Man United to face Barcelona in Europa League knockout playoff

Manchester United have been drawn against Barcelona in the Europa League knockout play-off round. Barcelona have dropped down into the competition after failing to get out of their Champions League group but now provide a stern test for Erik ten Hag’s side, who finished second in their Europa League group.

United will travel to the Camp Nou on 16 February for the first leg of the tie, with the return at Old Trafford taking place on 23 February. They have some fond memories of the venue having completed the 1999 treble there with a last-gasp victory over Bayern Munich in that year’s Champions League final.

“We will have to compete, going to Manchester against a really top rival and an historic side which has grown a lot with the arrival of [Erik] ten Hag,” said Xavi, the Barcelona manager. “[They have] great individual players and it is the toughest rival once again in the Europa League.”

Arsenal, who won their Europa League group, have already progressed to the last 16 of the competition.

Sevilla, who have won the Europa League six times, have also dropped down into the competition from the Champions League and will take on PSV Eindhoven in the first knockout round. Juventus must overcome French side Nantes to secure a place in the last 16 in March.

Roma, who won last season’s inaugural Europa Conference League competition, are up against Austrian league champions RB Salzburg, while Shakhtar Donetsk take on French side Rennes. Portuguese league runners-up Sporting have been paired against Midtjylland of Denmark, Ajax face Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen take on Monaco.

Source: Theguardian

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