Manchester United Face La Liga Side In Europa League Semi-Final
Manchester United face La Liga side Celta Vigo in the semi-final of the Europa League. The two sides have never met in a competitive game. United have the advantage of playing the second leg at Old Trafford. Ajax face Lyon in the other semi-final.
Manchester United are bidding to win the Europa League for the first time. They have never made the final of the competition in its current or previous incarnations as the Uefa Cup and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
The Red Devils were given a fright by Belgian side Anderlecht in their quarter-final second leg tie at Old Trafford on Thursday night. Drawing 1-1 after the first leg in Brussels last week United went a goal up through a Henrikh Mkhitaryan strike after ten minutes. But Sofiane Hanni equalised for Anderlecht on 32 minutes and there was no further scoring before the end of 90 minutes.
Marcus Rashford clinched the tie for United with a goal on 107 minutes. But the victory was marred by a serious knee injury for striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Celta Vigo are in the semi-final of a major European competition for the first time. A 1-1 draw with Belgian side Genk was enough in the second leg of their tie on Thursday night. Celta went through 4-3 on aggregate.
Lyon needed a penalty shoot-out to get past Besiktas after the Turkish side were 2-1 up after 90 minutes last night giving an aggregate score of 3-3. Manchester United transfer target Anderson Talisca scored twice for Besiktas. Maxime Gonalons scored the winning spot kick for Lyon. It is the French side’s first European semi-final since they got to the last four of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1964.
Ajax are in a semi-final for the first time since 1997 when they reached the last four of the Champions League. The Dutch side won the Uefa Cup in 1992. Ajax were taken to extra-time by Bundesliga side Schalke 04 on Thursday. Schalke were 2-0 up on 90 minutes and appeared to have the tie wrapped up with a Daniel Caligiuri goal 11 minutes into extra time. But goals from Viergever on 111 minutes and Younes in injury time of extra time put the Dutch side through 4-3 on aggregate.
The semi-final draw is as follows:
Ajax v Lyon
Celta Vigo v Manchester United.
The first legs willl be played on Thursday 4 May with the second leg a week later on Thursday 11 May.
The final will be played at the Friends Arena in Solna, Sweden, on 24 May 2017.