After seeing off Serie A giants AC Milan in the round of 16, Manchester United will now face La Liga side Granada CF in the quarter-final stage after the UEFA Europa League draw was finalised on Friday, March 19.
The Red Devils rode on their superior away form to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament despite pitted against a tough opponent like AC Milan. After Milan returned home from Old Trafford with an away goal to their name following a 1-1 draw, United sealed the deal with a 1-0 win at San Siro on Thursday.
Granada reached the quarters at the back of a 3-2 aggregate win over Molde in the round of 16.
Arsenal will be optimistic about their chances of reaching the semi-final after being pitted against Slavia Praha in the quarter-final.
The Gunner advanced at the back of some topsy turvy display in the round of 16 against Olympiacos. After the London club had managed a 3-1 away win in Greece in the first leg, Arsenal slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home on Thursday before progressing with an aggregate of 3-2.
They have faced Slavia Praha twice prior to this in the UEFA Champions League, winning one and drawing the other. Incidentally, Arsenal’s biggest win in the elite European tournament had come against Slavia Praha in the 2007-08 season when the Gunners had run a 7-0 riot.
While the first legs of the quarter-final stage will take place on April 8, the second legs have been scheduled to take place on April 15.
Arsenal could face Unai Emery again
As per the semi-final draw, the winner of the second quarter-final – Arsenal vs Slavia Praha – will face the winner of the quarter-final clash between Dinamo Zagreb and Villarreal CF.
And given Unai Emery’s speciality in the tournament, the Spaniard is likely to weave his way past Dinamo to reach the semi-final, where Arsenal are also tipped to advance.
Emery had spent 18 months as Arsenal manager where he had taken the side to the UEFA Europa League final before losing to Chelsea.
On the other hand, the winner of Manchester United vs Granada CF will face the winner between Ajax FC and AS Roma.
The first legs and the second legs of the UEFA Europa League semi-final have been scheduled to take place on April 29 and May 6, respectively.
The UEFA Europa League 2020-21 final will be played at the Gdańsk Arena in Poland on 26 May.
Feature Image Courtesy: AFP/ Marco Bertorello