Romanian minnows embarrass Rangers

Rangers 1 Unirea Urziceni 4

Rangers fans witnessed a second consecutive four-goal European haul at Ibrox last night but doom not boom was the order of the evening, again. They have not lost this heavily in the Champions League since, errm, the last time they played.

But this embarrassment, which only avoided being the day's No 1 continental humiliation because of Barcelona's simultaneous cock-up against Rubin Kazan, was much more dispiriting than the 4-1 home thumping they received at the hands of Seville three weeks ago.

First, it was delivered by minnows, albeit managed well by the former Chelsea player, Dan Petrescu. Second, it came after Rangers had gone ahead inside two minutes when Pedro Mendes' shot was deflected in via Ricardo Vilana. Marius Ioan Bilasco equalised in the first half, then own goals from Kyle Lafferty and Lee McCulloch followed in the second half before Pablo Brandan drilled home a fourth for the visitors.

Third, the hosts squandered a handful of first-half chances to wrap up the points, including a penalty, missed by Steve Davis shortly before the interval when the score was 1-1. Fourth, the home defending was dire, as Rangers' manager Walter Smith conceded afterwards.

On and on the woe could go, but suffice to say that Rangers will struggle now to finish anywhere but rock-|bottom of Group G. Seville will win the section, at a canter, while Petrescu's team are in the box seat for second place ahead of Stuttgart.

"I'm delighted," Petrescu said. "It wasn't as easy for us as the score suggests; we got some luck with the saved penalty and a deflection for 2-1." The closest he came to any criticism of Rangers was when he voiced his surprise at Smith's one-man attack.

Smith admitted: "We lost three goals that you shouldn't be losing at any level of football."But he disagreed that the missed penalty by Davis was the major turning point, adding: "After a good start we really didn't impose ourselves at all... it's very difficult to look at where we might finish in the group now. First, we need to look at ourselves and we need vast improvement."

Pre-match intrigue was not limited to tales about the Romanians, who hail from a town of 17,000 people – the smallest-ever place to have a group-stage team - and only won their league last season after a purge of corrupt referees.

Rangers had to solve their own mystery: the whereabouts last week of their Algerian centre-half, Madjid Bougherra, who went AWOL after international duty. Smith eventually accepted he was late because his passport had been stolen during a mobbing in Paris. He was then injured in training on Monday, did not play anyway, and Rangers got mugged without him.

Rangers (4-1-4-1): McGregor; Whittaker, McCulloch, Weir, Papac; Thomson; Rothen, Davis, Mendes (Lafferty, 45), Naismith; Miller. Substitutes not used: Alexander (gk), Boyd, Novo, Beasley, Smith, Fleck.

Unirea Urziceni (3-4-2-1): Tudor; Galamaz, Maftei, Bruno Fernandes; Nicu (Onofras, 19), Ricardo, Vilana, Apostol, Brandan; Varga, Balan; Bilasco. Substitutes not used: Arlauskis (gk), Mehmedovic, Paduretu, Semedo, Bordeanu, Frunza.

Referee: E Braamhaar (Netherlands).

Group G

Results so far: Seville 2 Unirea 0, VfB Stuttgart 1 Rangers 1; Rangers 1 Seville 4, Unirea Urziceni 1 VfB Stuttgart 1; Rangers 1 Unirea Urziceni 4, VfB Stuttgart 1 Seville 3.

Rangers remaining games: 4 Nov: Unirea (a); 24 Nov: Stuttgart (h); 9 Dec: Seville (a).

David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments