Football: Albertz's love match

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The Independent Online
Rangers 6

Albertz pen 24, 38, 57, McCann 51, 71, Van Bronckhorst 88

Dundee 1

Adamczuk 28 Half-time: 2-1 Attendance: 49,462

WHEN NEIL MCCANN arrived at Rangers two months ago, Jorg Albertz suffered from a fit of pique and hinted he might leave because of the new signing. Now they appear to be indulging in a John and Yoko love-in. Their mutual-admiration society extended to making each other's goals as Albertz grabbed a hat-trick and McCann scored twice in an imperious display by the Scottish Premier League leaders.

Initially, the proceedings mirrored the huge Somme-like spread of mud which had prompted a pre-match pitch inspection, as the game became bogged down. Dundee's blanket defence gave Rangers undisputed territorial advantage, but restricted their scoring opportunities.

When Rangers did find a hole, the defender Steven Tweed twice came to Dundee's rescue with crucial headers. However, the saviour fell from grace in the 24th minute as Tweed gave away the penalty which broke the deadlock. Neil McCann was not providing an immediate threat when he was scythed down, but Albertz exacted full punishment with his 10th penalty of the season.

Dundee, however, refused to roll over and equalised within four minutes when Dariusz Adamczuk robbed McCann in the centre circle, switched the ball to Tommy Coyne and collected the striker's measured return before beating Stefan Klos with a cool right-foot shot.

Albertz, though, was simply glorious in the mud. The German international struck again in the 38th minute, finishing a powerful run with a thumping left-foot shot into the corner of the net from 18 yards.

Albertz was not finished there. He had Dundee buried by the hour, creating one goal and scoring yet another. The German's outswinging 51st-minute corner was initially held by Robert Douglas, but the Dundee keeper lost the ball as he tumbled over his own defender, Lee Maddison, and McCann pounced to inflict further damage on his old club.

Six minutes later McCann returned the favour, ending a wonderful diagonal run with an arrogant chip which Albertz dispatched. McCann then scored in the 71st minute after Albertz set him free, before Giovanni van Bronckorst's spectacular volley at the death.

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