Red Devils are red hot favourites for Europa League

Last updated : 09 December 2016 By DSG

Jose MourinhoÂ’s Manchester United qualified for the last 32 of the Europa League with a 2-0 win in Ukraine against Zorya Luhansk

The Old Trafford club may have left it to the last game to qualify second in Group A behind Fenerbahce but they have by far the strongest squad in the competition and if they hit form they will be unbeatable.

Armenian superstar Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored his first goal for the club side footing into the net after a solo run

The summer signing from Dortmund spent 4 years playing in the Ukrainian League and seemed to thrive on the second rate pitch

Record signing Paul Pogba played a brilliant through ball for Ibrahimovic to net UnitedÂ’s second.

United will be joined by Tottenham Hotspurs who dropped down from the Champions League after the North London club could only manage third in their group with 2 defeats out of 3 Wembley home games

Southampton failed to make it into the knock out stage with a 1-1 draw at St MaryÂ’s that saw opponents Hapoel Beer Sheva progress.

For the second year running the competition winners will get a berth in next seasons Champions League

It may be the best opportunity for Manchester United and Spurs to get into the “promised land” where the financial rewards are very high

Sevilla benefitted last term and earned a place beating Liverpool in the Europa League final.

This incentive may just be the spark that makes English clubs take the competition more seriously

In the last few years many sides have fielded under par teams in order to rest players for Premier League matches

Spanish clubs have always put a hundred percent into winning the competition and so should Premier League teams

This season it is probably Manchester UnitedÂ’s best chance of silverware, TottenhamÂ’s too.

Back in the day English clubs dominated when it was known as the UEFA Cup (previously the Fairs Cup), bringing the large trophy back to British shores 6 years on the trot between 1967 and 1973. The finals were played over 2 legs, home and away, until 1998.

Here is a list English clubs winning the competition:

1967-68 Leeds United bt Ferencvaros (Hun) 1-0 on aggÂ’

1968-69 Newcastle bt Ujpesti (Hun) 5-3 on aggÂ’

1969-70 Arsenal bt Anderlecht (Bel) 4-3 on aggÂ’

1970-71 Leeds United bt Juventus (Ita) 3-3 on away goals

1971-72 Tottenham bt Wolves 3-2 on aggÂ’

1972-73 Liverpool bt Mönchengladbach (Ger) 3-2 on agg’

If Mourinho can find his best team United have a great chance of entering the pantheon of clubs that have won all three major UEFA trophies, which include the European Champion Clubs' Cup/Champions League, UEFA Cup/Europa League and the Cup Winners' Cup

The last English club to win the Europa League/UEFA Cup was Chelsea in 2013 who added it to their 2012 Champions League trophy and the 1971 Cup WinnerÂ’s Cup to join the select group.

The other clubs to win all 3 competitions are:


European Champion Clubs' Cup: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1995

UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League: 1992

European Cup Winners' Cup: 1987

Bayern Munich

European Champion Clubs' Cup: 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001

UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League: 1996

European Cup Winners' Cup: 1967


European Champion Clubs' Cup: 1985, 1996

UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League: 1977, 1990, 1993

European Cup Winners' Cup: 1984

Source : DSG

Source: DSG