Man United to face Anderlecht in Europa League quarter-finals

March 18, 2017
Hull City's Harry Miguire shielding the ball from Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic the English Premier League match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England on February 1. The match ended 0-0.


Still pursuing their first title in the competition, Manchester United were paired with Anderlecht yesterday in the Europa League quarter-finals.

United have never been beyond the quarter-finals in eight previous tries, and will travel to Belgium on April 13 for the first leg against the 1983 UEFA Cup champions. The return match in Manchester will be on April 20.

Also Friday, Ajax were drawn to host Schalke first in a pairing of the two other former winners, while Lyon will meet Besiktas and Celta Vigo were drawn against Genk.

The final is scheduled for May 24 in Stockholm, Sweden the home country of United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has never won a UEFA knockout competition.

The winner will earn a Champions League place next season. It could yet be the only route back to the biggest stage for United, who are sixth in the Premier League.

Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick on his last visit to Anderlecht in October 2013. It lifted Paris Saint-Germain to a 5-0 win in a Champions League group game.

"The entire stadium gave him a big ovation," Anderlecht spokesman David Steegen said, adding that the wealthy English club would be favoured. "The budgets are incomparable but the fact we are here means something."

Celta Vigo are the last team left from Spain, which won five of the past seven Europa Leagues, including three straight by Sevilla.

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