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Rooney strikes winning note on return

November 24, 2010 Tags: , Matches 2 comments

Wayne Rooney scored for Manchester United as Sir Alex Ferguson’s outfit won at Ibrox. The 25-year-old striker slammed home an 86th minute penalty as United qualified for the knock-out stages of the Champions League with a hard-earned victory over Rangers in Glasgow. It was just deserts for United after dominating the game.

Rooney was largely anonymous in his first start for more than a month but scored the crucial goal after Steven Naismith’s crude late challenge on Fabio da Silva.

True to recent form Rangers defended in numbers for much of the tie, attempting to catch United on the break despite the Scottish champions needing a win to progress in the competition.

Indeed, much as in the fixture at Old Trafford, Rangers frustrated United for large periods only for Rooney’s late goal winning the points for the visitors and the manager’s praise.

“It took courage for Wayne Rooney to take the penalty, it wasn’t the easiest night for him having missed couple of chances,” Ferguson said.

“There’s still some rustiness in his game. We deserved to win tonight and I think we want to go on and win the group. We have Valencia at home and maybe we’ll make one or two changes.”

Ferguson deployed a stronger side in Glasgow than at Old Trafford a month ago, including Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov in a front two. Indeed, the Bulgarian had a decent shout for a penalty just three minutes into the match, with Ricky Foster seemingly bundling over the 29-year-old striker.

In a strong opening 10 minutes for United, Berbatov then headed straight at Alan McGregor when well positioned before Paul Scholes’ 25-yarder was blocked on the edge of the area; the Scots struggling to pick up the Bulgarian when he dropped deep.

Indeed, the tempo of United’s play was far better than at any point during the Old Trafford fixture, although Rooney barely had any influence on the game. Clearly rusty after more than a month on the sidelines, the 25-year-old snatched at a difficult chance on the volley before seeing another shot blocked. Certainly no Rooney of eight months ago.

Rangers though remained typically obdurate, packing midfield and falling back to the edge of the area when under pressure. Pretty it isn’t but Rangers has found a way of not conceding despite the limited budget enjoyed by the Scottish champions.

United’s one touch play continued to impress though, with Michael Carrick and Nani opening up the Rangers defence before the Portuguese fired high over McGregor’s goal. Then the game almost came to life, with Rooney heading against McGregor’s bar from Fabio da Silva’s outstanding left-wing cross.

Yet Rangers arguably created the best chance of the opening period, with Kenny Millar firing straight at Edwin van der Sar from six yards.

Despite Rangers desperately needing the win to hold any chance of progressing the pattern barely changed in the second period, with Walter Smith’s side decamping to its own penalty area whenever United held possession.

Yet Rooney and Berbatov opened up the Rangers defence minutes into the second period, with Carrick unable to beat McGregor when well placed. The Geordie’s form has improved in recent weeks but goalscoring is not one of the 29-year-old’s strengths.

Rangers’ Naismith could have scored though when Jonny Evans failed to clear a routine through ball, requiring van der Sar to save at the Scot’s feet. On such moments can games, even as one-sided as this, be won and lost.

As Rangers seemingly dropped ever deeper United kept possession well but appeared out of ideas, with both Rooney and Berbatov dropping ever closer to the visitors’ midfield. Even Scholes was unable to carve out an opening, being replaced with twenty minutes remaining.

Berbatov, with a shot blocked, and then Rooney, who headed wide, were both well placed to open up the scoring as United sought the win in the final quarter. The Scouser then failed to connect with Berbatov’s sublime lofted pass.

It proved the Bulgarian’s final action of the match, with Javier Hernández replacing the former Tottenham Hotspur star with 20 to go.

Then the winning goal, with Fabio bravely heading towards goal only for Naismith to catch the Brazilian with a wild attempt at the ball.

Rooney gleefully slammed home the penalty to earn United the win and qualification for the knock out stages.

Match Facts
Rangers – 4141 – McGregor; Weir, Broadfoot, Foster, Whittaker, McCulloch; Davis; Weiss (Fleck 80), Naismith, Hutton; Miller.

United – 442 – Van der Sar; O’Shea, Smalling, Evans, Fabio Da Silva; Nani (Obertan 77), Carrick, Scholes (Anderson 67), Giggs; Berbatov (Hernandez 76), Rooney.

