Koke's goal after 23 seconds set Europa League favourites Atletico Madrid on their way to a quarter-final first-leg on over Sporting Lisbon.
Atletico are the favorites for this season's Europa League, alongside Premier league outfit Arsenal and Italian side Lazio, and looked the part during a solid opening.
The Gunners romped towards the Europa League semi-finals with a 4-1 win in a match devoid of any of the political tension that threatened to overshadow the tie due to frosty relations between London and the Russian capital.
After struggling past Kazakhstani side FK Astana, and having to go into extra time against FC Viktoria Plzen, the surprise that would greet Sporting CP being inn the pot when the Europa League Semi-Final draw is made on the 13th April would be unprecedented.
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Diego Simeone's side saw out the game from there, and will expect to complete progress to the last four in next Thursday's second leg in the Portuguese capital - especially as Sporting's Fabio Coentrao and Bas Dost are now suspended.
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Midfielder Koke struck after just 22 seconds following an inviting ball from Diego Costa.
Aleksandr Golovin curled home a wonderful free-kick after haphazard defending from Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny to level six minutes later.
Arsenal then restored its lead as Lacazette converted a penalty in the 23rd minute after Mesut Ozil was fouled. "I think we have done enough of a job tonight, there was a good pace in the first half, the two teams gave everything which is why is was such a spectacular first half, " he said.
Marco Parolo scored the game's most eye-catching goal with a cheeky back-heel to give Lazio a 2-1 lead after a Valon Berisha penalty had cancelled out Senad Lulic's opener in Rome. Two goals in three second-half minutes, from Felipe Anderson and Ciro Immobile, eventually cost Salzburg their 35-game unbeaten run.
Elsewhere, RB Leipzig lead French giants Marseille 1-0 as German worldwide striker Timo Werner got the only goal for the Bundesliga side.