Europa League: Atletico Madrid top Sporting 2-0 in quarters

Antoine Griezmann has become Juventus No 1 transfer target according to the Italian media

Arsenal, on the other hand, fought valiantly to brush aside CSKA Moscow 4-1 at home.

Atletico Madrid goal scorer Koke admitted that it was "normal" for his team to be seen as favourites for this season's Europa League - after Thursday evening's 2-0 quarterfinal first-leg victory over Sporting Lisbon.

Atletico, the Europa League victor in 2010 and 2012, showed Sporting no mercy.

The 33-year-old right-back returned from a hamstring injury to complete 90 minutes in Atletico's 2-0 Europa League win at Sporting CP on Thursday.

Languishing in sixth in the Premier League, 13 points adrift of the top four, Arsenal's last realistic hope of qualifying for next season's Champions League is by winning the Europa League in Lyon on May 16. "I am happy to have started the scoring, helping the team".




Midfielder Koke struck after just 22 seconds following an inviting ball from Diego Costa.

"We know it will be hard in Russian Federation, but we have put ourselves in a good position".

"This was his best game since he came back with us, he's a beast, he was running all the time, putting pressure on the opponent, breaking his mark", Simeone told reporters. Atletico pessimists may concern themselves with Filipe Luis's definite and Juanfran's possible absences but Jorge Jesus' Sporting will need their attacking triptych of Dost, Bruno Fernandes, and Gelson Martins to produce two stellar performances, particularly in the second-leg at the Estádio José Alvalade, if they are to have even a remote chance of getting to the Semi-Finals.

The Italian club was not to be denied, though, as substitute Felipe Anderson and Ciro Immobile added two late goals.

Germany's Leipzig, playing in European competition for the first time, put themselves in a good position to progress after a Timo Werner goal on the stroke of halftime sank Marseille.

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