Manchester United take a break from the Premier League tonight as they turn their attention to Europe. The Red Devils are up Italian big-house in AC Milan in the last 16 of the Europa League, with the first leg taking place at Old Trafford on Thursday (March 11, 5.55pm kick-off).
The second leg is due to be played at the San Siro next week as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men look to progress to the quarter-finals.
United go into the home leg on the back of their impressive 2-0 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
That result left them second in the Premier League table, still 11 points behind leaders City. It is a similar tale in Italy, with Milan second in Serie A, six points adrift of arch rivals Inter.
That said, let’s take a look at five insights between these two side ahead of their last 16 of the Europa League showdown:
1. Tonight’s meeting will be the 11th meeting between Man United and Milan in the European competition, with all 10 previous meetings coming in the European Cup/Champions League fixtures.
2. Manchester United have been eliminated from four of their five knockout ties with the San Siro outfits, with no side eliminating the Red Devils more often in the UEFA European competition than this side.
3. In their last meeting in March 2010, the Premier League side won 4-0 against AC Milan – making it the Italian side join-heaviest defeat in major UEFA European competition, excluding the Super Cups.
4. When reaching the last 16 stage of a major European competition, AC Milan have been eliminated on six of their last seven occasions, this after progressing from nine consecutive such ties from 1988-2007. Milan only progression over this period was against another English side (Arsenal F.C) in the UEFA Champions League 2011-12 season.
5. Despite playing in six UEFA Champions League group stage matches this season, Man United’s Bruno Fernandes is the top scorer in the UEFA Europa League since the start of last season, with 10 goals from 12 appearances for the Portuguese, at an average of 94 minutes per goal.
Insight’s source: Google