In Brief

Europa League 'sensation' as Liverpool face Man United

Rivals meet for the first time in European competition over two legs next month

Liverpool and Manchester United might not be battling it out at the top of the Premier League but they are set for a huge showdown in Europe, after being drawn together in the last 16 of the Europa League.

The two giants of English football will face off next month, with the first leg at Anfield on 10 March, and the stakes are high as the tournament winners will qualify for next season's Champions League, something neither side is likely to achieve otherwise. 

Tottenham Hotspur, the third English club left in the competition, drew Borussia Dortmund and will have a tough task overcoming the German side.

Spanish outfit Valencia, managed by Gary Neville, will face La Liga rivals Athletic Bilbao.

Liverpool and United have never met in European competition and the Daily Mail hails what it calls a "sensational clash" between the two clubs.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, who lost to his United counterpart Louis van Gaal in his only outing against Manchester so far as Liverpool boss, appeared excited by the prospect.

"It's great," he said. "We deserve these games. I told my staff yesterday that I wanted Man United."

However, the Liverpool boss may be fed up with Manchester by the end of next month. The draw means the Merseyside team now face four games against United or Manchester City in under three weeks, notes the Manchester Evening News.

In addition to the two matches against United, the Reds play City in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday and then in the league on 2 March.

Van Gaal, meanwhile, is unlikely to be fazed. He has won all four of his outings against Liverpool as Manchester United boss, most recently at Anfield in January.

Europa League last 16 draw:

Shakhtar Donetsk v Anderlecht

Basel v Sevilla

Villarreal v Bayer Leverkusen

Athletic Bilbao v Valencia

Liverpool v Manchester United

Sparta Prague v Lazio

Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham

Fenerbahce v Braga

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