Thursday, 17 March 2011

Rangers down and out

Diouf is briefed by Smith
It's Europa League night again. The multi-millionaires of Manchester City have just been dumped out of the second-string European competition by Dynamo Kiev, Liverpool have a careless goal deficit to overcome against FC Braga (Who made monkeys of Celtic) and - in the match I'm watching - Rangers are trying to dig themselves out of the hole they've got themselves in against PSV Eindhoven.

Controversy will follow this one, as a clear Dutch handball on the line by Atiba Hutchinson (a cast-iron penalty and sending off) is missed by all five officials. UEFA will have some questions to answer. However the Glasgow Blues only have themselves to blame for the situation they're in. As for much of the 0-0 first leg in the Netherlands (a good result for Walter Smith's men), the 'Gers chased the game for the first 50 minutes - outplayed, out-positioned and out-paced. This is not the SPL, fellas.

In the latter part of the second half, Rangers - behind to a well-taken Jeremain Lens goal, provided by slack marking on the break - are showing some purpose and have gone 4-4-2. They'd get killed trying that on Barcelona. But PSV are a different proposition. Greg Wylde is having a good game for the Scots. They are now looking to Steven Naismith and El Hadji Diouf to work some magic.

I can't see it happening. They should be be level by rights, but even then they'd be out on away goals. I want Rangers to pull it back for ex-Dumbarton man Walter Smith's sake (his last season in charge), and because they represent Scotland. Normally I wouldn't give them the time of day, being Old Firm. And the mourning period will be very brief if they exit tonight. Funny old (emotional) game.

Update:  Rangers, Manchester City and Liverpool all out. OK, back to real life.

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