Milan to face Manchester United in the 2020-21 Europa League Round of 16

The Europa League draw stage on February 26, 2021 in Nyon. (@EuropaLeague)

Milan will face the favorites to win the competition in the next round of the 2020/21 Europa League.

After barely passing the Round of 32, beating Crvena zvezda on away goals (3-3 on aggregate), the Rossoneri today learned who their opponents is in the next stage of the Europa League.

The draw took place on Friday in Nyon, and Milan have been drawn with Premier League giants Manchester United.

Manchester United beat Real Sociedad in the last round (4-0 and 0-0) and they are currently sitting 2nd in the EPL, 10 points behind Manchester City, with 49 points from 25 matches. United are considered the top favorites for the Europa League so Milan on paper got the toughest opponents.

The first leg of the Round of 16 will take place on March 11 at Old Trafford (18:55 CET), while the second leg at San Siro is scheduled for March 18 at 21:00 CET. In between, the Diavolo will be facing Napoli in the league. “For us it will be a stimulating and motivating match, we face the great favorite of the competition. An opponent and a stadium that bring back glorious moments in our history,” coach Stefano Pioli told the news agency ANSA after learning of the draw.

Milan have two players in their squad who wore the Manchester United colors – Diogo Dalot who is on loan from The Devils since the summer, and of course – Zlatan Ibrahimović.

The full Europa League Round of 16 draw. (@EuropaLeague)
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The end of the road.


It was good while it lasted. I mean if red star can dominate us with 10 men at San siro I’m scared to think what United can do to us. Unless of course the team magically turns everything around.


Whatever the result is, it can only be good for the team.


lol thats what im talking about. time for il diavolo rosso vero to destroy the fake red devils.
ibra and leao will take that overpriced and overrated jerry “show me the money” maguire to school on both legs. achtung baby


Only if Pioli gets his team right.

Hopefully, Bennacer will be finally back in action, fully fit and in excellent dominant form and Çalhanoglu can get his mojo back. As for the defence, maybe a back 3 could work. If it remains a back 4, then Kjaer and Tomori should cover the centre.

A midfield trio of Kessie and Bennacer with Tonali m8ght be good. While Çalhanoglu plays behind Ibra and Leao.


soo, a 4-3-1-2 or 3-5-2 u mean? im afraid thats way too milan10ian for john malkovich to comprehend, let alone implement. if there’s an occasion to experiment, it should’ve been vs red star but the chance’s gone. no way he will have balls to change tactics and formation vs roma, even though dzeko and smalldini wont play. no matter the formation, i think man utd’ll be perfect test for an ucl aspiring team like milan. i know many milan players have faced man utd or other big clubs before but not as a team, in ko stages of european comp… Read more »


True. We missed the opportunity to test a new formation for a back 3. But Pioli must bench Romagnoli and play Kjaer & Tomori.

We won’t stand a chance if he persist with starting Romagnoli not even in Serie A.

Also, using Leao and Rebic on the LW/RW to support Ibra is also a good alternative. They are the 3 that has scored the most goals for the team.

Once again though I doubt Pioli will even consider those changes let alone make them.

If he does we will have a good chance against Man United and Roma.


correctamundo mate. i dont get pioli sometimes; even stevie wonder blindfolded in a basement can see how useless castipendejo is as rw and how rebic, brahim or leao would be perfect alternatives .
regarding romag, like i said, he and kjaer are too similar. one of them need to play with fast stopper tomori. based on current performance, kjaer is a no brainer but then again, lately he doesnt really perform like he did before series of injuries


Good or bad?


Good for sure

Riccardo Montolivo

Good and Bad: Pioli will prove himself either as a top coach or as an overachiever caretaker Maldini shows the owners of the club the comparison against another fallen giant. The gap in performances will be a confirmation of the work done or a showcase of the necessary funds to get the team to a higher level Players will show if they are ready for Europa. They’re lacking character, maybe the Ibra-Diaz-Theo effect is fading and that can’t happen, anyone with lazy legs should leave ASAP A win will make their balls grow, a huge defeat may lead us to… Read more »


I agree with this formation and team selection EXCEPT for Romagnoli.

Pioli MUST have the balls to drop him to the bench and play Tomori and Kjaer.

