy-turvy tie

Marseille stunned RB Leipzig 4-2 in a thrilling Europa League quarterfinal second leg at the Orange Velodrome on Thursday evening to secure a 5-3 aggregate victory.

Red Bull Salzburg soar to shock Europa League quarterfinal win over Lazio

Red Bull Salzburg soar to shock Europa League quarterfinal win over Lazio

Red Bull Salzburg came from behind to earn a stunning 4-1 victory that secured an unlikely Europa League semifinal berth at the expense of Lazio.

Welbeck, Ramsey see Arsenal past CSKA Moscow to Europa semis

Welbeck, Ramsey see Arsenal past CSKA Moscow to Europa semis

Arsenal edged into the semifinals of the Europa League, but only after surviving a major scare as CSKA Moscow threatened a memorable comeback.

Lacazette and Ramsey both net twice as Arsenal demolish CSKA Moscow

Lacazette and Ramsey both net twice as Arsenal demolish CSKA Moscow

Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette each scored twice as Mesut Ozil put on a Europa League masterclass to overwhelm CSKA Moscow and all but book Arsenal's place in the semifinals.

Timo Werner gives Leipzig first-leg advantage over Marseille

Timo Werner gives Leipzig first-leg advantage over Marseille

Timo Werner pounced in first-half injury time as RB Leipzig edged the first leg of their quarter-final against Marseille.

Lazio earn first-leg lead against Salzburg

Lazio earn first-leg lead against Salzburg

Two goals in two second-half minutes helped Lazio beat Salzburg 4-2 and take control of their Europa League quarter-final.

Koke, Griezmann ease Atletico Madrid to first-leg win vs. Sporting

Koke, Griezmann ease Atletico Madrid to first-leg win vs. Sporting

Koke scored after 23 seconds to set Atletico Madrid on their way to a routine 2-0 win over Sporting Lisbon in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal.

RELATED NEWS

Arsenal drawn to face Atletico Madrid in Europa League semifinal
Europa League semifinal draw

Arsenal drawn to face Atletico Madrid in Europa League semifinal

Arsenal will face Atletico Madrid later this month in their first appearance in the Europa League semifinals since 2000.

Marseille stun RB Leipzig to reach Europa semis after topsy-turvy tie
Marseille 5 - 2 RB Leipzig

Marseille stun RB Leipzig to reach Europa semis after topsy-turvy tie

Marseille stunned RB Leipzig 4-2 in a thrilling Europa League quarterfinal second leg at the Orange Velodrome on Thursday evening to secure a 5-3 aggregate victory.

Red Bull Salzburg soar to shock Europa League quarterfinal win over Lazio
Red Bull Salzburg 4 - 1 Lazio

Red Bull Salzburg soar to shock Europa League quarterfinal win over Lazio

Red Bull Salzburg came from behind to earn a stunning 4-1 victory that secured an unlikely Europa League semifinal berth at the expense of Lazio.

Welbeck, Ramsey see Arsenal past CSKA Moscow to Europa semis
CSKA Moscow 2 - 2 Arsenal

Welbeck, Ramsey see Arsenal past CSKA Moscow to Europa semis

Arsenal edged into the semifinals of the Europa League, but only after surviving a major scare as CSKA Moscow threatened a memorable comeback.

Lacazette and Ramsey both net twice as Arsenal demolish CSKA Moscow
Arsenal 4 - 1 CSKA Moscow

Lacazette and Ramsey both net twice as Arsenal demolish CSKA Moscow

Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette each scored twice as Mesut Ozil put on a Europa League masterclass to overwhelm CSKA Moscow and all but book Arsenal's place in the semifinals.

Timo Werner gives Leipzig first-leg advantage over Marseille
RB Leipzig 1 - 0 Marseille

Timo Werner gives Leipzig first-leg advantage over Marseille

Timo Werner pounced in first-half injury time as RB Leipzig edged the first leg of their quarter-final against Marseille.

Lazio earn first-leg lead against Salzburg
Lazio 4 - 2 Salzburg

Lazio earn first-leg lead against Salzburg

Two goals in two second-half minutes helped Lazio beat Salzburg 4-2 and take control of their Europa League quarter-final.

Koke, Griezmann ease Atletico Madrid to first-leg win vs. Sporting
Atletico Madrid 2 - 0 Sporting

Koke, Griezmann ease Atletico Madrid to first-leg win vs. Sporting

Koke scored after 23 seconds to set Atletico Madrid on their way to a routine 2-0 win over Sporting Lisbon in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal.