The Europa League: What's changed?

Sunday 07 July 2024 12:05

There was an added bonus to Manchester United’s Emirates FA Cup final triumph at Wembley in May, which may have escaped your attention amid all the celebrations.

The Reds beat rivals Manchester City 2-1 to lift the famous old trophy for the 13th time, ending an often difficult campaign on a high, but the result in London also had an impact on next season.

Our qualification for the 2024/25 UEFA Europa League was confirmed, as we took advantage of a second chance to secure European football following an eighth-placed Premier League finish.

Goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo ensured we will be involved in the new-look competition proper when it gets under way in September, at the expense of Chelsea, who have dropped into the Conference League, and a Newcastle United side which missed out on Europe altogether…

90 in 20: Manchester City v United Video

90 in 20: Manchester City v United

Kick back, relax, and enjoy the extended highlights from United's 13th FA Cup final win...

WHAT’S NEW WITH THE FORMAT?

The Europa League changes match those of the Champions League, with the traditional group phase replaced by a league format, containing 36 teams, rather than the previous 32.

Clubs will still be allocated to four seeding pots, based on their coefficient, and drawn to play two opponents from each pot. They will then play one match against a team from each pot at home, and one away, for a total of eight fixtures.

United are already guaranteed to be seeded in Pot 1.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE NEXT ROUND?

Teams finishing in the top eight of the league phase will qualify automatically for the round of 16, while those placed between ninth and 24th will compete in a two-legged play-off for the right to join them.

All UEFA tournaments are now self-contained after the qualifying rounds, which means the teams finishing 25th and below will be eliminated from European competition.

WHICH TEAMS ARE ALREADY CONFIRMED?

United are one of 13 clubs to have already booked a spot in the 2024/25 Europa League proper, with Eintracht Frankfurt, Lazio, Porto, Roma and Tottenham in the first pot, alongside us.

Athletic Club, AZ, Hoffenheim, Nice, Lyon and Real Sociedad have also qualified, as have Conference League winners Olympiacos.

United have won the Europa League once before, in 2017.

WHEN WILL THE DRAW BE MADE?

We will find out our Europa League opposition for next season on Friday 30 August.

WHEN WILL THE GAMES BE PLAYED?

Europa League fixtures will largely continue to take place on Thursday evenings, with the exception of a limited number of matchday one fixtures scheduled on Wednesday 25 September. The two extra matchdays will be accommodated at the end of January, when the European season resumes after the Christmas period.

Matchday 1: 25/26 September 2024
Matchday 2: 3 October 2024
Matchday 3: 24 October 2024
Matchday 4: 7 November 2024
Matchday 5: 28 November 2024
Matchday 6: 12 December 2024
Matchday 7: 23 January 2025
Matchday 8: 30 January 2025

Europa League final: Ajax 0 United 2 Video

Europa League final: Ajax 0 United 2

Match Rewind | Watch our successful 2017 Europa League final in full, featuring vital goals by Pogba and Mkhitaryan...

WHAT’S OUR EUROPA LEAGUE RECORD LIKE?

This will be United’s seventh involvement in the competition, since it was rebranded from the old UEFA Cup in 2009.

The Reds have made two finals, beating Ajax 2-0 in Stockholm to lift the trophy under Jose Mourinho in 2017 but losing on penalties to Villarreal in Gdansk three seasons ago.

Eventual winners Sevilla ended our participation at the semi-final and quarter-final stage respectively in 2020 and 2023, but the Andalusians – who have etched their name on the cup a record seven times – will not be taking part this time around.

Europa League classics:

  • 90 in 20: United v Real Betis Video

    90 in 20: United v Real Betis

    90 in 20 | Watch the extended cut of our Europa League first leg with Real Betis…

  • 90 in 20: United v Barcelona Video

    90 in 20: United v Barcelona

    90 in 20 | Our extended highlights are now available to watch, if you can handle the tension all over again…

  • 90 in 20: Barcelona v United Video

    90 in 20: Barcelona v United

    90 in 20 | Watch extended highlights from United's four-goal thriller at the Nou Camp…

  • 90 in 20: United 6 Roma 2 Video

    90 in 20: United 6 Roma 2

    Seriously, why wouldn’t you watch the extended highlights of our 6-2 win? You won’t regret it…