The UEFA Europa League round of 16 draw is out as Manchester United and Liverpool gear up to face each other for the first time in this tournament. As fans and pundits expressed their views on the matter, some fans went so far as to suggest that the tie would probably garner more attention than the Champions League matches this season.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) February 26, 2016
Paddy Power perfectly described how high profile the Europa League has become following this draw.
The Europa League… pic.twitter.com/HS3NLtQdcp
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) February 26, 2016
Bayer Leverkusen seem to be quite confident about their chances of making it to the quarter final stage of the competition.
Long time no see – nice to meet again @VillarrealCF!
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04fussball) February 26, 2016
Even Gary Lineker seemed to be pointing out the importance of the round of 16 draw, for North London club Tottenham Hotspur.
2 footballing Giants have been drawn together in the Europa league as Dortmund face Spurs. Elsewhere Manchester United take on Liverpool.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 26, 2016
However, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was of a completely different opinion. He seemed to be suggesting that this is exactly the tie that his staff wanted at this stage of the competition.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 26, 2016
Well, whether they wanted this draw or not, it is certainly a one of a kind fixture between these two teams who have played more than a hundred and fifty games against each other. This is the first time Manchester United and Liverpool will face each other in a Europa League match.
Here are the best reactions after the draw was announced.
1 – Liverpool and Manchester United will face each other in European competition for the first time. Monster.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 26, 2016
— Swapnaneel Parasar (@Swapyo) February 26, 2016
Great Europa League draw for LFC, if we win happy days if we lose LVG will probably stay!!
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 26, 2016
Some fans however, were reluctant to express their enthusiasm following the draw.
Liverpool v Man Utd in Europa League last 16 is quite a sobering thought for both clubs as to how far they’ve fallen from Europe’s elite.
— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) February 26, 2016
However, whether the competition is important to the two teams or not, the sheer rivalry between the two clubs alone gives this draw an added importance. It will not be surprising if it drew more attention than some of the Champions League matches this season.
Liverpool v Man United has the potential to be watched by more people than most of the next round of CL games. Viva Europa!
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) February 26, 2016