Manchester United to face Barcelona in Europa League play-off round

Manchester United have been drawn against Barcelona in the Europa League knockout play-off round.

The Catalan giants have dropped down into the competition after failing to get out of their Champions League group but now provide a stern test for Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils, who finished second in their Europa League group.

United will travel to the Nou Camp on February 16 for the first leg of the tie, with the return at Old Trafford taking place on February 23.

The Red Devils have some fond memories of the Nou Camp, having completed the 1999 treble in the stadium with a last-gasp victory over Bayern Munich in that year’s Champions League final.

Barcelona manager Xavi reacted to the draw, telling a press conference: “We will have to compete, going to Manchester against a really top rival and an historic side which has grown a lot with the arrival of (Erik) ten Hag.

“(They have) great individual players and it is the toughest rival once again in the Europa League.”

Arsenal, who won their Europa League group, have already progressed to the last 16 of the competition.

Sevilla, who have won the Europa League six times, have also dropped down into the competition from the Champions League and will take on Dutch side PSV Eindhoven in the first knockout round.

Juventus, who like Barcelona remain supporters of the Super League concept yet find themselves in the continent’s second-tier competition, must overcome French side Nantes to secure a place in the last 16 in March.

Jose Mourinho’s Roma, who won last season’s inaugural Europa Conference League competition, are up against Austrian league champions RB Salzburg, while Shakhtar Donetsk take on French side Rennes.

Portuguese league runners-up Sporting have been paired against Midtjylland of Denmark, Ajax face Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen take on Monaco.