VIDEO Valencia 0-1 Atletico Madrid (2-5 Agg): Highlights As Adrian?s Stunning Goal Sees Atletico Cruise Into Europa League Final

 @JasonLeMiere
on April 26 2012 5:44 PM
Watch highlights of Valencia Vs. Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final, second-leg.
Atletico's players celebrate securing their place in the Europa League final, which will take place in Bucharest. Reuters

Atletico Madrid reached the final of the Europa League for the second time in three years after beating Valencia 1-0 at the Mestalla, to progress 5-2 on aggregate.

Leading 4-2 from the first meeting at the Calderon last week, Atletico's progress was rarely in doubt. And it was all but confirmed with a spectacular goal from Adrian Lopez on the hour mark.

Diego hit a pitch-perfect pass over the top to find Adrian on the right corner of the box and the forward chested the ball down before hitting a thunderbolt high into the net past Valencia's Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Alves.

With the match heading toward its inevitable conclusion the match sparked into life in unedifying fashion with mass brawl late on. The cause of the incident was confusion over a handball in the box, with some players believing the referee had awarded a penalty to Valencia, rather than the free-kick that had been given to Atletico.

But in the melee Atletico midfielder Tiago slapped Valencia striker Roberto Soldado and was shown the red card. The act of stupidity from the former Chelsea man means he will miss the final for Atletico.

While Tiago's dismissal was an unfortunate way for the match to end, it did not dampen the celebrations for Atletico. Diego Simeone's side fully-deserved their place in the final over the two legs and will now take on La Liga rivals Athletic Bilbao in the final next month.

And with Diego Simeone's side currently just sitting outside the European places in La Liga, a Europa League triumph would come as a welcome end to an up-and-down season.

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