Europa League Semi-final draw

The UEFA Europa League Semi-final draw was held in Nyon today as the remaining teams learned of their next opposition.

The draw is as follows:

  • Ajax v Lyon
  • Celta Vigo v Manchester United

The winner of semi-final 1 will be considered the home team in the final with the winner of semi-final 2 the designated away team.

Ajax take on Lyon for a place in the Europa League final. The Dutch side have impressed this season and knocked out Schalke last time out to earn a place in the last four. Lyon defeated Turkish side Besiktas on penalties last night and have already knocked out AS Roma.

Ajax and Lyon’s four previous meetings all came in the UEFA Champions League group stage. The Dutch side won home (2-1) and away (2-0) in the first group stage in 2001/02, before two 0-0 draws in 2011/12.

Celta Vigo have been quietly going about their business this season and defeated Genk to earn a spot in the last four. Manchester United required extra-time to see of Anderlecht last night. The English side will be slight favourites heading into this one but should not underestimate their Spanish opponents.

Celta’s record against English clubs is W5 D0 L4, although they have lost their last three games – against Arsenal in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League round of 16 (2-3 h, 0-2 a) and Newcastle in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage (1-2 a).

That first-leg defeat against Arsenal in 2004 ended a run of five successive victories against Premier League opposition, home and away.

The first legs will be on Thursday 4th May, with the returns taking place on the Thursday the 12th.

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