Manchester United vs. Celta Vigo, Ajax vs. Lyon in Europa League semis

    /    Apr 21, 2017   /     Sports  /    0 Comments  /    337 Views

Manchester United will play Celta Vigo in the Europa League semifinals, with Ajax playing Lyon in the other tie.

United boss Jose Mourinho has indicated that the Europa League is his side’s priority this season as victory would ensure qualification for next season’s Champions League and face a first ever competitive meeting with the Spanish club.

Celta Vigo’s Intertoto Cup win in 2000 represents their biggest trophy triumph.

United’s opponents sit 10th in La Liga and progressed from the quarterfinals after following up a 3-2 home win against Genk by drawing Thursday’s second leg 1-1 in Belgium.

United have never faced Celta in UEFA competitions before and the Spanish side are through to a major European semifinal for the first time in their history.

Celta representative Borja Oubina is now looking forward to a historic clash with United — a semifinal he says they can win.

“We’re very happy to be here, in the semifinals,” the former midfielder said, quoted by AS. “We’ve never managed this before. Now, to compete to try and achieve the dream, which is to be in the final.

“This is still a football match and we’ll try to win. The fact that Celta have less experience doesn’t mean that we have less chance of getting through.

“I believe we have a chance of progressing and I’m sure that we’ll fight and we’ll have our opportunities.”

United, who defeated Anderlecht 3-2 on aggregate in the last round, would become only the fifth club to win all three major European trophies if they succeed in the competition, after Ajax, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Juventus.

The Premier League side have been drawn away first, playing in Spain on May 4 before welcoming Celta to Old Trafford on May 11.

Four-time European champions Ajax won the UEFA Cup — the Europa League’s predecessor — in 1992.

Layla Anna-Lee and Gabriele Marcotti discuss the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League between Ajax and Lyon.

Lyon, who have won Ligue 1 seven times since the turn of the millennium, won the Intertoto Cup in 1997 but have not won a major European trophy.

The sides last met in the group stage of the Champions League in 2011 when goalless draws were played out in both ties. Before that they met in 2002 with Ajax winning 2-1 at home and 2-0 away.

The winner of Ajax vs. Lyon will be the home side for the final as they were drawn first, with whoever progresses out of Manchester United and Celta Vigo representing the away team.

Ties to be played May 4 and 11:

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