Romagnoli keep making the same mistake over and over again. Game after game.

He’s not learning or improving and in all honesty he’s not a leader on the pitch. If he was he would have defused the situation with Ibra and Lukaku which really started because of him.

Romagnoli is a major liability at this stage in our season and Pioli will risk jeopardizing all the hard work over one player. #Madness!

Riccardo Montolivo

Bro, Romagnoli has also been physically weak, but when he is focused his positioning is good. He is also great when the entire team is applying high pressure. He is exposed because our LB play as a forward and the double 5 are near the box. It’s a tactics problem For better or worst he needs this challenge he needs to be more technical and if he fails then Maldini knows what to do. Trust me, Romagnoli’s career at Milan is disappointing, but he is a starter at the NT. It’s not like there are plenty of good italian CB… Read more »


This is gonna be good!
Red devil vs red devil!

KK Miko

It’s The Devil vs Red Devil


nope, lando is right, its red devils vs red devils. il diavolo rosso IS the red devil in italian. its basic knowledge for milanisti


It’s not “il diavolo rosso”, it’s “il diavolo (rossonero)”. I’m italian by the way


This is good..We bash the Europa league as a distraction, well, our aim has always been top 4 and champions league this season. This is a chance to see what would happen next year when we (hopefully) make it to the UCL. We either

  1. Get destroyed – in which case it’ll show the coach and management that investment is still needed to compete. (which is good)
  2. Win and advance: in which case we will get confidence that we can indeed make it in the UCL and with some tweaks we can challenge for silverware.

Either way it’s good.


This fixture really excites me. We get knocked out of the EL so we can fully focus on chasing top 4. Hopefully management realizes that we can’t compete in Ucl next season with players like Saelemekers, Castillejo, Krunić and Meite.


As a fan I would like nothing more then to win this match but with the way we play it will be one sided for sure


Yes, I’m scared we will get belted here
In the form we are in
Scary …, was hoping for young boys or molde

Roberto Giano

as long as kessie and bennacer in the middle i believe we still have a chance


Oh well, perfect timing. Let our guys face a real opponent in Europe. Allthough, the way we have been playing our real opponents are teams like crvena zvezda. Some of our young guys can get that el experience. On our form topic, i hope pioli or the management are currently consulting with another experienced coach on how to improve our game or something ( wishfull thinking). Because, if we fail to qualify for champions league, next season will be even tougher than previous seasons. Donnaruma, cahl, and many other players will just leave ( not to mention surprises like 50mil… Read more »


This is a great point, never thought about consequences not finishing top four and keeping out top players. Can you remember Monaco under leonardo jardin few seasons ago? They played great attacking football won league and I’m sure they knocked man City out of champiins league twice, they were great to watch. I don’t think he’s at a club at moment, I’d think he be great at milan if we don’t reach our target of champions league.

Riccardo Montolivo

Pioli’s final test. So much history in those badges.

We can lose, I’m expecting that this team can’t handle the fast-paced football of the Premier league. But a 6 goal difference in the aggregate would be too much and enough for me to say that we may be in the need for a new coach for 2022


Romognoli will get carved up v rashford & martial ..
Tomori starting has to be a no brainer here surely ,
Give poor Romognoli a rest ffsake
Hopefully we can get our mojo back in time for this
Showdown of European giants
We have to play our strongest team , please no dalot , he’s a nightmare

Riccardo Montolivo

Pioli will try to play possesion slow football, this means that playing from the back is key, Romagnoli does that job pretty good. But yeah, like Arsenal, atalanta, Inter and Lille he will be destroyed…

Milan need to be compact on the defensive stage, now it’s the time to play 343 or 442 with Leap and Ibra up front. If we go to Manchester on a pissing contest it will be a disaster, now is the time to play cattenaccio


Hope this is the last match in EL for milan. I prefer to see milan reach top 4 in the league rather than winning EL..Next year we must get rid of all dead woods (samu,krunic,dalot,meite even romanigli) in team, and get proper players to have better team depth for Champions League. And most importantly, Pioli must really do his homework and have 2-3 formations in mind to cope with tough competitions.


er, u DO know winning EL means winning the only european comp milan havent won AND automatic ucl spot next season right?


are you really convinced that milan can WIN EL??they struggeld to get past red star. The further we go the tougher the opponents is. And you can’t just rotate the players anymore. We will play in tight schedule, risking losing player due to injuries/fatigue. And we don’t have good squad depth. Just see how the team miss bennacer. Will you count on the lads like samu,krunic,dalot,meite against tough team?? The objective is clear, back in CL. Now we must just focus on 1 way to reach it. Finish top 4 for me is currently more realistic than winning EL.


