Atletico Madrid 2-0 Sporting Club: Simeone’s men secure first leg victoryApril 5, 2018
Atletico Madrid put one foot in the Europa League semi final after a 2-0 first leg win against Sporting Club at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The La Liga side went in front after just 23 seconds when Sporting defender Sebastian Coates gave the ball away to Diego Costa on the edge of the area and the Spanish forward played the ball through to Koke who stuck the ball in the bottom corner.
Costa then won a quick-fire corner with Diego Godin’s header being kept out by Rui Patricio as Atleti went on the attack from the off.
Sporting had a great chance on 13 minutes when Bas Dost got his head on a cross from the right but he couldn’t direct it on target.
Gelson Martins then had an even better chance when he ran through on goal but his shot was kept out by Jan Oblak low to his left.
Sporting were left to rue those misses when six minutes before the break Atletico doubled their lead.
Former Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu let the ball slip beyond him and Antoine Griezmann ran onto the ball before slotting past Patricio.
Costa found himself one-on-one with the keeper at the start of the second half when Coates missed Koke’s long ball but he tried to round Patricio and the keeper managed to deny him.
Fabio Coentrao had a free header from 12 yards out for the Portuguese side soon after but he couldn’t hit the target.
Diego Godin had a goal disallowed when Kevin Gameiro was ruled out for offside in the build up but Atletico were extremely lucky not to concede in stoppage time.
Bryan Ruiz’s shot from the edge of the area was stopped by Jan Oblak but the ball fell to Fredy Montero who somehow lifted the ball over the bar from six yards out.
In the end though it was a comfortable scoreline for Atleti who have a comfortable lead to take to Lisbon next Thursday.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Lucas; Correa (Gameiro, 53), Gabi, Saul, Koke; Griezmann (Vitolo, 89), Costa (Thomas, 87)
Sporting Club: Patricio; Piccini, Coates, Mathieu, Coentrao (Ribero, 80); Battaglia, Carvalho (Acuna, 45); Martins, Fernandes (Montero, 87), Ruiz; Dost