In Brief

Europa League last-32 draw: Arsenal, Man Utd and Celtic through as group winners

Wolves and Rangers also progress to the knockout rounds

Bukayo Saka was the star for Arsenal as the Gunners drew 2-2 at Standard Liege to top group F of the Uefa Europa League. 

Saka is enjoying his breakout season and last night the 18-year-old scaled new heights as he scored Arsenal’s second to seal a stirring comeback for the north London outfit.

Having all but secured qualification for the last 32 prior to their trip to Belgium, Arsenal would have been denied a passage to the knockout stage of the Europa League only if they’d lost by five goals or more.

That didn’t look likely in a first half that the visitors edged, but they were soon two goals down after the break as Liege benefited from a couple of cruel deflections. 

Alexandre Lacazette pulled a goal back for the Gunners with a powerful header on 78 minutes and then Saka curled in an equaliser three minutes later. 

The result, allied to Vitoria Guimaraes’s shock 3-2 win at Eintracht Frankfurt, meant Arsenal finished top of group F, two points clear of the German outfit. 

Describing Saka’s performance as “amazing”, caretaker Arsenal manager Freddie Ljungberg added: “He’s a tremendous talent and you could see it here again. His final ball and the last bit is always effective and there’s always an end product to his work.”

Magic Mason

Manchester United also had a teenage sensation to thank for their progression into the last 32 with 18-year-old Mason Greenwood scoring twice in his side’s 4-0 thrashing of AZ Alkmaar. 

United’s goals came in a crazy 11-minute period midway through the second half as they recorded their biggest win in Europe since 2016. 

A goal from Ashley Young and a penalty from Juan Mata completed the rout, but it was Greenwood who had manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer purring. 

“That’s what he does,” said the Norwegian. “He’ll do it in training - it is just natural for him and the closer he gets to goal the more dangerous he is. He is a nightmare for defenders.”

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Wolves, Rangers and Celtic also through

Wolves emulated Man Utd in putting four unanswered goals past Besiktas as they finished second in group K, and like the Red Devils all their goals came thick and fast after the break.

Hat-trick hero Diogo Jota scored his first goal on 57 minutes, his second came on 63 and his third on 68. Leander Dendoncker had made it 3-0 on 67 minutes as Wolves gave the Turkish side a second half mauling. 

Rangers were held 1-1 at home to Young Boys, a result that nonetheless sees the Scottish club progress to the knockout phase, along with rivals Celtic, who lost at Cluj but had already topped group E.

Europa League last-32 draw details

Arsenal, Celtic and Man Utd go into Monday’s draw as seeded teams after winning their groups. The 32 clubs will be divided into two pots with the first comprising the 12 group winners plus the four best third-placed teams from the Champions League. 

In the second pot - containing Wolves and Rangers - will be the Europa League group runners-up plus four more teams dropping down from the Champions League.

Rules stipulate that no club from the same country can face each other in the last 32 so Wolves need not worry about drawing United or Arsenal, while there won’t be an Old Firm derby between Celtic and Rangers.

The first legs of the last 32 will be on Thursday 20 February, with the second-leg matches on Thursday 27 February. The seeded teams play at home in the second legs.

Start time and TV coverage

The draw for the last 32 of the Europa League takes place on Monday 16 December at 12pm (GMT). It will be live on BT Sport 1 and live streamed on Uefa.com.

The draw features the 12 group winners and 12 runners-up, plus eight teams transferring from the Champions League after finishing third in their sections.

Also on Monday is the Champions League last-16 draw at 11am.

Who has qualified for the last 32?

Seeded teams
  • Ajax (from Champions League)  
  • Arsenal  
  • Basel  
  • Benfica (from Champions League)  
  • Braga 
  • Celtic 
  • Espanyol  
  • Gent  
  • Internazionale Milano (from Champions League)  
  • İstanbul Başakşehir  
  • LASK  
  • Malmö  
  • Manchester United  
  • Porto  
  • RB Salzburg (from Champions League)  
  • Sevilla 
Unseeded teams 
  • AZ Alkmaar 
  • Bayer Leverkusen (from Champions League)  
  • CFR Cluj  
  • Club Brugge (from Champions League)  
  • Copenhagen  
  • Eintracht Frankfurt 
  • Getafe  
  • Ludogorets  
  • Olympiacos (from Champions League)  
  • Rangers 
  • Roma 
  • Shakhtar Donetsk (from Champions League)  
  • Sporting CP  
  • Wolfsburg 
  • Wolves

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