United handed favourable Europa League quarter-final draw

Date published: Friday 17th March 2017 12:15

Man Utd: Defeated Rostov

Manchester United face a trip to Belgium in the Europa League quarter-finals after the draw was made on Friday.

United’s reward for edging past Rostov is a two-legged tie with Anderlecht. The first game away is likely to take place on April 13, with the home leg a week later on April 20.

Elsewhere Celta Vigo from La Liga will face Genk, while Ajax take on Schalke and Lyon play Besiktas.

United are the favourites to win the competition – which would complete their set of major European trophies and also earn a spot in next season’s Champions League.

It will be the fourth tie between the sides, with United coming out on top of the three previous ones.

Their record European victory came against Anderlecht when they were 10-0 winners at Old Trafford in the European Cup preliminary round in September 1956.

More recent ties have been tighter, with United losing in Belgium in 1968 and 2000 but dominating at home.

Anderlecht started their Europa League journey in August with a play-off victory over Slavia Prague and then came through a group including Gabala, St Etienne and Mainz.

The last 32 saw them beat Zenit St Petersburg on away goals while they won both legs against Apoel Nicosia in the last 16.

Anderlecht top the Belgian league by two points and are looking to win the title for the first time since 2014.

With a Premier League clash against Chelsea in between the two legs, the crucial thing for United was to keep travel to a minimum, and the good news was they avoided Turkish side Besiktas.

Juan Mata, the match-winner for United against Rostov on Thursday, has his sights firmly set on European silverware.

 

He said: ”It became a while ago very important for us. I still think we have the chance to get to the Champions League through the Premier League. I still think we can win a lot of games and get into the third or fourth positions.

“But it’s another chance for us and we will take it very seriously. It’s very important – it could be one more trophy and it means we play Champions League.”

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