PA Sport Staff
Arsenal will play Sporting Lisbon in the last 16 of the Europa League while Manchester United have been drawn against Real Betis.
The Gunners, who advanced to this stage as group winners, will take on the Portuguese side over two legs on March 9 and March 16.
It remains to be seen how much importance Mikel Arteta places on the competition given his side’s position in the Premier League title race and the gruelling Thursday-Sunday schedule it will take to win it.
Round of 16 🤩
Most exciting tie?#UELdraw pic.twitter.com/YJLGm1er6J
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) February 24, 2023
But they face opposition who are no strangers to north London this season as Sporting were in Tottenham’s Champions League group before Christmas.
They beat Spurs 2-0 in Lisbon and drew 1-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but finished third in the group and headed into the Europa League play-off round, where they beat FC Midtjylland comfortably.
Manchester United’s reward for triumphing in their heavyweight clash with Barcelona in the play-off round is more Spanish opposition after being paired with Betis.
Although United have had trouble with Spanish opposition in Europe in recent years, their landmark victory over Barca makes them the team to beat in the tournament they won in 2017.
Erik's Reds will face Real Betis in the #UEL last 16... 🇪🇸#MUFC || #UELdraw
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 24, 2023
Betis are fifth in La Liga and finished group winners ahead of Roma.
Jose Mourinho’s side play Real Sociedad while Juventus take on Freiburg and six-time champions Sevilla are paired with Fenerbahce.
Elsewhere, it is the battle of the Unions as Berlin take on Belgian side Saint-Gilloise, Bayer Leverkusen play Ferencvaros and Shakhtar Donetsk were drawn against Feyenoord.