Manchester United are potentially just 90 minutes from reaching the Europa League final, which would also draw them another step closer to securing Champions League football for next season. Manager Jose Mourinho has conceded that the club’s hopes of doing that by finishing in the top four is now ‘impossible’ and this competition could prove to be a defining moment for United over the next few seasons.
Without getting carried away, however, they only lead opponents Celta Vigo by one goal, and if they concede as they did twice at the weekend against Arsenal, they are back to square one. Although they do lead, it is a slender one, and United could be made to rue missed chances in the first leg which should have seen them out of sight. Instead, they are at risk of falling foul to the away goals rule, and in Iago Aspas and John Guidetti, Celta Vigo have genuine goal threats.
That said, the Galician club are in terrible form, losing all of their last five games in a run which includes a 3-0 defeat against fellow mid table outfit Malaga in their last fixture. They have next to nothing to play for domestically, so an improved performance in their second leg Europa League semi-final can be expected, but it must be said that they will be low on confidence heading into their trip to the North of England.