News ID: 173398
Published: 0752 GMT December 07, 2016

Europa League point will do it for draw-weary Manchester United

Europa League point will do it for draw-weary Manchester United
Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk players leave the pitch following their UEFA Europa League Group A match against Manchester United, at Old Trafford in Manchester on September 29, 2016.
PAUL ELLIS/AFP

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United faces Zorya Luhansk today knowing that a draw in the frigid Ukraine will propel his side into the knockout stages of the Europa League.

The Premier League side however will want to go through in style with victory, even if Europe's second-tier competition does not feature at the top of its priorities in Mourinho's first season in charge, AFP reported.

The Old Trafford side will also be eager to end a bout of frustrating draws, the latest being a 1-1 stalemate at Everton at the weekend when Mourinho's men conceded an 89th-minute equalizer from the spot.

The Zorya match — Thursday is the last phase of Europa League group games — will take place in Odessa, southern Ukraine, a four-hour flight from northern England and where temperatures will hover around freezing by evening kickoff.

Zorya might already be out of the competition, but United's French forward Anthony Martial is not expecting the Ukrainians just to lie down.

"It is very different, not just the supporters but the weather. Over there, it's really cold at this time of the season," Martial told MUTV.

"But it's down to us to come to terms with that, adapt to the environment we find ourselves in and get the victory we need."

He added, "We're expecting a difficult encounter. Things went quite well for us in the home game (1-0 to United) but it'll be different over there.

"They'll be in front of their own supporters and will be determined to make life difficult for us to get a result, so we'll be on our guard."

United will also go through to the last 32 with defeat if Feyenoord fails to beat Fenerbahce at home in the other Group A fixture.

In all, 11 last-32 places are still up for grabs in Europa League group games.

Ajax, Roma, Zenit and Schalke are among the sides already through, but Inter Milan is early casualty with nothing to play for.

   
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Resource: AFP
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