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Soccer-Atletico coast past Milan into quarter-finals

Reuters

MADRID, March 11 (Reuters) - Diego Costa struck twice as Atletico Madrid thumped AC Milan 4-1 on Tuesday to send the seven-times winners crashing out 5-1 on aggregate and advance to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time this century.

Costa, who also scored in Atletico's 1-0 win at the San Siro in the first leg of the last-16 tie, put the La Liga side ahead in the third minute at the Calderon with an acrobatic volley.

Kaka levelled with a header in the 27th before Arda Turan's deflected effort sailed past Christian Abbiati five minutes before halftime to restore the home team's lead.

Raul Garcia headed Atletico's third in the 71st minute before Costa struck again five minutes from time.

Atletico, who previously featured in the last eight in 1997 with a team featuring current coach Diego Simeone, thoroughly deserved their victory, while Milan's exit means there will be no Italian side in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2009.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Stephen Wood)

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