Marlet completes Rangers' misery

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The Independent Online
Rangers ended their Champions' League campaign last night as they had begun it - with a defeat. The Scottish title holders, who seem invincible domestically but impotent abroad, lost 2-1 to Auxerre, who progressed to the European Cup quarter-finals as the winners of Group B.

First-half goals by the striker Lilian Laslandes and the winger Steve Marlet, his second of the competition, secured victory for Auxerre. The Rangers captain, Richard Gough, in his last European tie for the club he is leaving at the end of the season, brought his side back into the game with a header from a free-kick nine minutes before the interval.

David Robertson hit a post in the 75th minute but Rangers were unable to draw level. They finished with just three points. Their home win over Grasshopper Zurich last month's contributed to the Swiss side's elimination, after they lost 1-0 at home to Ajax last night.

A first-half strike by Patrick Kluivert, who converted a pass from Tijani Babangida, gave the Dutchmen three precious points and earned them second place in Group A.

Juventus came to the aid of Manchester United in Group C by beating Fenerbahce 2-0, condemning the Turks to third place. The Italians, who had already won the group, took the lead just before half-time when their striker Michele Padovano headed in a well-struck cross from Mark Juliano.

Fenerbahce, who needed an unlikely win in Turin to be sure of going through, took the match to the home team in the early minutes and were unlucky not to score through their Nigerians, Uche Okechekwu and Augustine Okocha.

Okechekwu hit the bar with a bouncing header early in the game while Okocha had a second-half shot deflected past the post. Nicola Amoruso, who replaced Alessandro del Piero at half-time, made it 2-0 late in the game.

The real shock of the night, though, happened in Milan. Arrigo Sacchi, who twice won the European Cup as coach of Milan, returned to watch the club go out of this season's competition after a nightmare 2-1 home defeat to Norway's Rosenborg Trondheim.

The Group D match was Sacchi's first since he resigned as Italian national coach on Sunday to rejoin Milan, but his team were humiliated by opponents who had been beaten 4-1 at home by Milan in September.

Although their top striker George Weah was suspended, Milan only needed a draw to go through to the quarter-finals. They fell behind when Harald Brattbakk hit a left-foot shot past Sebastiano Rossi in the 29th minute. The French international Christophe Dugarry equalised well into injury time in the first half and Milan looked like hanging on for the precious point until Vegard Heggem struck in the 69th minute for the jubilant Norwegians.

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