Pogba brothers set to collide in Europa League

Manchester United will play French side St Etienne in the last 32 of the Europa League.

United qualified as Group A runners-up and were paired with Christophe Galtier’s team, who beat Anderlecht in their final Group C game to pip the Belgian outfit to top spot.

Tottenham were handed the short trip to Belgium to face Group H runners-up Gent, who qualified by winning their final match against Konyaspor.

United boss Jose Mourinho welcomed the short trip to France after a Group A campaign which saw his side travel to Turkey and Ukraine to face Fenerbahce and Zorya Luhansk respectively.

“The good thing is the travel,” he said. “We were very unlucky in the group stage... now we go to France.”

The tie pits United’s Paul Pogba, the world’s most expensive player, against his brother Florentin who plays in Les Verts’ defence.

“It’s nice, it’s a nice thing,” said Mourinho. “Paul will be laughing, and for sure his brother will also be laughing.

“I think it’s nice, it’s happened in the history of football a few times and it’s nice.”

The French side seemed excited to be welcoming United, posting a simple response on Twitter which read: “#UELdraw OMG !”

As in their Champions League campaign, which ended with a third-placed finish in Group E, Tottenham will play the home leg of the tie at Wembley Stadium.

Elsewhere, the draw threw up several enticing fixtures — perhaps none more so than Serie A high-fliers Roma being paired with Villarreal.

Fiorentina take on Borussia Monchengladbach, Lyon tackle AZ Alkmaar, while Shakhtar Donetsk, top scorers in the group stage and the only team to win all six of their games, will play Celta Vigo.

Besiktas, whose stadium was the site of a terrorist attack on police in Istanbul following their Super Lig game against Bursaspor at the weekend, will take on Israel’s Hapoel Be’er-Sheva.

First-leg ties will be played on February 16, with the return fixtures on February 23 except for St Etienne against United and Fenerbahce v Krasnodar, which take place on February 22.

Europa League Round of 32 draw:

Athletic Bilbao v Apoel Nicosia Legia Warsaw v Ajax Anderlecht v Zenit St Petersburg FC Astra Giurgiu v Genk Man Utd v St Etienne Villarreal v Roma Ludogorets v FC Copenhagen Celta Vigo v Shakhtar Donetsk Olympiacos v Osmanlispor AA Gent v Tottenham Rostov v Sparta Prague Krasnodar v Fenerbahce Borussia M’gladbach v Fiorentina AZ v Lyon Hapoel Beer Sheva v Besiktas PAOK Salonika v Schalke 04


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