United get Anderlecht in last eight
NYON: Manchester United have been handed a good draw in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, facing Belgian side Anderlecht.
Jose Mourinho’s side battled past Russian side Rostov in the last-16, and have been rewarded with a short trip to the Belgian capital Brussels.
Anderlecht won each leg 1-0 to put out Cypriots APOEL Nicosia in the last round, and are currently top of the Belgian league.
The games will be played on April 13 and April 20, with the first leg to be played at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Brussels.
It is the fourth time the two clubs have been drawn together in Europe, with United winning both previous knock-out ties and thumping the Belgians 5-1 at Old Trafford in the 2000 group stage.
Anderlecht were also United’s first ever European opposition back in 1956, with the English club winning 2-0 away before recording a 10-0 thrashing in the second leg.
The current Anderlecht squad will expect to do rather better than that, but United will still be strong favourites against a side that do not possess too many big names.
Teenage midfielder Youri Tielemans, who has been watched by several top Premier League clubs, is perhaps their stand-out star, while Polish striker Lukasz Teodorczyk is their top scorer this season.
The Belgians do not boast a particularly good record against English opposition, although they did beat Tottenham in the same competition last year, before losing 2-1 at White Hart Lane.
This is the first time they have been this far in Europe since 1997, when they were knocked out in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals by Inter Milan.
Elsewhere in the Europa League, Spanish side Celta Viga were drawn against Genk, while Ajax and Schalke will meet in the round’s other stand-out tie. Turkish champions Besiktas have been paired with French club Lyon. Daily Mail
Anderlecht’s Frank Acheampong (second from left) celebrates his goal against APOEL with teammates in their Europa League last 16, second leg match on Thursday.