Europa League Last 16: Manchester United faces AC Milan in standout fixture

While Milan have had the better of United in three European Cup semi-finals, United beat the Italian giant 7-2 on aggregate the last time they met in 2010

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns to his former club, Manchester United where he won his first and only Europa League.   -  REUTERS

Seven-time European champion AC Milan has been drawn to play Manchester United in what is the standout tie in next month's Europa League round of 16.

Ajax Amsterdam, the four-time European champion, will take on Swiss club Young Boys, while North London Clubs Arsenal and Tottenham face Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb respectively.

Slavia Prague's reward for knocking out Leicester City is a two-legged tie against Scottish champions-elect Rangers.

European debutant Granada of Spain will face Norwegian club Molde while AS Roma faces a tough tie against seasoned European contender Shakhtar Donetsk.

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Three-time semi-finalists Villarreal will take on Dynamo Kiev.

No German or French clubs made it to the last 16. The ties will take place on March 11 and 18, with this season's final taking place in Gdansk where the eventual winner will take a place in next season's Champions League.

A clash between Milan and three-time European champion United will loom large over the last 16 for several reasons.

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The clubs have met in three European Cup semi-finals, Milan winning all of them, but have not faced each other since 2010 when United won 7-2 on aggregate in the last 16 of the Champions League. It will also mean Milan's veteran Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be up against his old club, where he won his first and only Europa League.

United, second in the Premier League, reached the last-16 with a comfortable 4-0 aggregate win over Real Sociedad while Milan, second in Serie A, struggled past Red Star Belgrade, winning on away goals.

For Tottenham and Arsenal, the Europa League offers their most likely routes into the Champions League as they are ninth and 11th respectively in the Premier League.

Arsenal needed a late goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Thursday to see it past Benfica 4-3 on aggregate while Tottenham convincingly beat Austrian side Wolfsberg.

Arsenal will return to Athens for the second round in succession after the "home" leg of its tie against Benfica on Thursday was played at Olympiakos's stadium because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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