After Manchester United’s success on their maiden visit to Moldova on Matchday 2, Manchester United are hoping to repeat the feat on their first trip to Cyprus as they continue to bid for a place in the Champions League knockout rounds in Nicosia.
The Cypriot Cup winners lost both Group E games, losing 3-0 at home to Sheriff and 2-1 to Real Sociedad in San Sebastian.
Manchester United have three points on the clock and equalized an early 1-0 home loss to Real Sociedad with a 2-0 win at champions Moldova. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal in the UEFA Europa League on that occasion, a penalty after Jadon Sancho gave England the lead.
As United meet Cypriots for the first time, Omonoia’s last four games against English sides have all ended in defeat.
The Nicosia club lost to Arsenal (1-3, 0-3) in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup first round and to Manchester City (1-2, 1-2) in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup.
About the teams
Omonoia qualified for the UEFA Europa League this season as winners of the Cyprus Cup, their 15the Triumph – and the first in ten years – came on penalties after a goalless final against Ethnikos Achna under new coach Neil Lennon.
Omonoia failed to qualify for the play-off round of their domestic league and took part in all three European competitions last season, from the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round to the UEFA Europa Conference League, where they were in Group H third place was taken by four points, but no victory.
This season, Omonoia’s European adventure began later than usual, in the UEFA Europa League qualifying play-offs against Belgian Cup winners La Gantoise, who were twice beaten 2-0 to secure their second appearance in the group stage of the competition . The first, 2020/21, ended in fourth place behind PSV Eindhoven, Granada and PAOK.
Omonoia have won just one of their seven home UEFA group stage games in the last three seasons (D2 L4) – beating PSV 2-1 on Matchday 5 of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League.
United finished sixth in the Premier League last season and had their lowest tally in the Premier League at 58 points to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.
The Mancunians finished their 2021/22 UEFA Champions League group ahead of Villarreal, Atalanta and Young Boys but were eliminated in the Round of 16 by Atlético de Madrid under caretaker Ralf Rangnick, who was replaced as head coach this summer by Erik ten Hag.
This is United’s third appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage and sixth appearance in the competition overall. The English have reached at least the last 16 in their last three seasons and qualified for the last four, winning the competition in 2016/17, losing to Sevilla in the semi-finals in 2019/20 and finishing second-up in their last appearance in 2020/ 21 when they lost 11-10 on penalties to Villarreal in the final after a 1-1 draw in Gdańsk.
United’s away record in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League is W3 D1 L3. Overall, the Red Devils have won ten of their 21 away games and lost seven in this competition.
Do we know each other
Omonoia manager Lennon faced Manchester United in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League as a Celtic player. He captained the Bhoys in their famous 1-0 win over Alex Ferguson’s side at Parkhead on Matchday 5. He had also played in the first group game at Old Trafford, which United won 3-2.
Lennon played in the Premier League for Leicester City from 1996 to 2000, winning the English League Cup in his first and last seasons with the club.
Omonoia Welsh full-back Adam Mathews experienced English football at Cardiff City (2009-11), Sunderland (2015-19), Bristol City (2016-17 loan) and Charlton Athletic (2019-22). He has only made one appearance in the Premier League – for Sunderland in 2015.
Omonoia’s Hungarian defender Ádám Lang played 90 minutes in a 3-3 draw against Portugal at UEFA EURO 2016, in which Ronaldo scored twice. Lang was also part of the Hungary squad that beat England twice in the UEFA Nations League in June 2022 (1-0, 4-0). United’s Harry Maguire played the full game in Budapest and was substituted late on Wolverhampton’s return.
Six of Ronaldo’s 140 UEFA Champions League goals have come against Cypriot opponents, all for Real Madrid against Omonia rivals APOEL Nicosia, including two in a 6-0 win at the GSP Stadium on day five of the 2017/18 victorious season spanish clubs.
United are the only former UEFA Europa League winners to participate in this season’s group stage. He is also one of four former C1 winners in competition with Crvena zvezda, Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven. The two Dutch clubs have also won the UEFA Cup.
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