It’s the quarter-final stage of the Europa League as Atletico Madrid host Sporting CP at the Wanda Metropolitano. Coming into the game, Atletico have been in fine form having won their last five games.
It was Atletico who started the game off brilliantly with Koke giving them the lead inside 23 seconds. Diego Costa found Koke in the box and the midfielder shot from close range into the bottom right corner leaving Rui Patricio helpless.
Sporting’s first chance of the game came in the 13th minute through their talisman striker Bas Dost. The Dutch striker received a lofted pass in the box and his header went wide of Oblak’s goal.
In the 25th minute of the game, Atletico thought they had a strong penalty appeal as Diego Costa looked to have been fouled in the box by Battaglia but the referee waived away protests from the home side.
In the 32nd minute of the game, Sporting found themselves with another close chance. Bruno Fernandes delivered an inch-perfect pass to Gelson Martins who found himself with space, the winger made a run through Atletico’s defence but his shot was comfortably saved by Jan Oblak who had a clear sight of the ball.
Despite the pressure from the away side, it was Atletico Madrid who took their chances as Antoine Griezmann doubled their lead to make it 2-0 in the 40th minute. Griezmann capitalised on Jeremy Mathieu’s mistake which left him one-on-one with Patricio and the forward made no mistake as he drilled the ball into the bottom right corner leaving Patricio no chance.
Goals from Koke and Griezmann ensure Atletico went into the half 2-0 up with a mountain to climb for Sporting.
Within minutes of the second half, Diego Costa almost made it 3-0 to Atletico after receiving a brilliant pass inside the 18-yard box but his effort was saved by Rui Patricio who is keeping Sporting in this game.
The chances kept on coming for the Spanish side. Diego Costa managed to find some space from a corner but failed to capitalise as his shot went over the bar resulting in a goal kick for Sporting.
In the 71st minute, substitute Marcos Acuna fired a shot from the edge of the box but it sailed high over the bar. Jan Oblak has yet to be tested throughout the game.
To make matters worse for Sporting, Bas Dost and Fabio Coentrao will miss the return leg in Lisbon having picked up a yellow card.
With less than 10 minutes to go in the game, Juanfran came close to making it 3-0 to Atletico. Diego Costa played in the defender inside the box but his shot was directly at Patricio, either side of the goal keeper and it would be game over.
It was a comfortable night for the home side as two defensive errors from Sporting cost them with Koke and Griezmann capitalising on their mistakes.
Atletico travel to the Estadio Jose Alvalade for the second leg with a 2-0 lead which should put them in pole position to qualify for the semi-final.
Atletico Madrid 2 (Koke 1′, Antoine Griezmann 40′)
Sporting CP 0