Steve Davis opened his goalscoring account as Rangers took a major step towards the last eight of the Uefa Cup with a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen at Ibrox last night. Davis sealed the win early in the second half after Daniel Cousin put his failed move to Fulham firmly behind him with a goal on the stroke of half-time.
"It's only half-time," said their captain, Barry Ferguson. "We know they're a quality team and we expect a tough game in Germany."
The last time Rangers treated their fans to European goals at home was against Stuttgart here in September and Walter Smith's men were on top form against German opposition again. Cousin was deployed as the lone striker in the absence of the banned Jean-Claude Darcheville.
The Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese was called into action in the first minute when he produced a great save to block Charlie Adam's thunderous shot from the edge of the area.
Rangers took the lead on the stroke of half-time in stunning style. Cousin tried his luck from 35 yards with a powerful shot which found the back of the net. Rangers increased their lead within two minutes of the restart.
Davis started the move when he released Cousin out on the right flank and the striker's angled drive was parried by Wiese. The keeper was left with no chance when Davis rifled home the rebound. And Davis came close to scoring a second as Rangers continued to dominate.
Rangers (4-5-1): McGregor; Broadfoot, Cuellar, Weir, Papac; Hemdani, Dailly, Ferguson, Davis, Adam; Cousin (McCulloch, 75). Substitutes not used: Alexander (gk), Thomson, Boyd, Novo, Burke, Whittaker.
Werder Bremen (4-4-2): Wiese; Fritz, Mertesacker, Naldo, Pasanen (Boenisch, 64); Baumann, Vranjes (Almeida, 60), Diego, Jensen; Rosenberg, Hunt. Substitutes not used: Vander (gk), Ozil, Owomoyela, Borowski, Harnik.
Referee: A Hamer (Luxembourg).