Europa League semi-final draw - as it happened: Manchester United face Celta Vigo, Lyon to take on Ajax

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A recap of the Europa League semi-final draw from Nyon

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The Independent Football

Manchester United will will discover on Friday who they will face in the Europa League semi-final draw.

Jose Mourinho's side beat Anderlecht 2-1 in Thursday's second leg at Old Trafford, clinching a 3-2 aggregate victory and book their spot in the last four..

Lyon, Ajax and Celta Vigo join them in the semi-finals, having beated their respective opponents - Besiktas, Genk and Schalke 04 - retain hopes of reaching the final next month.

With a place in next season's Champions League the reward for winning the Europa League, United are determined to win Europe's second-tier competition given they are currently in a fight with Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal to finish in the top four.

Follow the draw live below:

Live Updates

Who will win the Europa League?
Good morning and welcome to the Europa League semi-final live draw. Manchester United are England's last representatives in Europe and are just three wins away from securing a spot in the Champions League. Easier said than done, though, and if their performance last night is anything to go by then nothing is guaranteed.
 
The last four:
  • Manchester United 
  • Lyon 
  • Celta Vigo
  • Ajax 
United certainly made hard work of their quarter-final tie last night, with the visitors taking it to extra-time as they forced Mourinho's men to the very edge. In the end, it fell to man-of-the-moment Marcus Rashford who struck early on in the second half of extra-time to bring a sigh of relief to Old Trafford and book United's place in the last four. 
 
Read more about it below:
 
There was plenty to take from the game, too. Here's five things we learned:
 
United may have squeezed past their Belgian opponents but it came at a cost. Both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo hobbled off with injuries to further heighten the club's mounting injury crisis.

Asked about the condition of the pair, Mourinho said: “I want to wait, but my feeling is not good for both.

“I want to wait and try to be optimistic, but I am not.”

United have at least nine games remaining this season, with seven Premier League fixtures added to by the Europa League semi-final two-legged affair and a possible final appearance increasing that number to 10, all within the next five weeks.

But with Ibrahimovic yet to decide his future beyond the end of the season – a one-year contract extension with United is yet to be completed – he may have played his last game for the Premier League club if the injury does prove serious.
 
The Champions League draw is about to get under way. Follow it live below: 
 
Thursday night's quarter-final round-up:
 
French side Lyon secured their place in the last-four in dramatic circumstances, winning a 7-6 sudden-death penalty shootout victory at Besiktas.

Talisca scored the opening goal of a pulsating match after 27 minutes before Alexandre Lacazette ensured Lyon, 2-1 up from the first leg, were back in charge of the tie with his fine finish moments later.

But Talisca added his second of the night shortly before the hour mark to take the game to extra time, and latterly penalties, only for Lyon to prevail after captain Maxime Gonalons converted the decisive spot-kick.
 
Read all about it here:
 
Lyon profile:
UEFA club ranking: 25
Entry: round of 32 (via UCL group stage)
Route to semis: 11-2 AZ, 5-4 Roma, 3-3 Beşiktaş (aet, won 7-6 on pens)
UCUP/UEL campaigns: 13
UCUP/UEL best: semi-finals (2016/17)
Semi-final record: N/A
Domestic titles: 7
European titles: N/A
Last season: 2nd in Ligue 1
This season: 4th in Ligue 1
 
Lyon celebrate their thrilling victory
 
Ajax profile:
 
UEFA club ranking: 28
Entry: group stage (after losing in UCL PO)
Route to semis: Group G winners, 1-0 Legia, 3-2 København, 4-3 Schalke (aet)
UCUP/UEL campaigns: 25
UCUP/UEL best: winners (1991/92)
Semi-final record: W1 L0
Domestic titles: 33
European titles: 4 European Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
Last season: 2nd in Dutch Eredivisie
This season: 2nd in Dutch Eredivisie
 
Schalke vs Ajax
 
It may have been another win for Mourinho last night but the United boss was typically downcast and gloomy after the final whistle.

