Sporting spoil Spanish fiesta
Sporting Lisbon spoilt the Spanish Europa League fiesta on Thursday, as they came from behind to score a 2-1 semifinal victory against Athletic Bilbao.
Emiliano Insua and Capel scored the goals for Sporting, while Jon Aurtenetxe scored for Athletic.
In the other semifinal Atletico Madrid beat Valencia 4-2 in an all-Spanish match. Falcao scored a brace, with Miranda and Adrian getting the others. Jonas and Ricardo Costa found the net for Valencia.
The 2010 winners Atletico dominated early on and deservedly took the lead in the 18th minute. Poor defending by Adil Rami allowed the persistent Arda Turan to get to the byline.
His cross ricocheted into the path of Falcao, who headed smartly into the bottom corner.
The complexion of the tie changed temporarily on the stroke of halftime as Valencia grabbed a vital away goal. Rami, who was looking to make amends for his earlier mistake flicked on a Ricardo Costa corner to Jonas who was lurking at the back post.
The Brazilian tapped in from close range, triggering wild celebrations on the Valencia bench and leaving Atletico stunned going in at the break.
However, Valencia's celebrations turned to utter dismay in 5 disastrous second half minutes shortly after the interval.
Miranda restored Madrid's lead with a well taken header, following a Diego cross four minutes after the restart and five minutes later Madrid added another, this time a superb solo effort from striker Adrian Lopez. The 24 year old dispossessed Mehmut Topal before racing through the Valencia defence and coolly finishing into the bottom corner.
Falcao put the game beyond doubt in the 78th with an incredible strike from just outside the box.
The goal moved the Colombian on level terms with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of Schalke at the top of the scoring charts with 10 goals. Falcao could make history by becoming the first player ever to be the competitions top scorer for two consecutive seasons following his 17-goal haul during Porto's cup-winning campaign last season.
Valencia grabbed a late goal though as Ricardo Costa headed home from a corner in the fourth minute of second-half injury time.
In the Portuguese capital Sporting, the last non-Spanish club remaining, had the first chance of the game in the fourth minute when Argentine international Insua's free-kick forced Gorka Iraizoz into a first save.
The home side came close again in the 34th minute when defender Joao Pereira hit the upright after a break that started in their own half.
Sporting were made to rue their missed chances early in the second half when Aurtenetxe found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat after a Bilbao free-kick had inadvertently been pushed towards his own goal by a Sporting defender.
The home side were finally rewarded for their enterprising play in the 79th minute when Insua scored with a header. Capel gave the Sporting fans more to cheer about five minutes later with a well-taken goal from 20 metres.
The result leaves the tie wide open as Sporting aim to prevent the second all-Spanish final in the competition after Sevilla beat Espanyol Barcelona 3-1 on penalties in Glasgow's Hampdon Park in the Uefa Cup final, as the competition was then called.
This year's final will be played on May 9 in Bucharest.