Sporting crush Midtjylland to advance in Europa League

Sporting CP knocked FC Midtjylland out of the Europa League after thrashing their hosts 4-0 in Denmark on Thursday to advance to the last 16 5-1 on aggregate.

After fighting back to draw 1-1 at home in the first leg of the playoff tie, Sporting dominated proceedings at Midtjylland and took the lead in the 21st minute with a close-range header by defender Sebastian Coates from a rebound off the crossbar.

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Sporting's job got a lot easier after Midtjylland full back Paulinho was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in two minutes for rough fouls, leaving the Danish side with 10 men.

Pedro Goncalves extended Sporting's lead in the 50th minute with a volley from a rebound and scored his second in the 77th when his long-range strike from deflected in off a defender.

Stefan Gartenmann scored a comical own-goal five minutes from time when he tried to pass the ball back to his goalkeeper.