Rangers 1 Partizan Belgrade 0: Hutton confirms Rangers' top spot

Having already qualified for the last 32, Rangers struggled to lift themselves for much of last night's final match in Group A of the Uefa Cup. However, the incentive of avoiding third-placed drop-outs from the Champions' League groups in the next stage was enough for victory over Partizan, thanks to Alan Hutton's second-half header.

Rangers were looking to equal their Scottish record of 12 consecutive unbeaten European matches but Partizan looked sharp and had a chance to score after seven minutes. Nebojsa Marinkovic's cross was perfect but Nenad Mirosavljevic's header was not.

Rangers' stand-in captain Gavin Rae soon hit a post from close range, but that failed to inspire the home side as theymade hard work of dominating a side who sat bottom of the group with only one point. The visitors were, for the most part, comfortable until, in the 29th minute, when Nacho Novo played in Filip Sebo, but the Slovakian striker's shot hit Partizan's goalkeeper, Nikolas Aspro-genis, from just 10 yards.

Nine minutes after the break, Rangers took the lead. Sebo won a free-kick on the right and when Novo swung the cross into the penalty area, the right-back Alan Hutton headed his first goal of the season.

"We wanted the result to finish top, there were a lot of changes and sometimes it can be hard to get going, but I thought the boys did really well," said Rae. Attentions have now turned to the Old Firm game with Celtic on Sunday. "We know it's an important game on Sunday. Domestically we need to keep pushing and pushing," Rae said.

Rangers: McGregor; Hutton (Lowing, 75), Rodriguez, Svensson, Smith, Hemdani, N'Diaye, Buffel (Stanger, 80), Rae, Sebo, Novo (Sionko, 64). Substitutes not used: Klos (gk), Clément, Prso, Adam.

Partizan Belgrade: Asprogenis; Rnic, Mihajlov, Djordjevic, Lomic, Zajic, Smiljanic, Tomic, Nebojsa Marinkovic (Vukelja, 69), Bosancic (Nenad Marinkovic, 67), Mirosavljevic (Gulan, 89). Substitutes not used: Jahic, Markovski, Lazic, Radovanovic.

Referee: R Bossen (Netherlands)

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living