Europa League trophy

Who could United face next in the Europa League?

Thursday 18 March 2021 21:55

Manchester United's reward for overturning AC Milan's away-goal advantage and knocking the Italian giants out of the Europa League is a place in Friday's quarter-finals draw.

Thanks to Paul Pogba's powerful finish into the roof of Gianluigi Donnarumma's net at San Siro, the Reds can now look forward to a last-eight tie for the second consecutive season.

The opponents for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men will be confirmed when UEFA stage the draw in Nyon, Switzerland at midday (12:00 GMT) UK time this Friday afternoon.

Furthermore, the prospective pairings for the semi-finals will also be decided, giving all the remaining participants a grasp of their potential route to the final in Gdansk, Poland on 26 May.

The seven teams United could face include Premier League rivals Arsenal, a team we have previously faced in a European competition, in the 2008/09 Champions League semi-finals when Sir Alex Ferguson's side won both legs at Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium.

However, the Gunners' North London neighbours, Tottenham Hotspur, surprisingly missed out on a place in the draw after they lost 3-0 to Dinamo Zagreb, having travelled to Croatia with a seemingly comfortable 2-0 lead from the first leg. That shock defeat denies Spurs boss Jose Mourinho the chance to be reunited with the trophy he lifted as Reds manager in 2017.

The Reds could be drawn against any of the following seven teams:

The runners-up to United in the 2017 Europa League final reached this season's last eight by beating Young Boys 5-0 on aggregate. Daley Blind and Donny van de Beek will face their respective former clubs if the Reds and the Amsterdam outfit are paired in a two-legged tie for only the third time, following 1976 and 2012.

Solskjaer's men will hope it's third time lucky this season if we're to meet the Gunners in the Europa League, after failing to score in a defeat and a draw in our two Premier League meetings. Mikel Arteta's improving side followed up their domestic derby win over Tottenham by seeing off Olympiacos 3-2 on aggregate, despite losing the second leg 1-0 at home.

The Croatian club pulled off arguably the biggest upset in the last 16 by beating Tottenham 3-2 over two legs, having lost the first one 2-0. Mislav Oršic completed his hat-trick in extra-time at Stadion Maksimir.
Highlights: Milan 0 United 1 Video

Highlights: Milan 0 United 1

See how the Reds clinched qualification to the Europa League quarter-finals, courtesy of Pogba's fine goal...

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's hopes of a romantic reunion with Molde were dashed when Granada triumphed over two legs. The Norwegian team won 2-1 at home on Thursday night but it wasn't enough to stop the Spaniards joining their compatriots Villarreal in the quarter-finals.

Fond memories of that epic 7-1 win at Old Trafford in 2007 will come flooding back if United are drawn against the last Italian team standing in the competition. Already 3-0 up after the first leg, the men from The Eternal City made absolutely sure of their progress by beating Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 in Kiev with two Borja Mayoral goals. Two of his colleagues are former Reds - Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard will have to wait to pit his managerial wits against United, after his Rangers side slipped up at home to the team from the Czech Republic, losing 2-0 to bow out 3-1 on aggregate. That was Slavia's second British scalp in a row - the Czech champions knocked out our upcoming opponents Leicester City last month.

A tie against the Yellow Submarine won't get us scrambling for the classic games archive - all four of our previous meetings, home and away in the 2005/06 and 2008/09 Champions League campaigns, ended 0-0. The Spanish club symmetrically saw off Dynamo Kiev with the same 2-0 scoreline in both legs of their last-16 tie.


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