Europa League last 32 draw: Manchester United face Saint-Etienne; Europa League: Paul Pogba to face his brother as United meet St Etienne; Jose Mourinho cancels Christmas for United players, staff . . .
Europa League Last 32 Draw: Man Utd face Saint-Etienne
Europa League (NigerianEye) — Manchester United have been drawn against Saint-Etienne in the last 32 of the Europa League. The Ligue 1 side topped Group C, which included Anderlecht, Mainz and FK Qabala, and are currently eighth in the French top tier.
Paul Pogba will have the chance to go up against his brother Florentin, who currently plays for Saint-Etienne. Manchester United have been drawn against Saint-Etienne in the last 32 of the Europa League.
Short BIO: AS Saint-Étienne
Association Sportive de Saint-Étienne Loire commonly known as AS Saint-Étienne, ASSE, or simply Saint-Étienne) is a French association football club based in Saint-Étienne. The club was founded in 1919 and currently plays in Ligue 1, the top division of French football. Saint-Étienne plays its home matches at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard located within the city. The team is managed by Christophe Galtier and captained by Loïc Perrin. Saint-Étienne is known as Les Verts meaning “the Greens” due to its home colors.
Saint-Étienne is, arguably, the most successful club in French football history having won ten Ligue 1 titles, six Coupe de France titles, a Coupe de la Ligue title and five Trophée des Champions (the French Super Cup). The club’s ten league titles are the most professional league titles won by a French club.
Europa League: Pogba To Face Brother As Man United Meet St Etienne
Europa League (Vanguard) — Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba could face his brother Florentin after the Jose Mourinho’s side were drawn against St Etienne in the Europa League round of 32, a tie which will also stir memories of the dark days of hooliganism in the 1970s. The sides met in the old European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1977-78 but the first leg in St Etienne was marred by violence involving United supporters.
The English side were kicked out of the competition by UEFA but were reinstated on appeal and ordered to play their home leg outside Manchester, choosing to stage the game in Plymouth in south-west England. They won the match 2-0 to go through 3-1 on aggregate.
Florentin Pogba, a Guinean international, is a defender for St Etienne although he has only been picked intermittently this season. His brother Paul, who plays for France, joined United from Juventus in the close season for a world record fee.
Jose Mourinho cancels Christmas for United players, staff
Old Trafford (NigerianEye) — Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, has reportedly ordered his players to report for training at 4.30pm on Christmas Day and has also instructed staff to come to work. In past seasons, United trained at Carrington on Christmas morning like other clubs, before spending the rest of the day with their families and friends.
Even Mourinho’s predecessor, Louis van Gaal, gave the players and staff the day off. “Everyone is seriously pissed off. They’ve never heard anything like it – not even under Fergie,” a source told SunSports said. “All the staff are used to coming in and sorting training out at Carrington but having it at Old Trafford adds a whole new level of organisation and brings more staff in.
“Jose’s had a face like thunder at the training ground for most of the season and is clearly not happy with results. “Some staff will even have to stay later on to sort out the pitch and stadium for the next day’s home game. He’s effectively cancelled Christmas.” United welcome Sunderland in the Premier League on Boxing Day.
Up Man U!