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Arsenal and Everton aim to emulate Man United’s Europa league success

Arsenal are in a group with BATE Borisov, Cologne and Red Star Belgrade while Everton have drawn Lyon, Atalanta and Apollon Limassol.

FOOTBALL 26/08/17 11:01
Arsenal and Everton aim to emulate Man United’s Europa league success

Arsenal and Everton want to succeed Manchester United as Europa League champions.

The Gunners and the Toffees were handed tough tests on their return to the Europa League at Friday’s draw in Monaco, but both want to emulate United.

Jose Mourinho’s side qualified for this season’s Champions League by lifting the trophy in May despite finishing outside the Premier League’s top four.

Arsenal are starting the season in Europe’s second-tier competition for the first time in 20 years.

Arsene Wenger’s Gunners were drawn to play Belarus’ Bate Borisov, Cologne of Germany and Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade in Group H.

Everton will play France’s Lyon – hosts of this season’s final – Italy’s Atalanta and Apollon Limassol of Cyprus in Group E. It is the Toffees’ first continental participation since 2009-10.

Both English sides face difficult tasks to advance to the knockout stages when the group stage begins on September 14.

Arsenal secretary David Miles, in Monaco for the draw, said: “It can’t be sniffed at. It’s another avenue to get back in the Champions League should the league position fail.

“Once UEFA made the winning team from the Europa League guaranteed entry for the Champions League it put a different focus on things. I think it addresses the mind, as you saw last year with Manchester United.”

Everton director of football Steve Walsh said: “We think we’ve got a strong squad and we think we’ve got a good chance to win it.

“We drew some very, very strong teams. It’s going to be very, very difficult, but how exciting to be in Europe and competing.

“We’ll give 100 per cent commitment to do what we can to try to achieve our aims, which is to win the competition.”

Speaking after returning to Merseyside following the play-off win over Hadjuk Split, which featured Gylfi Sigurdsson’s stunning goal, Everton boss Ronald Koeman said: “It’s good, strong. Lyon is a strong team and Atlanta the Italian team.

“But I think it’s all in a good part of Europe, it’s easy to travel. It’s tough but it’s tough for everybody.”

It is the first time since 1997-98 that Arsenal have started a European campaign in the Europa League, but they won the tournament under its previous guise of the UEFA Cup in 2000 after parachuting in from the Champions League.

The Gunners had advanced to the knockout stages of the Champions League, but lost in the first knockout round in the last seven seasons and failed to qualify for the tournament through the Premier League in 2016-17.

The 48-team draw for this season’s competition included Sweden’s Ostersund, managed by Englishman Graham Potter.

Ostersund will play Spain’s Athletic Bilbao, Germany’s Hertha Berlin and Zorya Luhansk of Ukraine in Group J.

United and France midfielder Paul Pogba, meanwhile, was named Europa League Player of the Season for 2016-17, ahead of team-mates Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Klopp loses his cool at chaotic press conference

Klopp loses his cool at chaotic press conference

Klopp loses his cool at chaotic press conference

Klopp loses his cool at chaotic press conference

Klopp loses his cool at chaotic press conference

Klopp loses his cool at chaotic press conference

Jurgen Klopp had his patience tested in a somewhat chaotic press conference to preview his s...

Jurgen Klopp had his patience tested in a somewhat chaotic press conference to preview his side’s Champions League meeti...

Jurgen Klopp had his patience tested in a somewhat chaotic press conference to preview his sid...

Jurgen Klopp had his patience tested in a somewhat chaotic press conference to preview his side’s Champions League meeting with Spartak Moscow.

Jurgen Klopp had his patience tested in a somewhat chaotic press conference to preview his side’s Champions League meeting with Spartak Moscow.

Jurgen Klopp had his patience tested in a somewhat chaotic press conference to preview his side’s Champions League meeting with Spartak Moscow.

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