Rangers 3-1 Leipzig
Goals: Tavernier (18and), Kamara (24and), Lundstram (80and) for Rangers // Nkunku (70and) for Leipzig
History will tell in half a century yet that the earth shook this Thursday evening in Glasgow and its surroundings. That on the Richter scale, you had to be well attached to the metal beams of Ibrox to stay upright and head for the paradise of a European final.
Twice in the space of six minutes, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men, beaten in the first leg (1-0), made their supporters waver. In the right place at the right time, on a center at the far post, James Tavernier sends a first left hook to the Germans (1-0, 18and). Who have the ball that burns their feet. On a new interception in front of the surface of Leipzig, the Rangers combine with three, and the Finnish international Glen Kamara goes there with his flat foot in the small net (2-0, 24and). Christopher Nkunku’s partners – aligned in a three-man attack – have to settle for crumbs and struggle to impose their rhythm, to find verticality. Nkunku is too short on a fleeing center (43and).
By dint of defending while advancing, the Scots are close to KO but Arfield plays badly in the area (60and). However lonely until then and fed with long rotten balls, Nkunku finally gives some oxygen to Leipzig. His deflection on a powerful center is unstoppable (2-1, 70and). The air becomes unbreathable, and John Lundstram puts on his hero outfit while being on the lookout for a cross badly repelled by the Leipzig goalkeeper (3-1, 80and). Four shots, three on target, total efficiency from the Scots who can definitely take off in the final.
Let’s hope for them that the Glasgow pub servers are as efficient tonight, the party promises to be very very long.
Rangers (5-4-1): McGregor – Tavernier, Goldson, Lundstram, Bassey, Barišić – Jack (Balogun, 58and), Kamara, Wright (Arfield, 58and), Kent-Aribo (Sakala, 45and+2). Coach : Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Leipzig (3-4-3): Gulasci – Klostermann, Gvardiol, Orbán – Henrichs, Laimer, Kampel, Angeliño – Olmo (Szoboszlai, 62and), Nkunku, Poulsen (Silva, 82and). Coach : Domenico Tedesco.
FC, at Ibrox Stadium