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24th Feb 2017

Manchester United face long trip for next round of the Europa League

The draw has been made...

Robert Redmond

The draw for the last 16 of the Europa League has been made, and Manchester United face a long trip.

Jose Mourinho’s side will play FC Rostov from Russia for a place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

The first leg of the tie will be played on March 9 in Russia, with the return leg on March 16 at Old Trafford.

Rostov finished second in the Russian league last season, and entered the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group, which also contained Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven.

They knocked out Sparta Prague in the last round of the Europa League, winning the tie 5-1 on aggregate. United advanced after recording a comfortable 4-0 win on aggregate over French team Saint-Etienne.

The games could cause Mourinho a headache, and he’s unlikely to be happy about the schedule as United play Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on March 13.

Before Friday’s draw was made, Mourinho took issue with the decision to stage the Chelsea game on the Monday evening after the first leg of the Europa League game, and a few days before the return leg.

‘I feel really surprised that the decision (to play on Monday) was made before our draw in Europe because at this moment nobody knows where we play, or where the first and second matches are.

“Imagine we play Chelsea on Monday and go to the second match in Europe in Russia, Turkey or Greece? I think once more the interests are going in front of the clubs and English football’s interests, and nobody cares about it.”

Here’s the full draw for the last-16 of the Europa League: