Manchester United have been drawn against Belgian side Anderlecht in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League, following Friday’s draws which took place in Nyon, Switzerland.
The two sides previous meetings include a 10-0 defeat for the visitors in Manchester in the 1956/57 European Champions Clubs’ Cup preliminary round. United won that tie 12-0 on aggregate.
Jose Mourinho’s side are out in search of the only UEFA club trophy that has thus far eluded them. They have not lost in their last six European games (W5 D1), and have won all five of their UEFA Europa League home fixtures this season.
Their only previous quarter-final tie in this competition came in the 1984/85 UEFA Cup when Ron Atkinson’s side lost on penalties to Videoton.
Anderlecht’s last European quarter-final was in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup, where they lost out to Internazionale, and they lost to another Serie A side – Roma – at the same stage in 1990/91.
The tie will bring back happy memories for Zlatan Ibrahimović of United, who scored four there in a UEFA Champions League win for Paris Saint-Germain in 2013.
With five goals since the start of the group stage, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Anderlecht’s Łukasz Teodorczyk are the top scorers left in this season’s competition. Both are three shy of Zenit’s Giuliano and Roma’s Edin Džeko at the top of the leaderboard.
In the other last eight fixtures, French side Lyon will face Beşiktaş, Ajax will play Schalke, while Celta Vigo will slug it out with the other Belgian team in the competition, Genk.
Lyon have made a huge splash in the UEFA Europa League since arriving in the round of 32, scoring 16 goals in four matches – an average of four per game. Their last semi-final was in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League, where they were eliminated by Bayern München. No French team has won the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League.
Beşiktaş are unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League this season since transferring from the UEFA Champions League (W3 D1), and have yet to lose a UEFA game at their new Beşiktaş Arena (W2 D3). Their final goal against Olympiacos on Thursday was their 250th in UEFA competition. They have never been in a semi-final.
The first legs will be played on the 13th of April, while the return fixtures will take place on the 19th.