United get An­der­lecht in last eight

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

AP PIC

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.

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