Europa League draw: Arsenal & Man Utd handed tricky tests but easy for Tottenham
The draw for the last-16 of the Europa League was conducted today as Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United discovered their fate.
Arsenal were made to work for their place in the next stage of the competition after narrowly edging past Benfica on Thursday night. Having been held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg, the Gunners blew a lead in the second leg and were losing 2-1 [3-2 on agg] following a Dani Ceballos mistake in the 61st minute.
However, Kieran Tierney levelled things up before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed home a late winner just three minutes from time to secure a 4-3 aggregate victory. Mikel Arteta’s side will now face familiar foes in the last-16 after being drawn to face Olympiacos. The Greek outfit knocked Arsenal out last year so this could be another tough test for the Gunners.
Manchester United faced a potentially tricky tie with Real Sociedad in the last round but they made light work of the La Liga outfit after winning the first leg 4-0. A 0-0 second leg draw on Thursday night finished the job.
However, United have been handed another tough test in the last-16 after being drawn against Italian giants AC Milan. The Serie A side beat Red Star Belgrade on away goals in the last round but they should still give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side a stern test over two legs.
Tottenham also eased into the last-16 after thrashing Wolfsberger. The tie was over last week when Spurs won the away leg 4-1 before putting another four past the Austrian side to secure an 8-1 aggregate win.
Jose Mourinho will be pleased with the last-16 draw as Tottenham have been pitted against Zinamo Zagreb – who saw off Krasnodar 4-2. Spurs will have the tie reversed as they can’t play on the same night as Arsenal so they’ll be away first.
Spurs should be very confident of beating Zagreb to book their place in the quarter-finals but it should be more difficult for Arsenal and United to make it past Olympiacos and Milan.
The ties will be played on the 11th and 18th March.
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