Atletico, Arsenal through to quarters

Atletico Madrid underlined their Europa League favourites’ tag as they marched past Lokomotiv Moscow on Thursday into a powerful-looking quarterfinal draw that will also feature Olympique de Marseille, Lazio and Arsenal.

Borussia Dortmund, one of three former European champions to reach the last 16, failed to join them though after a 0-0 draw at Salzburg condemned them to a 2-1 aggregate loss.

Atletico’s Fernando Torres struck twice in a 5-1 victory in icy Moscow while Antoine Griezmann was also on target as the La Liga side racked up an 8-1 aggregate triumph.

“I admire my players,” said manager Diego Simeone, whose side bowed out at the group stage of the Champions League.

“In every match, they always play the same way.”

Atletico will be the sole Spanish representative in the last eight after Athletic Bilbao lost 2-1 at home to Marseille, slipping to a 5-2 aggregate loss.

Dimitri Payet’s penalty put Marseille in control on the night as the French former European champions claimed their first win away to Spanish opposition.

It was revenge for Marseille who were beaten by Bilbao in the round of 32 two years ago.

“We are in the quarterfinals but we can’t stop there,” Marseille manager Rudi Garcia said.

Arsenal completed a 5-1 aggregate victory over seven-time European champions AC Milan, winning 3-1 on the night in north London after the Italians had scored first.

Hakan Calhanoglu’s stunning strike put Milan ahead but the lead lasted only four minutes as Danny Welbeck was awarded a highly-dubious penalty, falling to the ground despite apparently no contact from Milan defender Ricardo Rodriguez.

Welbeck converted the 39th minute penalty and added a late header after Granit Xhaka’s goal had put the tie beyond Milan.

Victory meant Arsenal snapped a seven-year run of last-16 exits in Europe – all in the Champions League.


Lazio looked vulnerable going into their second leg against Dynamo Kiev after being held 2-2 at home but goals from former Liverpool midfielder Lucas and Stefan de Vrij earned them an impressive 2-0 victory.

Salzburg stretched their unbeaten run in Europe to 19 games and became the first Austrian club to reach the quarterfinals of the Europa League.

Friday’s draw could pair them with RB Leipzig, the Bundesliga club backed by the same energy drink brand.

Leipzig reached the last eight with a 1-1 draw at 2008 Uefa Cup winners Zenit St Petersburg to claim a 3-2 aggregate win.

Frenchman Jean-Kevin Augustin gave Leipzig the lead midway through the first half with a crisp shot but Sebastian Driussi levelled on the night for Zenit.

Portugal’s Sporting needed an extra-time header from Rodrigo Battaglia to seal a 3-2 aggregate win over Slovakia’s Viktoria Plzen after the hosts had forced the additional period with goals by Marek Bakos.

Battaglia’s effort spared the blushes of Bas Dost who missed a penalty for Sporting at the end of normal time.

Olympique Lyonnais’s hopes of reaching the final to be staged in their home stadium were ended by CSKA Moscow.

Lyon won the first leg 1-0 away but a 3-2 defeat in the return sent them out on away goals – Aleksandr Golovin, Ahmed Musa and Pontus Wernbloom were all on target for the Russians.

Mariano Diaz’s goal for Lyon in the 71st minute made it 3-3 on aggregate but the hosts needed another and substitute Myziane Maolida could not oblige, fluffing a stoppage-time chance.

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