Rangers reign in principality

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The Independent Online

A superb strike from Giovanni van Bronckhorst gave Rangers a hard earned victory at the Stade Louis II last night that boosts their chances of progressing from Group D in the Champions' League.

A superb strike from Giovanni van Bronckhorst gave Rangers a hard earned victory at the Stade Louis II last night that boosts their chances of progressing from Group D in the Champions' League.

Rangers' manager, Dick Advocaat, always likes to spring a surprise in his European team selection and this time it involved Tugay Kerimoglu. The Turk started as the spare man in a three-man defence as Rangers adopted a 3-4-3 formation.

There were some nervous early moments. Claudio Reyna had to intervene to stop John Arne Riise charging through. When Ludovic Giuly took the ensuing corner, it needed Tugay on the line to head away an inswinging effort that had Stefan Klos struggling.

But Rangers' riposte was stunning - a goal from Van Bronckhorst with a beautifully struck swerving shot. The move began with Allan Johnston and progressed via Barry Ferguson and Arthur Numan before Van Bronckhorst sent the ball around Stéphane Porato and into the net.

Giuly tested Klos with a low drive and the German dived to gather before the Monaco playmaker set up Shabani Nonda, who was once a transfer target of the Ibrox club, but his header was poorly directed. Marco Simone, the former Milan striker, was the next to have a go but he found Klos with a 25-yard shot.

Monaco were pressing hard in pursuit of the victory they needed after losing to Galatasaray in Istanbul in their opening game in the group and Giuly continued his shoot on sight policy, only to find the safe Klos again.

With Giuly continuing to threaten, Johnston collected a yellow card for pushing him over after losing possession on the right wing.

Monaco reorganised at the interval, replacing Riise with Dado Prso, who joined Nonda up front with Simone dropping into midfield. Straight away Rangers came under pressure and Klos was forced into two saves in quick succession.

Nonda saw a shot take a deflection and end up only inches wide. Amoruso blocked his next effort and from the corner Klos denied Rafael Marquez with a fine save.

Monaco: Porato; Riise, Marquez, Djetou, Rodriguez, Abidal, Irles, Bonnal, Giuly, Simone, Nonda. Substitutes: Gravelaine, Di Tommaso, Prso, Farnerud, Courville, Givet, Aubry (gk).

Rangers: Klos; Reyna, Konterman, Amoruso, Numan, Johnston, Ferguson, Van Bronckhorst, Tugay, De Boer, Mols. Substitutes: Charbonnier (gk), Ricksen, Kanchelskis, Albertz, Dodds, Vidmar, McCann.

Referee: A Ouzounov (Bul).

* Sturm Graz, thrashed 5-0 by Rangers in their opening game, resurrected their hopes of progressing by beating Galatasaray 3-0 in Austria. Sergei Yuran, who once had a brief spell with Millwall, opened the scoring in the 31st minute, and Markus Schopp added a second in the 64th. Five minutes after that Galatasaray's hopes of retrieving anything from the match disappeared when Suat Kaya was sent off. The German Markus Schupp wrapped up the scoring nine minutes from time.

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