Football: Bannon's warning to Rangers

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The Independent Online
EAMONN BANNON has warned Rangers to guard against Parma employing dirty tricks tonight as the Italians seek a Champions' League turnaround. The former Dundee United and Scotland midfielder remembers 1984, when his club came within 90 minutes of a European Cup final.

Dundee United took a two-goal lead to Rome for the second-leg of the semi-final but came home beaten in a controversial 3-2 aggregate defeat.

Rangers also defend a 2-0 advantage in the Ennio Tardini stadium in their third qualifying round second leg, with Bannon fearful their hopes may be ruined by the Italians' spoiling tactics. "We had been in a lot of European games by that stage and were quietly confident, but Italy is probably the toughest country to take a two-goal lead," he said. "Among the biggest problems we faced was all sort of dirty tactics that we as Scottish players didn't go in for.

"It was the first time a lot of us had played against an Italian side, they know every trick going and I felt we needed a much stronger referee. There were a lot of things, players tripping themselves over, pulling shirts and so on.

"The way their players were then is not much different to now. Their approach was and is to push the rulebook to the limit. The Italians are good players, but if they think they can get away with something they will do it," Bannon added.

"The culture of British players is not the same and, while at United we had experienced similar before, it was difficult for us to counter."