Manchester United v Celta background

A goal to the good as they aim to lift the only major trophy they have never won, Manchester United would do well to be cautious as they welcome a Celta side who have done well on the road this season.

Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United in action with Pablo Hernández (R) of Celta during their UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg
Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United in action with Pablo Hernández (R) of Celta during their UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg ©AFP/Getty Images

The odds would appear to be overwhelmingly in Manchester United's favour as they welcome Celta in their UEFA Europa League decider, but the Spanish side have cause for hope after pulling off some memorable away wins this season.

Previous meetings
• United's 19-year-old No19 Marcus Rashford scored his 19th goal of the season – and the first free-kick of his career – as United won the first leg 1-0. It was only their third victory in 23 games in Spain.

• United's record in 48 meetings with Spanish teams is W13 D19 L16 (W9 D9 L4 in Manchester). Those ties include three European finals held on neutral territory (W1 L2).

• Celta's record in ten matches against English sides is W5 D0 L5 (W3 D0 L2 in England). They are now on a four-game losing streak against English clubs.

Highlights: See how Celta made the last four
Highlights: See how Celta made the last four

• United have won two of their three European semi-finals against Spanish opposition, on each occasion in triumphant European Cup campaigns.

Form guide
• United have won all six of their European home games at Old Trafford this season, and are unbeaten in 17 (W14 D3) continental home fixtures since  a 2-1 loss to Real Madrid in March 2013.

• United have never lost a two-legged UEFA tie after winning the first leg away from home.

• The Red Devils have never lost a European home game by a margin of more than one goal, but have lost 1-0 seven times, 2-1 twice and 3-2 on three occasions.

Highlights: Watch Rashford's stunning free-kick
Highlights: Watch Rashford's stunning free-kick

• Celta's record away from home in Europe this season is W3 D2 L1. They have won three of those games 2-0 – a second-leg margin that would be sufficient to put them in the final.

• Celta have scored at least once in all of those away fixtures, and overturned a 1-0 home deficit to eliminate Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 32 with a 2-0 success (following extra time) in Ukraine. 

• United are striving for the only UEFA club trophy that has so far eluded them. This is their first semi-final in the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League.

• This is Celta's first European semi-final.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Vigo to Manchester is around 1,350km.

• Celta's Iago Aspas, United's Zlatan Ibrahimović and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Ajax's Kasper Dolberg are the highest-scoring players left in the competition with five goals each. Roma's Edin Džeko and Zenit's Giuliano top the rankings with eight.

Highlights: Watch Rashford's extra-time winner for United
Highlights: Watch Rashford's extra-time winner for United

• Aspas faced United twice with Liverpool in the 2013/14 Premier League, his side winning both matches – 1-0 at Anfield and 3-0 at Old Trafford, though Aspas was on the pitch for just a minute in the latter fixture.

• Out for the remainder of the season through injury, Ibrahimović hit the winner against Celta for Ajax in a 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage fixture.

• Ibrahimović and Celta's John Guidetti are the only Swedish players still in the competition; this season's final takes place in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, on Wednesday 24 May.

• Guidetti will also know his way round Manchester; he was with Manchester City from 2008–15.

• Celta's Danish winger Pione Sisto scored home and away against United for Midtjylland in a 2015/16 UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie.

• Celta's Pablo Hernández is the most fouled player in this season's UEFA Europa League, with 39 infringements against him – 16 more than any other player in the competition.

• United have won the most games in this season's UEFA Europa League: 9, one more than Ajax. Celta, by contrast, won just six to get this far.

• United's Paul Pogba, Celta's Daniel Wass and Ajax's Amin Younes are the only players to have featured in all 13 of their sides' UEFA Europa League games this season.

• Celta have a notable Old Trafford old boy: US-born Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi was on the Red Devils' books from 2004 to 2007, scoring once in five league outings. However, he is out for the remainder of the season with a cruciate injury.

The coaches
• José Mourinho took over as United boss last summer. Having made his name winning the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League with Porto, he landed Europe's top club prize again with Internazionale Milano as well as three Premier League titles during two stints at Chelsea.

• In Mourinho's last foray in this competition, he steered Porto to the 2003 UEFA Cup final, where they edged Celtic 3-2 in Seville.

• Mourinho faced Celta four times in his final season at Real Madrid (2012/13), his team winning three and losing one.

• Eduardo Berizzo played in the UEFA Champions League for Marseille and Celta, the former Argentina centre-back subsequently returning to Europe in 2014 to take charge of the Galician club. He guided them back into Europe with a sixth-place finish in 2015/16.

Penalty shoot-outs
• United's record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
L 5-4 A v Videoton FC (1984/85 UEFA Cup quarter-finals) 
L 4-3 A v FC Torpedo Moskva (1992/93 UEFA Cup first round) 
W 6-5 N v Chelsea FC (2007/08 UEFA Champions League final)

• Celta have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.