Europa League playoff draw sets up Man United-Barca clash | Football News

Two of the world’s former prime groups will battle it out for a spot in Europe’s second-tier membership competitors.

Europa League playoff draw in short:

  • Barcelona v Manchester United
  • Juventus v Nantes
  • Sporting v Midtjylland
  • Shakhtar Donetsk v Rennes
  • Ajax v Union Berlin
  • Bayer Leverkusen v Monaco
  • Sevilla v PSV Eindhoven
  • Salzburg v Roma

Barcelona in all probability by no means needed to be within the Europa League.

However now the Catalan giants – as soon as one of many greatest and most profitable groups on the planet – face Manchester United, one other previously unbeatable world model, simply to remain in Europe’s second-tier membership competitors.

Relegated from the Champions League after ending third of their group, Barca will tackle United, whose failure final yr to complete within the highest echelons of the English Premier League meant qualification for the Europa League as a substitute of its extra glamorous huge brother.

The winner of the playoff will undergo to the event’s final 16.

“The draw has given us probably the most troublesome rival once more, like within the Champions League group stage,” Barca supervisor Xavi Hernandez stated after the draw on Monday. “Luck was not on our aspect. Manchester United are an ideal rival, a historic membership – the worst that we may want for.”

One other web page of historical past

Barcelona and United have historical past, with Xavi’s males in blue and pink assembly the 2017 Europa League winners twice within the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals, successful on each events, whereas United misplaced each legs of the 2018-19 European Cup quarter-final assembly between the pair.

United completed second of their Europa League group this season on purpose distinction behind Actual Sociedad.

The league’s eight group runners-up face eight third-placed sides from the Champions League group phases, with the winners of the two-legged playoffs progressing to the final 16.

Different highlights of the knock-out spherical playoff draw embody Spain’s Sevilla – six-time Europa League winners – taking over Dutch aspect PSV Eindhoven in what’s more likely to be one other crackling matchup.

Elsewhere, Serie A’s Juventus tackle Ligue 1 staff Nantes, whereas Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma face RB Salzburg.

The primary legs of the ties will probably be performed on February 16, with the return match every week in a while February 23.

The ultimate will probably be performed on Could 31 at Budapest’s Puskas Area.

Musk pledges to remove Twitter imposters after celebrity protests | Technology

Twitter’s new proprietor makes feedback after celebrities change person names to Elon Musk.

Elon Musk has mentioned he’ll take away Twitter accounts that impersonate others amid a backlash over the billionaire’s resolution to supply the platform’s blue examine mark to all customers for a month-to-month payment.

Musk mentioned on Sunday that any accounts “participating in impersonation” could be completely suspended after some high-profile accounts modified their identify to Elon Musk to protest the Tesla CEO’s shake-up of the platform’s verification requirements.

“Going ahead, any Twitter handles participating in impersonation with out clearly specifying ‘parody’ might be completely suspended,” Musk tweeted.

“Beforehand, we issued a warning earlier than suspension, however now that we’re rolling out widespread verification, there might be no warning. This might be clearly recognized as a situation for signing as much as Twitter Blue.”

Musk tweeted later that “widespread verification” would democratise journalism and provides voice to the general public.

Over the weekend, celebrities together with comic Kathy Griffin and actor Valerie Bertinelli switched their display screen names to Elon Musk in an obvious effort to spotlight the hazards of removing identification verification.

Beneath Musk’s Twitter Blue subscription service, customers will have the ability to receive a blue examine mark — with out having to show their identification — for a month-to-month payment of $7.99.

Beforehand, well-known customers and accounts thought of to be of public curiosity might apply for a examine mark freed from cost after verifying their identification.

The brand new service appeared on Apple’s app retailer on Saturday however is but to go dwell.

Musk, a self-professed “free speech absolutist”, has described the outdated verification guidelines as a “lords and peasants system” and solid the adjustments as a technique to democratise the platform.

Since finalising his $44bn buy of Twitter final month, Musk has ushered in sweeping adjustments on the influential social media firm, together with shedding about half of the platform’s 7,500 staff.

Critics have expressed fears that Musk’s possession of the platform will worsen the issues of misinformation, hate speech and faux accounts, particularly forward of essential midterm elections in the USA on Tuesday.

Amid concern inside Twitter in regards to the potential for discord within the vote, the New York Instances reported on Sunday that the corporate had determined to delay the rollout of the brand new service till the day after the ballot.

Musk’s plans for the social media big have additionally sparked unease within the company world, with huge manufacturers, together with Common Motors, Common Mills and Audi, pausing promoting as they search readability on its course below its new proprietor.

Musk, who got here below hearth final week for tweeting an unfounded conspiracy concept in regards to the assault of United States Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, has insisted he doesn’t favour a “free-for-all hellscape”, however relatively a “frequent digital city sq.” that enables a variety of views.