Manchester United has been handed a nightmare tie against Barcelona in the Europa League play-off draw with Arsenal being made to wait to find out their fate.
The Red Devils finished second in their Europa League group despite having won five out of their six matches. The team twice overcame Sheriff Tiraspol and Omonia Nicosia and rounded off their group stage with a slender 1-0 victory against Real Sociedad in Spain. However, due to the La Liga side’s superior goal difference, it was them who secured an automatic place in the last-16.
The team will now join United’s Premier League rival, Arsenal in the draw for the last-16 which will take place next year after Mikel Arteta ‘s men won their group that included PSV Eindhoven, Bodo/Glimt and FC Zurich.
United, in the meantime, is forced to navigate a clash against Champions League outcast, Barcelona.
The draw for the play-off round took place in Nyon on Monday afternoon with the Red Devils joined by their fellow group runners-up, as well as those clubs that have indeed dropped down from the Champions League.
There was a number of testing ties that could have been produced with the likes of Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, Barcelona, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Red Bull Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sevilla and Juventus all being demoted.
In the end, Erik ten Hag’s men were matched up with the Catalan giants as they attempt to progress to the next stage of the competition.The play-off first legs are scheduled to take place on February 16, with the second legs taking place just a week later on February 23.