Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

United's eggs in one basket for Champions League push

United's eggs in one basket for Champions League push

Keane, who won seven Premier League titles and a Champions League in an incredibly successful twelve-year spell at Old Trafford, has been a vocal critic of his former side and Mourinho throughout the season.

Celta Vigo will draw inspiration from Athletic Bilbao's 2012 victory over Manchester United when they face Jose Mourinho's side in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday, says coach Eduardo Berizzo.

Manchester United's decision to prioritise the Europa League over a top-four finish is "naive" and a "massive risk", according to Paul Ince. It doesn't matter what happened before, what matters most is the next one.

Failure to play in the Champions League again next season would represent another financial blow for United.

All Liverpool fans will unite as Iago Aspas fans on Thursday in the hope he can derail Manchester United's pursuit of Champions League football. I would like to play more but I've tried to help the team on and off pitch.

Former United captain Keane has slammed the Red Devils' performance under Mourinho, claiming the Portuguese tactician should be "embarrassed" by the club's place in the league.

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Despite securing a 1-0 win over Celta de Vigo in the first leg of the semi-final United still have to do a job in the second leg at Old Trafford. They only have to look back to their round of 32 tie against Shakhtar Donetsk for inspiration: in the first leg, they were similarly beaten 1-0 at home before winning the away leg 2-0 in Ukraine against much more experienced European opposition.

"I see a difference between matches", Mourinho said.

"I think in terms of motivation, we are even", Mourinho said.

United have never won the Europa League tournament, so winning here and then again in two weeks in Stockholm (where the opponent will nearly certainly be Ajax), would indeed break new ground for the club. That, together with their current travails in front of goal means that we expect Utd to continue their excellent defensive at home in this competition and ease through to the final. This, having spent around £500million on players since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

"If we can win the Europa League, that will be three trophies in his first season".

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