Mols earns Rangers' adoration

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The Independent Football

He has played two games in the last 10 months but Michael Mols has already inspired Rangers fans to dream of Champions' League success.

He has played two games in the last 10 months but Michael Mols has already inspired Rangers fans to dream of Champions' League success.

His Dutch international colleague Ronald de Boer, who was also prominent in Tuesday night's 5-0 thrashing of Sturm Graz, reckons their strike partnership will get even better.

Mols started against the Austrians despite having played one competitive match - at Dundee on Saturday - since rupturing cruciate ligaments in a knee last winter. Almost a year on, he looked every inch the player that prompted Rangers manager Dick Advocaat to pay Utrecht £4m for him last year.

He opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a simple strike but, overall, his touch and awareness were breathtaking. Proof of that was the rapturous ovation by more than 49,000 home fans when his lack of match fitness finally forced his withdrawal on the hour.

"I think we showed we can be a good couple," De Boer said.

Rangers officials had to hide boxfuls of gimmick hats from a sponsor. The hats, a gift from brewers Amstel, were to be distributed before the game but they stayed in their boxes. In green, white and yellow, they were too close to Celtic's colours for comfort.

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