“are you really convinced that milan can WIN EL??” not really but u said “i prefer to see milan reach top 4 in the league rather than WINNING EL” not “i prefer to see milan reach top 4 in the league rather than going all out in EL to try to win it exhausting the players in the process”. there’s big difference. of course milan must prioritize serie a because its much easier to finish top 4 than actually winning a tournament. ffs milan couldnt even reach coppa italia final. i understand that. but winning el IS a bigger achievement… Read more »


It is nothing to do with coward or loser. It’s about being realistic. 2 legs against 10 men Red Star showed us that you can’t expect “the weaker milans team” to play to win. They are just not capable doing it. I am sure that they gave all in the field,they are professionals but the result doesn’t lie. We should take it step by step. I am happy to see milan start doing well after being a medicore shit teams in the last 5/6 years in the league. Imo being consistent in the league is therefore more important for now… Read more »


then u shouldn’t have said “i prefer to see milan reach top 4 in the league rather than winning EL”, thats wrong sentence. like i said, u should’ve said “i prefer to see milan reach top 4 in the league rather than going all out in EL to try to win it exhausting the players in the process”. to make ur point, because actually winning el would be much better accomplishment than finishing top 4. no one, not even pioli himself, said milan will win it but to hope milan will lose vs man utd, thats loser mentality. do u… Read more »


Wow you thought milan 2007 was not in a good shape. They were probably not the best in all history but they were clearly better than the team now. They beat european best teams ( Munich,MU, Liverpool)to win CL at that time while the team now struggled against Red Star and spezia. It seems you are confused with the mean being realistic(prioritising) and loser. If you have all resources/capabilities to cope with two hard competitions, and you just give up one of them then you are loser. BUT if you have limited resources to deal with 2 things which lead… Read more »


BREAKING NEWS andriy “the giant” silva just scored his 20th goals of the season. like i said way back, he’ll be 1st milanista since ibra and bacca to score 20 goals/season. now he’s officially scored more goals than kalinimovic, cutrone, jovic, piatek and cavani combined, and he did it in just 23 local games (a staggering 0.87 goal/game ratio) without competing in europe. der bomber. funny that milan are/were targetting mandzukic, kramaric etc when ibra’s heir was right there within their own grasp. now its too late and like i said, andriy will play and score for other clubs, like… Read more »

Riccardo Montolivo

To make things worst, Revive is underperforming FFS…


rebic u mean? yeah its a damn shame that freak elbow injury and covid really messed up his flow; he was so good last season. the thing about winger like rebic is that, while he’s fast and is a good dribbler, he needs teammates around him to feed him the ball, be it through balls or just simple one-two passes dissecting opponents flank because he’s not a creator like figo, zidane or dinho. in form theo, hakan and ibra used to be the ones rebic could trade passes with but lately theo and hakan are so out of form and… Read more »

Riccardo Montolivo

You didn’t disagree on the moment mate… It’s a deal that worked for both teams. Anyway, I trust Rebic and he got a few years on his legs, the main problem is Pioli who in all his career he starts on a good feet and then he gets sacked. Maybe he is as crazy as some insiders claims. Remember when Montella and Rino played 433 without a lw? Now we are playing a winger dependant formation without rw. Right now we need a 2 st formation you are totally right on this one. 4231 worked for almost a year now… Read more »

Riccardo Montolivo

In the last month Milan has been playing very slow possession football, they try to play short passes and suffocate the opponent with possession. Come on… They kill us with counter attacks.

This team needs to play compact on the defensive stage and feed the forwards with long balls there is no other way around right now.