Attendance – 49,764
Man of the Match – Carrick

Possession: Rangers 44% – 56% United
Attempts: 7 – 20
On target: 5 – 12
Corners: 1 – 13
Fouls: 8 – 13

Rooney starts as Reds seek Euro points

November 23, 2010 Tags: , Matches 79 comments

Wayne Rooney will make his first start since recovering from an ankle injury as Manchester United make the trip north to Glasgow. United will confirm qualification for the knock-out rounds of the Champions League with a point in the Group C fixture at Ibrox, with Rooney likely to play the full 90 against Rangers as he seeks full fitness.

Rooney will start but Sir Alex Ferguson will rotate his resources once again, with Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher, nor long-term injured trio Owen Hargreaves, Antonio Valencia or Michael Owen available for the Group C clash. Ferdinand played against Wigan Athletic at the weekend but has a minor groin strain and will not be risked, while captain Vidic is rested.

Ferguson says that now is the time for United to hit top form. Despite remaining undefeated this season, United’s form has been little short of lacklustre.

“We’ve got to look to hit our best form and normally we do in the second half of the season – it can’t come quick enough to be honest,” said Ferguson.

“We’re still very difficult to beat; we dominate most of the games we play.

“We maybe need to get a more consistent team selection as we’ve had players in and out in recent weeks.”

However, Ferguson is unlikely to heed his own advice after the recent insipid display against Wigan at Old Trafford and will field a much changed side.

The Scot could recall Dimitar Berbatov to the squad after the Bulgarian dropped out of United’s matchday 18 altogether at the weekend. The £30 million striker’s poor form in recent weeks was such that Ferguson deployed Federico Macheda and Gabriel Obertan up front against Wigan, with Berbatov sat in the stands.

The Scot must also decided whether to start Javier Hernández after the Mexican scored a sixth goal of the season against the Latics on Saturday. Ryan Giggs, an unused substitute against Wigan, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling John O’Shea and Bébé could also come into the side.

Ryan Giggs may start after recovering from a hamstring injury, while Anderson is in the squad for the first time in almost a month.

Whomever his strike partner, Rooney will again be the focus at Ibrox after the striker’s 30 minute cameo against Wigan. The 25-year-old was clearly rusty, fluffing one good chance from six yards and seeing a header saved by Ali Al Habsi.

Now physically fit after a week’s training at Nike’s HQ in Oregon and 10 days at Carrington, Rooney is expected to play the full 90 minutes at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

Despite questioning United’s “ambition” – and by default the current squad’s ability – left-back Patrice Evra says that the players have not discussed Rooney’s protracted contract negotiations and the issue is now at an end.

“It’s good to see him back, good for him and good for us,” said Evra.

“When someone says they don’t trust in the future of Manchester United it caused us pain – but it is behind us now.

“We are all going to help him get back to his best and scoring goals for United again. It is another big player and the sort of player we will need if we are going to win the league again.”

The team certainly needs a fresh injection of creativity after a string of under-par displays, especially on the road, this season.

United can progress with a draw and despite the Reds’ poor domestic form away from home this season, Ferguson’s side has won eight of the last nine away from Old Trafford in the Champions League.

Meanwhile Rangers’ hopes of qualifying for the latter stages depend on results elsewhere. If Valencia defeat Bursaspor at home in the other Matchday 5 fixture, Rangers have to beat United to stay in the competition.

Former United assistant manager Walter Smith will be without Madjid Bougherra, ruled out for three weeks with a hamstring strain picked up against Aberdeen recently, while Maurice Edu and Saša Papac also miss out. However, Kyle Lafferty is now fit and could start.

United won the corresponding fixture 1-0 at Ibrox in October 2003, the only time the two sides have previously met in Glasgow. A similar result will do United nicely on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, having failed to score from open play this season, Rooney will hope for something, anything, at Ibrox.

Rangers – 4-5-1 – McGregor; Weir, Broadfoot, Foster, Whittaker; McCulloch, Davis, Fleck, Lafferty, Naismith; Miller.

Subs from: Foster, McMillan, Perry, Cole, Scott, Weiss, Bendiksen, Shinnie, Stirling, Wylde, Ness, Hutton, Dick, McCabe, Beattie, Little, Loy, Campbell, Hemmings, K Naismith, Wright.

United – 4-4-2 – van der Sar; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Park, Giggs; Hernández, Rooney.

Subs from: Amos, Brown, Fabio, O’Shea, Anderson, Béb&eacute, Obertan, Scholes, Berbatov, Macheda,

Referee: Massimo Busacca (SUI)
Assistant referees: Matthias Arnet (SUI), Manuel Navarro (SUI)
Additional assistant referees: Sascha Kever (SUI)
Fourth official: Claudio Circhetta (SUI), Stephan Studer (SUI)

United – WWWDDW
Rangers – DLWLWW

Fergie’s folly offers some positives

September 15, 2010 Tags: , , Opinion 8 comments

Fans have criticised Sir Alex Ferguson for the selection he deployed against Rangers on Tuesday night. Vindication for his critics came in the lack of creativity shown by the Scot’s team during the dour scoreless draw. Despite dominating possession, United was largely reduced to goalmouth scrambles and long-range shots.

However, those wholesale changes also made the game interesting, with United fans offered the chance to pass judgement on some of the fringe players who came into the team.

At the back, Fabio da Silva and Chris Smalling, both of whom were among the better performers on the pitch, were given an opportunity to shine. Smalling, in particular, looked calm and collected, with only one clumsy challenge  giving any cause for concern.

True, it wasn’t the sternest of tests for the young defender, with Rangers camped in their own half. Smalling and partner Rio Ferdinand rarely had to see off the threat of Glaswegian counter-attacks but the former Fulham defenders passing was impressive, as he often found players in space who were able to move the ball up-field.

Fabio also looked secure at the back, with one sliding tackle in particular rousing the Old Trafford faithful. The Brazilian also showed a willingness to get forward and his substitution for Jonny Evans in the 75th minute made little sense. Fabio, whilst not always accurate with his crossing, at least presented an outlet for United on the left.

In the midfield, Darron Gibson and Park Ji-Sung came into the team, replacing two players who have impressed this season – Nani and Paul Scholes.

Gibson has been much criticised for his role against Rangers, being too often driven to shoot from range. But in his defence, with Rangers camped inside their own area, Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher often looked to the Irishman as an outlet.

Amongst several wild efforts, two shots just missing the target either side of half time were impressive. Furthermore, Gibson at least tried to spread the play to the wings from time to time, providing more openings than, say, Michael Carrick might have done.

Park, who played on both wings, was generally poor following an average World Cup. Whilst the Korean worked hard to win possession, he looked bereft of ideas too. When given space to run, he dithered first, before  invariably being outmuscled. It’s not an universally accepted view of course, but many supporters  struggle to see where Park fits into the side. He lacks the kind of final ball the team was crying out for last night.

Up-front Rooney and Javier Hernández  struggled to get into the game. The Mexican fell victim to the poor delivery and Rangers’ defensive resilience. Meanwhile, Rooney still looked uncomfortable, playing the ball into a packed box or back to Gibson when he was better placed to shoot himself.

As the game wore on, with Fabio and Valencia departed – the latter in tragic circumstances – the situation became even worse for United’s strikers. The Reds finished the game essentially playing four centre-backs and, with Hernandez on the right-wing after the introduction of Michael Owen, there was little to no delivery from the flanks at all.

Overall, Ferguson got the tactics wrong, insofar as the Scot should have left at least one of Dimitar Berbatov, Nani or Scholes on the bench. United lacked the little bit of invention that could have cracked Rangers’ resolve.

However, that is not to say United’s second string is second-rate. There are positives: Smalling and Fabio looked comfortable at the back, Gibson, who had difficult job in the circumstances, was often United’s only real threat,  and Hernández fell victim to the game.

In fact, the greatest disappointments aside from the result were Park’s performance and Ferguson’s substitutions.

Valencia snaps leg as Reds fall short

September 14, 2010 Tags: , Matches 27 comments

Antonio Valencia suffered a horrific broken left leg as Manchester United struggled to break down a stubborn Rangers at Old Trafford. The Ecuadorian winger suffered the injury on the hour as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side failed to score for the first time this season, leaving the Reds disappointed on Champions League matchday one.

Ferguson made 10 changes to the side that drew with Everton on Saturday as the manager sought to use his full squad against the Scottish champions. Arguably it proved too many with United lacking inspiration against a team that rarely ventured out of its own half.

“The criticism will be that I didn’t play a strong team but I think I had a strong team,” Ferguson told Sky Sports.

“People forget I played seven or eight of them in the Charity Sheild – I thought it was a really strong team.

“We need ten points to qualify and our home record has been very good over the years. That’s one point and now we need nine more from five games.

“If we’d won the game everybody would have said we deserved it but we didn’t make any great chances. Most of the chances were from outside the box from Darron Gibson so we have to give credit to Rangers for that.”

Indeed, with Scholes rested United looked to a central midfield pairing of Darron Gibson and Darren Fletcher to provide a creative spark. It failed to come, with Gibson in particular guilty of shirking his big chance in the United side.

But if United’s midfield fell flat then there was understandable cause in the second half with the shock of Valencia’s injury. The winger needed oxygen after an horrific broken left leg just above the ankle. United’s players looked visibly shocked as the 25-year-old winger was taken from the field on a stretcher.

Yet United offered little in the previous 60 minutes either, with Rangers’ players camped deep in their own half save for the occasional foray forward. After all, it was United’s responsibility to break the away side down. In that respect the Reds conspicuously failed.

Not that United fell short of opportunities, with Gibson testing McGregor from range within the opening quarter-hour. Then Wayne Rooney, partnered by Javier Hernández in attack, tried to pass to his Mexican colleague when shooting may have been the better option minutes later.

Still, none of United’s midfielders seemed willing to run beyond the ball, let alone playing between the lines, with Gibson often guilty of unimaginative and sometimes lax distribution. On this evidence Ferguson has not found the absent Paul Scholes’ successor just yet.

At times this was attritional football at its very worst, with Rangers’ lone striker Kenny Miller often 40 yards from his nearest colleague. Chris Smalling, on his full début, and Rio Ferdinand, returning from long-term injury, rarely had to break sweat as United monopolised possession.

Indeed, captain-for-the-night Ferdinand increasingly spent more time in midfield as United sought the breakthrough in the second period. Ryan Giggs, on for the stricken Valencia, and then Michael Owen were introduced to little avail.

Gibson, who too often chose to shoot wildly from range, went close from 25 yards just after the break as Rangers successfully kept United at arm’s length. Deploying five at the back and four in front, Rangers offered possibly the most defensive formation ever seen at Old Trafford.

But United failed to find the opening, with Park Ji-Sung tucking inside and Valencia – before the sickening injury – unable to get beyond Rangers’ full-backs.

As United pressed forward in the second period Rangers dared to venture outside their own half and the Scottish side had a decent shout for a penalty as Smalling clipped Kirk Broadfoot’s ankle inside the area.

It was perhaps the visitors only half chance as the game petered out to a disappointing draw.

“Rangers came here and set out their stall to defend and you have to respect that,” said the returning Ferdinand.

“They did what they came to do. We had a few shots from outside the box but our final ball wasn’t good enough. It’s frustrating, we knew how they’d play but we couldn’t break them down.

“We passed the ball from side to side but didn’t really get through them.”

In that United will recall six Premier League matches plus the FA Cup third round where the side lost in failing to score last season. This time the result isn’t calamitous but the lack of inspiration from United’s midfield is palpable.

Shame then that the club failed to do anything to address the problem this summer. Even more sickening for the knowledge that one of United’s better players of the past year – Valencia – will surely miss much of the coming season.

Match facts

United: Kuszczak; Ferdinand, Brown, Smalling, Fabio Da Silva (Evans 75), Park Ji-Sung (Owen 75), Fletcher, Valencia (Giggs 63), Gibson; Rooney, Hernandez.

Man-of-the-match: Darren Fletcher
Attendance: 74,408

Possession: United 54% – 46% Rangers
Attempts: 15 – 3
On target: 7 – 0
Corners: 3 – 0
Fouls: 16 – 10

View from north of the border

September 13, 2010 Tags: , Matches 22 comments

Manchester takes a deep breath on Tuesday night and welcomes Rangers to Old Trafford hoping the Scottish hordes leave Piccadilly in a better state than on the club’s last visit when 150,000 supporters arrived for the 2008 UEFA Cup Final. Fewer than 4,000 will make the trip south this week for the Champions League group tie.

