Naismith ends Rangers' long drought on European stage
Rangers 1 Bursaspor 0
Thursday 30 September 2010
Steven Naismith grabbed the winner as Rangers' long wait for a victory on the European stage came to an end with a win over Bursaspor here last night. Walter Smith's men had failed to register a win in European action since they beat Fiorentina en route to the 2008 Uefa Cup final, with last year's efforts in the Champions League a particular sore point.
"There were a few disappointments last season in home games so it's nice to get a win," Smith said. "It was a terrific goal, a good header by Kirk Broadfoot and a good finish by Steven. We had started well and had one or two half-chances – I think we deserved to be in front at that time so we were delighted to get in front. In other games we have started well but not got in front, so it gave us something to hold on to."
With four points from their first two games in Group C Rangers are now well placed for their double header against Valencia. "When Valencia come here [on 20 October] it will be a big night for everyone," Smith added. "From our point of view it gives us another opportunity – but we appreciate they are an excellent side."
Rangers tried to apply some early pressure to the Turkish champions, Edu coming close with a shot which deflected just wide. The breakthrough came after 18 minutes when Steven Whittaker's cross was met by Broadfoot and his header was collected by Naismith, who sidefooted home from six yards.
Naismith could have added to his tally when he ran on to a lovely pass from Steven Davis only to see his volley swerve past the upright. After the restart Kenny Miller had a great chance to give Rangers some breathing space but goalkeeper Dimitar Ivankov managed to block and Naismith blasted the rebound well over.
Rangers 4-4-2: McGregor, Broadfoot, Weir, Bougherra, Papac, Whittaker, Davis, McCulloch, Edu, Naismith, Miller (Lafferty 87). Substitutes not used Alexander (gk), Foster, Weiss, Little, Wylde, Hutton.
Bursaspor 4-4-2: Ivankov, A Tandogan, O Erdogan, Stepanov, Wederson, Sen, Svensson, Ergic (Insua 39), Ipek, Batalla (Nunez 72), Yildirim (Bahadir 72). Substitutes not used Ozkan (gk), Cimsir, Keceli, Ibrahim Ozturk.
Referee S Gumienny (Belgium).
Results so far: Bursaspor 0 Valencia 4, Manchester United 0 Rangers 0, Valencia 0 Manchester United 1, Rangers 1 Bursaspor 0.
Rangers' remaining fixtures 20 Oct Valencia (h); 2 Nov Valencia (a); 24 Nov Manchester United (h); 7 Dec Bursaspor (h).
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo could return against Manchester United - but it won't be like previous reunions
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: New £16m signing put through Arsenal initiation as he sings The Kooks in front of team-mates
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
New Liverpool signing Dejan Lovren forced to train with the under-21s after US visa mix-up
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
- 4 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'