The Portuguese said that his English defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones need to be braver, by helping the club through a looming central defensive crisis. Mourinho, who implied he was deeply pessimistic about the injuries sustained by Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 2-1 Europa League quarter final win over Anderlecht, said that he would be prepared to come back from injury far sooner than Jones and Smalling. "Tomorrow," would be his target, he said. 

Mourinho said that Smalling and Jones had to play through the pain. “We have [Eric] Bailly and [Daley] Blind who have experience and it’s time for Jones and Smalling to be brave - to [take a] risk - because for the team you have to do everything. You can’t do miracles but you have to try to do everything to accelerate the process.

Both players will be bemused by his comments, with Smalling already having been criticised by the Portuguese for pulling out of a game at Swansea City when he had broken a toe, earlier this season.
 
Read more below:
 
Celta Vigo profile:
 
UEFA club ranking: 57
Entry: group stage
Route to semis: Group G runners-up, 2-1 Shakhtar, 4-1 Krasnodar, 4-3 Genk
UCUP/UEL campaigns: 8
UCUP/UEL best: semi-finals (2016/17)
Semi-final record: N/A
Domestic titles: 0
European titles: N/A
Last season: 6th in Spanish Liga
This season: 10th in Spanish Liga
 
Celta Vigo celebrate after booking their place in the last four
 
Champions League semi-final draw:
  • Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid
  • Juventus vs Monaco

Champions League semi-final line-up revealed

Happy with the draw? At least this way there won't be another all-Madrid final which, in my opinion, is definitely a good thing.
Roy Keane didn't hold back in his criticism of Manchester United last night after they squeezed past Anderlecht in extra-time.

Jose Mourinho’s men missed a number of chances to put the game to bed in normal time, but failed to take advantage of their visitors’ shortcomings - as had been the case in Brussels seven days’ previously.

And Keane, who led United to Champions League success in 1999, was cutting in his assessment of his former club.
 
Not impressed.
 
“They were quick out of the blocks, as you would expected from United at home and they got their noses in front,” said Keane, speaking on ITV. “But my goodness, the finishing was so poor it was unbelievable.

“It summed up their season. You can see now why they are fifth in the league, why they are 15 points behind Chelsea…not good enough in terms of their finishing and being clinical.

“Ultimately, you get punished for that, but they are getting away with it because they are playing lesser opposition in the Europa League.”
Not long to go now, stay tuned!
Right, here we go. Cue overly dramatic music, unnecessarily long build-up and a quick anti-climax.
 
Who will United get? We'll find out shortly.
On a quick side note, it looks like there could be some positive injury news for United fans. More below.
 
For those of you who didn't know, this year's final will be played in Stockholm. An expensive away day by all accounts.
Currently waiting for the officials to get round to the draw as a representative from Stockholm accepts the honour of hosting the final.
 
I did you warn you there'd be an unnecessarily long build-up...
Time for the overly dramatic music and game replays I also mentioned...
Okay, we're almost there. The balls are in the bowl. Crackin' stuff.

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When is the draw?

The draw takes place in Nyon on Friday 21 April, following the completion of the quarter final ties on Thursday.

What time is the draw?

Proceedings will begin at 12.00pm BST, with the draw following shortly after.

Where can I watch it?

It will be shown live on BT Sport 2.

If, however, you cannot watch the draw, you can bookmark this article which will turn into The Independent’s live blog.

How does it work?

As per usual at this stage of the competition, the draw is unseeded and there will be no ‘country protection’, meaning teams from the same domestic league can be drawn against each other.

The team drawn first will play the first leg at home, with those drawn second away.

mourinho-angry.jpg
Mourinho's United will go into the semi-final draw as favourites (Getty)

Who's in the draw?

Manchester United, Lyon, Celta Vigo and Ajax go into the draw and can all face each other.

When will the Europa League semi-finals take place?

This year’s semi-final first legs will be played on 4 May, with the return legs played the following week on 11 May.

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