Friday, 11 March 2011

Rangers Keep Tie Alive With 0-0 Result In Eindhoven

Neil Alexander saves to keep out another PSV attempt.

So it was a return to the European campaign for the gers and they about their business in the usual 5-4-1 way which has served them well but also came with some heavy criticism over the season.

Walter Smith had introduced Alexander, celebrating his 33rd birthday, to get the goalkeeper some first team action ahead of the League Cup final later this month in which he will also feature.

His inclusion was one of three changes made by the Rangers boss with Kyle Lafferty recovering sufficiently from tonsillitis to feature, along with teenage midfielder Kyle Hutton.

It was a difficult first 45 minutes for the visitors with the early stages seeing El Hadji Diouf isolated up front and the Rangers rear guard the busiest area of the pitch.

PSV controlled the game but  didn't create a real opening until a moment of class from Ola Toivonen opened the door after 16 minutes.

He cushioned a pass on the edge of the Gers area in to the path of Marcus Berg, but the striker was beaten to the ball by an alert Alexander.

As the hosts continuted to put pressure on the Rangers defence Dzsudzsak's free kick from the Dutch side's left flank took a touch off Lens and looked to have presented Marcelo with the perfect opportunity but he headed over from just a few yards out with Berg just behind him also unmarked and waiting for the easiest of finishes.

Rangers created very little in the first half but went in at halftime without conceding which was what Smith had set his side out to do.

Richard Foster nearly gave Rangers the goal they needed five minutes after the break as he burst across the field and down the left wing beforing crossing in a ball for Diouf and Rangers gained a corner.

As Rangers put on the pressure PSV set out to quickly counter and again it was Toivonen controlling play, slotting a ball behind David Weir that set Berg free once again, but the big striker pulled his shot wide of Alexander's upright.

 The home fans cried out for a penalty when Manolev broke in to the box only to be denied by Bartley's strength.

Whittaker again did well to get down the left as he had been all game and his cross was almost perfect for Diouf with the Senegalese forward lurking Wilfred Bouma did well to head behind from a corner.
It was from the corner that Rangers had their best chance of the evening,Diouf delivering and Bartley meeting the ball with his head only to see Andreas Isaksson claw it round his post for another corner.

A series of substitutions began with Weiss replacing Diouf for the visitors and Berg being withdrawn in favour of Danny Koevermans.

 PSV continued to press but after a few failed attempts it was Marcelo but again his header was poor and Rangers were off the hook giving them a great result to take back to Ibrox.

 The return leg will be played at Ibrox on Thursday 17th February and will be broadcast on ESPN.

Rangers: Alexander; Foster, Bougherra, Weir, Bartley, Whittaker; Davis, Edu, Hutton, Lafferty; Diouf.
Subs: McGregor, Fleck, Healy, Weiss, Wylde, Cole, Hemmings.

PSV: Isaksson; Bouma, Marcelo, Manolev, Pieters; Hutchinson, Engelaar; Toivonen;  Lens, Berg, Dzsudzsak.
Subs: Ramos, Rodriguez, Vukovic, Koevermans, Wuytens, Bakkal, Zeefuik.


  1. ...Four members of Team, who had a positive performance Davis,Bougherra,Lafferty; Diou

  2. Davis stepped his game up.