Sporting Clube de Portugal (1)1-0(2) Atletico Madrid: Montero's header unable to inspire Sporting revival

Dull weather in Portugal was matched with a rather dull game of football in the capital city as Atletico were able to hang on to their aggregate advantage to progress.

Sporting Clube de Portugal (1)1-0(2) Atletico Madrid: Montero's header unable to inspire Sporting revival
Montero reduces the deficit. (Photo: Getty Images/Francesco Leong)
Sporting CP
1 0
Atletico Madrid
Sporting CP: Patricio, Pinto, Coates, Mathieu (Petrovic 26'), Ristovski (Doumbia 80'), Fernandes, Battaglia, Acuna, Martins, Ruiz, Montero.
Atletico Madrid: Oblack, Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Gomez, Koke, Niguez, Hernandez (Vrsaljko 45'), Vitolo (Correa 60'), Griezmann, Costa (Torres 52').
SCORE: 1-0 Montero (28')
REFEREE: Milorad Mažić (SRB) - Yellow cards: Ristovski (29'), Montero (66'), Torres (70'), Fernandes (76'), Battaglia (90'), Oblak (90')
INCIDENTS: Europa League quarter-final second leg in rainy Lisbon.

Freddy Montero's first-half header put the home side ahead on the night but Sporting CP crashed out of the competition to Atletico Madrid

Atletico were able to rely on their advantage from the first leg after an underwhelming performance at the Estádio José Alvalade.  

A rather dull game came to life in the final 10 minutes as Sporting began to commit bodies forward they lacked men at the back.

Antoine Grizemann should have wrapped the tie-up but very uncharacteristically wasted two great sights on goal. 

However, the Spanish side go through to the final four despite their unadventourous display. 

Back in the tie

Freddy Montero's 28th-minute header brought the home side a renewed hope of a place in the semi-finals.

A looping cross was not dealt with by Atletico's goalkeeper Jan Oblak as his weak palm away fell kindly to the waiting Colombian. 

Although the Slovenian goalkeeper was planted to the ground, the angle was against Montero.

The Colombian's header brought a new lease of life to the tie, reducing Sporting's deficit to just one goal. 

Sporting ahead but still chasing

Since their dropout from the Champions League, Atletico have taken the Europa League by storm quickly becoming the favourites to lift the trophy. 

However, the same side did not look out on show in the first-half as the Spaniard's looked second best to their Portuguese opposition. 

Laos Rojiblancos cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory in the first leg and never really looked to get out of first gear.

But their inability to score the third goal on the night was always going to keep the tie alive.

Sporting raced out of the blocks and proved the dominant side as Diego Simeone's men seemed to be chasing shadows. 

Unable to string a set of passes together, Atletico were pinned back in their own half as Jorge Jesus' side pressed to emulate the European comebacks seen over the past two nights. 

After the number of clear chances on goal they had, Sporting should have at least levelled the aggregate score at the interval. 

Second half

Simeone was forced into making an early change in the second period as Diego Costa pulled up short with what looked like a hamstring injury. 

It seemed the Portuguese side's momentum was lost with the turn of the break as they struggled to break the backline of Atletico. 

From the first-half it seemed the visitors were there for the taking as Sporting dominated the game.

However, their lack of instinctive finishing in front of goal came back to haunt them in the second 45. 

Atletico shut up shop as they looked ready to pounce in catching Sporting on the counter-attack. 

Antoine Griezmann was unable to kill the tie off as he blundered a one-on-one opportunity. 

The French forward had all the time in the world to pick a spot but it seemed he had too much time to think about it as he struck straight at Rui Patrício

Just a matter of seconds later, Griezmann missed an almost identical opportunity after slotting the ball wide of the target. 

By the matter of a couple of inches, Sporting were still alive in the competition but were unable to level the tie in the remaining seven minutes.