Rangers Football: Rangers in the mood for Parma

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The Independent Online
DICK ADVOCAAT did not stick around the see Rangers finish work on Saturday. A flight to Milan took precedence, to snatch a glimpse of Parma on Saturday night, but by Wednesday night he expects his team to have completed the second half of their Italian job.

For a man who strictly adheres to the one-game-at-time philosophy, even Advocaat could not wait a moment longer for the Champions' League qualifier to re-start. Not long after Rod Wallace's 60th-minute header had delivered the third goal against Dundee United, Advocaat had left his seat and jumped in a taxi for the airport.

The chance to watch Parma playing Milan in the Italian Super Cup was too much to pass up ahead of the qualifying round second leg in the Ennio Tardini Stadium. Advocaat's side are protecting a two goal lead, but the 4-1 demolition of Dundee United, w ho began the day in second place, was compelling evidence that Rangers possess scorers who can collect the vital away goal which could kill the Serie A side off and send the Scots into the Champions' League group stage.

"We know they are a good side and that the tie is far from over, despite our lead," said Neil McCann, after yet another impressive contribution to his team's fourth successive victory.

Second half goals from Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Wallace and then Tony Vidmar - the one missed by Advocaat - sealed the success, but it was the 22nd minute free-kick from the irresistible Claudio Reyna which provided the platform - the curling kick which made the wall redundant was a joy to see for most of the 48,000 inside Ibrox and provided the American with his fifth goal of the season.

Celtic have now regained second place from United, who had beaten them at Tannadice just six days earlier, thanks to a last-minute goal from Henrik Larsson just 150 yards further up the road from the scene of that demise, at Dens Park.

The Swedish international spun to fire in a left-foot shot and cancelled out any arguments over a 74th-minute attempt which looked to have crossed the line after it bounced down from the underside of the crossbar, but was not given by ref-eree John Rowbotham.

Stephane Mahe had put Celtic in front in the 68th minute with a fierce shot from 12 yards, but seconds after his team-mate Vidar Riseth was sent off in the 86th minute for a high tackle, Dundee equalised with Lee Sharp's powerful header from Steven Boyack's free-kick.

Fourth-placed Hibernian also had a player sent off in the 1-1 draw at St Johnstone, when Matthias Jack earned his second caution in the 90th minute. Jack had earlier cancelled out Nathan Lowndes' first-half goal for the home team when he bundled the ball in, via Kieran McAnespie's deflection, after a 74th minute corner.

Kilmarnock are toiling ahead of their Uefa Cup tie with KR Reykjavik. Their 1-0 defeat at home to Motherwell was their third in four matches.