By Ryan O’Hare
Atletico Madrid progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals with a gritty 3-1 win at Porto in a bad-tempered match that sparked fears of a fan rampage.
The Spanish side also secured a place in the last eight of the Europa League with a comfortable win over Krasnodar on Tuesday.
Despite needing a win, Porto captain Joao Mario’s second-half header was ruled out for offside after a video review.
Two more goals followed in stoppage time to seal victory, with Andreas Januzaj hitting a second and Saul Niguez a third.
Saul claimed he had been fouled in the lead-up to Januzaj’s second but Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas vehemently contested that and a number of players were involved in a tense aftermath.
Porto boss Sergio Conceicao said Porto were lucky to have not been sent off at the end.
“To score three goals when you had seven men sent off is really sad for me, and I won’t hide from that,” he said.
“I won’t talk any more about it. What you have to see is the result. I am really depressed. I’m really sad for the players because they did everything to win.”
Porto finished with nine men after midfielder William was dismissed, forward Arouna Kone and defender Jonathan Pereira received two yellow cards and defender Joao Pedro was sent off.
“Now we have to be strong enough, from the board on down, to concentrate on the league to guarantee there will be no fall-out,” said Conceicao.
“The club always has a clause in its contract with Iker, and it is completely clear he did not touch Januzaj in the lead-up to the goal.”
The teams met in the last round of Champions League qualifiers last season and at the Estadio do Dragao the home side took the lead thanks to a Kone header but Thomas Partey equalised for the Spaniards shortly after.
The incident between players and staff was reminiscent of the 2012 Champions League final, when Atletico Madrid players Royston Drenthe and Oribe Peralta were sent off in a brawl.
After taking an early 1-0 lead through Partey on Tuesday, Porto were 3-1 down in stoppage time after goals from Spain forward Saul and Januzaj.
After they could only come away with a point from the first leg at the Vicente Calderon last month, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone said his team were “desperately close” to missing out on European football this season.
Defender Gimenez scores again
Atletico are back in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the second successive season.
Before Tuesday, their last appearance in the last eight had been in 2011, when they beat Manchester United in the final.
They had previous good luck in the competition, as they also progressed to the quarter-finals as one of the top two seeds in the group stages last season.
Atletico have failed to make the last eight of the Copa del Rey twice in the last three seasons – when they lost to Barcelona on penalties in 2015 and were defeated in the 2014 final by Real Madrid.
Goals galore for midfielder Saul
Saul is one of Atletico’s most prolific European performers, having scored 17 goals in 54 appearances.
On Monday, he added to his tally with a fine individual strike, side-footing into the net after Atletico had moved 2-1 ahead.
He is one of four Spanish players who are in the Atletico starting XI, along with Diego Godin, Antoine Griezmann and Koke.
They also have an equal number of French players in the team – midfielders Saul and Koke, and forward Antoine Griezmann.
Januzaj ruled out
Alfred Duncan has worked closely with former Manchester United winger Januzaj
A win was obviously required after Porto’s 1-0 first-leg win in the first round of the Champions League qualifier, but Januzaj was keen to keep playing up to the match on Monday.
He made his first start for the Spanish club in a match in which he came on in the opening period.
But with Dejan Lovren receiving treatment for a hamstring injury, Januzaj had to come off early on in the second half, with Stefan Savic playing in his position.
He did not even pick up a booking at the end of the game.