Soldado's double leaves Rangers on brink of exit

Valencia 3 Rangers 0

Rangers suffered their first defeat in the Champions League this season as Roberto Soldado scored twice to hand Valencia victory in Spain last night. Tino Costa added a third late on as the Spaniards leapfrogged Rangers into second place in Group C.

Steven Naismith hit the woodwork twice on a frustrating night for Walter Smith's side. "Finishing second is a big ask now," admitted the Rangers manager. "Now Valencia have a situation where they have a home game against Bursaspor to effectively qualify for the knock-out stages. That means it'll now be difficult for us. We need results to go our way."

The Scots could have taken the lead early on when Naismith embarked on a surging run down the left before cutting inside and rifling a shot at goal that crashed off the post, with Maurice Edu's rebound going wide.

At the other end, Aritz Aduriz's cut-back found Juan Mata in plenty of space six yards out and his rasping effort looked to be going in until Allan McGregor pulled off another impressive block.

Valencia were consistently threatening and it seemed only a matter of time before they scored. So it proved. After 33 minutes, Mata's corner was punched clear and, following a scramble in the box, the ball fell for Soldado, who was able to fire home.

Soldado claimed his second of the night with 20 minutes to go to put Valencia firmly in the driving seat: McGregor was unable to keep the striker's powerful, low right-footed shot out. Substitute Costa scored a third with a minute to go.

Valencia (4-4-2): Sanchez; Miguel, Navarro, Costa, Mathieu; Joaquin (Pablo, 84), Albelda, Banega (Costa, 70), Mata; Soldado (Fernandes, 77), Aduriz. Substitutes not used Moya, Bruno, Topal, Alba.

Rangers (4-5-1): McGregor; Broadfoot, Weir, Bougherra, Papac; Whittaker, McCulloch, Davis, Edu (Lafferty, 84), Naismith; Miller. Substitutes not used Alexander, Foster, Wylde, Fleck, Little, Hutton.

Referee F Brych (Germany).

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
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.

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine