- Rangers beat Borussia Dortmund 4-2 in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League encounter in Germany
- The Scottish champions Rangers outplayed the German side and should have won the game by a bigger margin
- Borussia Dortmund will be hoping to have Erling Haaland back in the squad for the second leg against Rangers
Rangers FC and Borussia Dortmund put on an absolute classic in the UEFA Europa League, which saw the Scottish side win 4-2.
The big talking point ahead of the game was the absence of Erling Haaland who is recovering from a groin injury.
In a game that Sports Brief monitored, both teams started slow but it was Rangers who had the first major attempt on target. Borna Barišić made his way into the box in the tenth minute and should have scored. Dortmund’s keeper, Gregor Korbel, managed to deflect the shot away for a corner.
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Four minutes later Dortmund had a chance to take the lead when Dan-Axel Zagadou found himself unmarked in the box from a corner. With no pressure on him whatsoever, Zagadou headed the ball down straight into the ground which nicely bounced up for Rangers keeper, Allan Mcgregor.
Dortmund would rue that miss and sadly it wasn’t the last time Zagadou would be involved in the game.
Dortmund could have taken the lead again on two separate occasions after that as a Jude Bellingham cross was missed by every Dortmund player in the box and then Marco Reus produced a spinning backheel which found no Dortmund players.
In the 36th minute, Rangers took the lead thanks to a penalty. Captain James Tavernier converted the spot-kick after Zagadou was spotted handling the ball in the box by the Video Assistant Referee.
Three minutes later, Rangers were two goals up. Alfredo Morelos won a corner and scored from the subsequent corner. Joe Aribo flicked on the ball from the corner and Morelos was on hand to tap in. Rangers only had 500 fans at the stadium but they made their voices heard as they cheered their team on.
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Rangers started the second half much like they ended the first, on the front foot. Within five minutes of the restart, Ryan Kent cut inside from the left wing and set up John Lundstram. The midfielder fired the ball in from the edge of the box to give Rangers a 3-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Jude Bellingham gave the German side some hope as he also fired one in from the edge of the box. At 3-1, Dortmund started to gain more confidence, but Morelos quickly ended that. The Colombian ran into the box and fired a shot goalward which was deflected in by Zagadou.
The game was chalked off at first after the linesman ruled it as offside but VAR changed that.
At 4-1, Rangers looked impenetrable and should have scored more. In the 82nd minute, Raphaël Guerreiro hammed in from outside the box to make the score 4-2 and give Dortmund a glimmer of hope. With a return leg in Scotland coming up and Haaland possibly returning by then, Dortmund were thankful to end the game only two goals behind.
Fans though weren’t too happy and boos rang around the ground after the loss.
Borussia Dortmund versus Rangers: 2 giants of Europe meet for a place in the Europa League round of 16
Before the clash, Sports Brief previewed the match, saying that Scottish champions Rangers will take on German giants Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League later today, with both teams looking to advance to the round of 16.
The clash between the two sides is just one of many high-profile games in the Europa League Playoffs, as Spain's Barcelona and Italy's Napoli also do battle, while Porto will take on Lazio as well.
Dortmund found their way into the playoffs after finishing third in their Champions League group. The German side finished behind Ajax and Sporting in Group C. Rangers will be hoping that Erling Haaland isn’t fit for the game. Haaland has missed Dortmund’s last two fixtures.