Europa League highlights: Arsenal, Atletico cruise

Corriere dello Sport

Atletico beat Sporting Lisbon 2-0 after a record 23-second goal by Koke.

The second legs take place next Thursday.

The Spain global has since sat out LaLiga fixtures against Villarreal and Deportivo La Coruna but returned to training with the first-team squad earlier this week.

Fast starts propelled three of tonight's home teams to first-leg victories in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, with Atlético Madrid particularly quick off the mark through Koke's goal after just 22 seconds.

Lazio took a big step towards the semi-finals with a dramatic 4-2 win over Red Bull Salzburg, whose 19-game unbeaten run in Europe - and 36-match streak without losing in all competitions - came to an end.

Atletico, the Europa League victor in 2010 and 2012, showed Sporting no mercy. Losing possession seconds after the kick-off, Atleti pressed forward and got their reward in the form of a gift from Sporting defender Sebastian Coates, whose poor pass in the direction of teammate Jeremy Mathieu was intercepted by Diego Costa.

Aleksandr Golovin curled home a wonderful free-kick after haphazard defending from Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny to level six minutes later.

Five minutes later Ramsey produced a bit of magic, volleying a pass from Ozil with his heel beyond goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

"We know it's not over", Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. If we had to play against Bayern Munich they would say it's an impossible game but if it was against Astana they would say it's easy, but the truth is you have to play every game and we always try to do our best to qualify for the next rounds.

Marco Parolo scored the game's most eye-catching goal with a cheeky back-heel to give Lazio a 2-1 lead after a Valon Berisha penalty had cancelled out Senad Lulic's opener in Rome.

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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