3 Romagnoli, Tomori, Kjaer
5 Theo, Ben, H10(am), Kes, Cal
2 Reb,Ibra

Let’s be honest, our wingplay has been crap lately, why deploying two? Protect donna and crowd the middle and attack with 4


regarding slow possession, thats a very bad idea from pioli. barcelona started to fall apart because they kept doing this sterile, slow possession only for opponents who had fast wingers like madrid or bayern to hit them with fast counter attack.
no, milan need to be fast on the transition from defence to attack. the 6 sec rule. milan implemented this so well when they won vs juve and inter last year but for some reason they dont use it anymore. dumb


“You didn’t disagree on the moment mate” er, not really. what i said was “shame that talented player like silva have to go permanently but if it means that milan can get rebic permanently in return then im all for it.“ thats like saying “i dont want to go mall to accompany this hot chick but if it allows me to go to 3rd base then why not.” it means i’d rather not go to mall and still go to 3rd base but going to mall is next best thing. get it? i’d rather still keep silva AND get rebic… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by Milan10

regarding formations, i said these during and after atalanta drubbing: “Milan10 1 year ago Reply to Nesta1 correctamundo mate. 4-4-2 or 3-4-1-2 are best choices for milan. milan is 2 st club, lets honour the tradition” “ Milan10 1 year ago Reply to dapito ..theo as lm in 4-4-2 or 3-4-1-2 would be good idea.” and many more similar things (way) before and after that fateful match. tall ibra and mandzukic are great post player and rebic, leao, hell even brahim or hauge are fast and skillful enough to be ss. just cross the damn ball and eventually some will… Read more »


What do you think about 433 with Kessie and Bennacer beside Tonali. Tonali would finally get to play as a register. Milan can then play a front 3 of Rebic LW – ST Ibra-Mandzukic RW. Rebic and Mandzukic played on the L & R wings for Croatia and they did well making it to the final. With this formation Pioli would definitely bring out best in our midfield and from 3. Change Romagnoli for Tomori. And problem solved at the back with any drastic formation change to back 3. Drop Calhanoglu for Tonali. Drop Castellijo/Saelemaekers for mandzukic. ———————–Donnarumma——————— —Calabria—Kjaer—-Tomori———Theo—— ——-Kessie———Tonali——Bennacer———… Read more »

Riccardo Montolivo

Bessie and Caalhanoglu is the best midfield in years, Rino tried to use Kessie as a box-to-box attacker, and didn’t work out. Ben is awful when he shoots so nah.

Tonali can’t deliver a good long pass, honestly, I don’t know if the guy is a Biglia or a Locatelli.

Mandzo is fine physically speaking for his age, but a wing is too much. He must only get minutes if Ibra is on the bench, we need the speed of Rebic and Leao near the goal, not on the wing.


Mandzukic played as a winger for Croatia and Juventus and he did very well there.

Kessie and Bennacer played as mezzala for Atalanta and Algeria. Tonali played as a regista for Brescia and did well there.

So I disagree with your statement.


yeah i agree 4-3-3 could work now. couldnt work back then with crutone, kalinimovic or piatek as st but yes it could now. why? like i said last season, now that milan finally have complete st who can pass in ibra (and mandzukic), milan CAN use 4-3-3. back then i mentioned this: cala – romag – kjaer – theo paqueta – kessie – ben rebic – ibra – leao. but paqueta is gone now so now milan can field this instead: cala – tomori – kjaer/romag – theo tonali – kessie – ben rebic – ibra – leao. – tomori… Read more »


Ok. Good point about Kessie playing DM. He played there for Ivory Coast. I don’t think we should keep Romagnoli and Calhanoglu though especially if we stick with a back 4 and switch to 433 to get the best out of Tonali who is younger. Calhanoglu doesn’t do anything in a 433 and he’s too inconsistent for to pay him the salary he’s demanding. We can sign Soumare and Sanchez from Lille for addition strength in midfield and Ikone for RW next season. Ikone is stronger and faster than Thauvin and he puts in a lot more defensive work than… Read more »


GOOOOALLL! @ Hellas Verona.

Ross Oneri

These are the times Milan rise to the occasion, if Kessie, Bennacer and Calhanoglu are available for this game then I think we will beat Man Utd.


Until Bennacer is back, we shud use this team in matches against tough teams like Roma/UTD

These are the best players we have right now and the most dangerous. It’s time we started playing them together

Roma, Gabbia, Tonali, Meite, Diaz, Hauge, Mario shud be subs.
The rest shud be left at home. Maybe keep saladman as a backup Rb/Rw