The headline tie of the Europa League Round of 16 was certainly two European heavyweights meeting again in Milan and Manchester United.
Milan drew the Premier League title challengers during today’s last 16 draw in Nyon, and the first leg will be played at Old Trafford with the return leg at San Siro a week later. The first leg will be played on Thursday 11 March in England, while the second leg is scheduled for Thursday 18 March.
The signs are actually good for the Rossoneri. In fact, Manchester United have been eliminated from four of their five UEFA European knockout ties against Milan. No side has eliminated the Red Devils more often, with Real Madrid also having done it four times.
The first time United knocked Milan out came in the most recent tie as they overturned a 3-2 first leg deficit to win 4-0 at Old Trafford. The time before that, Milan prevailed 5-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the Champions League after ‘La Partita Perfetta’ (the perfect game) in the second leg at San Siro.
Milan beat United 2-0 on aggregate in the last 16 of the 2004-05 Champions League with 1-0 wins in each game, and also prevailed in the semi-final meetings in the European Cup in the 1950s and 1960s.