Celta Vigo have made it to their first major European semi-final, but Manchester United – in the hunt for the one major trophy missing from their cabinet – stand between them and the UEFA Champions League final.
• The clubs are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
• Celta’s record in nine matches against English sides is W5 D0 L4 (W2 D0 L2 in Vigo – W3 D0 L2 in England). They have lost the last three of those games, going down 2-1 at Newcastle in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage in the most recent one.
• United’s record in 47 meetings with Spanish teams is W12 D19 L16 (W9 D9 L4 in Manchester – W2 D10 L10 in Spain). Those ties include three European finals held on neutral territory (W1 L2).
• United have won two of their three European semi-finals against Spanish opposition, all in the European Cup – going on to lift the trophy on both occasions.
• Celta are unbeaten in their last five European matches (W4 D1). They have kept just one clean sheet in six UEFA Europa League home fixtures this season.
• United have not lost in their last eight UEFA Europa League games (W6 D2). Their away record in this season’s competition is W2 D2 L2, averaging exactly a goal a game.
• This is Celta’s first European semi-final.
• United are striving for the only UEFA club trophy that has so far eluded them. This is their first semi-final in the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Manchester to Vigo is around 1,350km.
• Celta’s Iago Aspas and United’s Zlatan Ibrahimović are the highest-scoring players left in the competition with five goals each. Roma’s Edin Džeko and Zenit’s Giuliano top the rankings with eight.
• Aspas faced United twice with Liverpool in the 2013/14 Premier League, his side winning both matches – 1-0 at Anfield and 3-0 at Old Trafford (though Aspas was on the pitch for just a minute).
• Ibrahimović and Celta’s John Guidetti are the only Swedish players still in the competition; this season’s final takes place in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, on Wednesday 24 May.
• Guidetti will also know his way round Manchester; he was with Man. City from 2008–15.
• Celta’s Pablo Hernández is the most fouled player in this season’s UEFA Europa League, with 35 infringements against him.
• Celta have a notable Old Trafford old boy: US-born Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi was on the Red Devils’ books from 2004–07, scoring once in five league outings.
• Eduardo Berizzo played in the UEFA Champions League for Marseille and Celta, the former Argentina centre-back subsequently returning to Europe in 2014 to take charge of the Galician club. He guided them back into Europe with a sixth-place finish in 2015/16.
• José Mourinho took over as United boss last summer. Having made his name winning the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League with Porto, he landed Europe’s top club prize again with Internazionale Milano as well as three Premier League titles during two stints at Chelsea.
• In Mourinho’s last foray in this competition, he steered Porto to the 2003 UEFA Cup final, where they edged Celtic 3-2 in Seville.
• Mourinho faced Celta four times in his final season at Real Madrid (2012/13), his team winning three and losing one (one 2-1 defeat and one 2-1 win at Balaídos).