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Atletico beats Valencia 4-2 in Europa League semis

BARCELONA, Spain — Radamel Falcao scored twice to help Atletico Madrid beat Valencia 4-2 Thursday night in the first leg of the Europa League semifinals, and Sporting Lisbon rallied to win 2-1 at home against Athletic Bilbao 2-1.

Atletico, the tournament's 2010 champion, went ahead when Falcao scored in the 18th minute. Jonas tied the score in the third minute of injury time, but Miranda's header gave Atletico the lead for good in the 49th.

Adrian Lopez made it 3-1 in the 54th with superb individual effort and Falcao scored off the crossbar in the 78th, his 32nd goal of the season. He has 23 Europa League goals in 23 appearances, including 10 this season, tied with Schalke's Klass-Jan Huntelaar for the lead. Ricardo Costa scored in the fourth minute of injury time for Valencia.

In Lisbon, Emiliano Insua scored in the 76th minute and Diego Capel in the 80th to keep Sporting undefeated in 12 consecutive European home games. Jon Aurtenetxe had put Athletic ahead in the 54th.

American defender Oguchi Onyewu dressed for Sporting for the first time since tearing a right knee ligament on Feb. 19 and undergoing surgery. He did not get into the match.

Second legs of the total-goals series are next Thursday. The final is May 9 in Bucharest, Romania.


AP writer Barry Hatton contributed to this report from Lisbon.