Scottish champions Rangers arrive having survived two years of financial problems that restricted manager Walter Smith’s spending and precipitated the departures of key players to England over the summer.

But having steered Rangers into the Champions League group stages for a second successive season former United assistant manager Smith can finally see light at the end of this tunnel. Indeed, Rangers have begun the new season with four Scottish Premier League victories on the run.

“Rangers have seen a number of players leave this summer, including top scorer Kris Boyd and midfielder Kevin Thomson,” says Andrew Muirhead, editor of Scottish football website, Scotzine.

“While they have a huge debt, two seasons of automatic qualification has seen the bank loosen the purse strings to bring in a couple of players.

“Rangers have struggled in the games they played so far this season, bar the game against Hibernian. Last Saturday they struggled to beat St. Johnstone, needing a controversial winner to take all three points.”

The Gers also beat Hamilton Academicals 2-1 at the weekend, although the side’s away form is a concern.

While top-scorer Boyd packed his bags for Championship side Middlesbrough over the summer and teenage defender Danny Wilson joined Liverpool, Smith can still call on the bulk of a Rangers squad that has eased to the Scottish title over the past two seasons.

In Steven Davis, James Beattie, Madjid Bougherra and Kenny Miller, Rangers has a core group players with significant Premier League experience.  However, the much heralded John Fleck, once dubbed the “Scottish Wayne Rooney,” finds himself on the sidelines.

“Bougherra shackled Rooney in the World Cup in England’s game against Algeria. While Davis has Premier League experience with Fulham and Aston Villa,” adds Muirhead.

“Up front Kenny Miller is the man to watch as manager Walter Smith will likely play a 4-5-1 formation in Europe.

“Fleck was hyped up too much by the media north of the border. He is a good young player, but off the field issues have knocked him down a peg or two. The loan signing of Vladimir Weiss will see his chances limited even more.”

Qualifying from the group remains an outside bet for Rangers though, who finished last in 2009/10 and failed to drop into the Europa League. As a minimum Smith’s side will aim to beat Bursaspor to third place. After all, while Turkish club football is in the ascendency, Bursaspor will play its first season in Europe’s premier competition.

“If we can compete this season against Valencia and Bursaspor for second spot we are doing well,” says James Grant of Rangers Media.

“The biggest problem our club has is the lack of television revenue that allows a small club in Premier League club, such as Stoke, to offer £10 million for players.

“But if this side stays free from injuries it is better than the one you faced seven years ago.”

Rangers performance is also significant for Scottish football overall, with the club the sole representative in European football this season. Such is the paucity of performances north of the border that it is inevitable the country’s co-efficient will fall and places in the Europa and Champions Leagues will be lost.

“Scottish Football needs a boost,” adds Muirhead.

“However the damage has already been done with Hibernian, Dundee United, Motherwell and Celtic being knocked out of Europe.

“The co-efficient will drop no matter what Rangers do this season and in reality I doubt they will do much.”

But even if disappointment for Rangers is the outcome on Tuesday night Manchester is unlikely to see a repeat of rioting visiting fans. After all, Scottish football has largely enjoyed a reputation for peaceful travelling support. The UEFA Cup final aside.

The biggest concern, says Muirhead, is whether the Greater Manchester Police will take a hard-line on Rangers fans after the 2008 final – especially those fuelled with alcohol.

Indeed, while Rangers and United supporters have rarely shared the relationship held between Celtic and Ferguson’s side there are enough mutual connections to make sure the evening ends well.

Not that Rangers fans have lost any love for Scotland’s greatest manager, who played for the club between 1967 and 1969.

“Most Rangers fans have no affinity with Manchester United,” adds Grant.

“Sir Alex, although a player and a Rangers fan, will be remembered as Aberdeen’s manager when they challenged the Old Firm’s dominance of football in Scotland.

“And as they say in Glasgow, he’s ‘a greetin faced b*stard'”

To the Sassenachs south of the border it’s an acceptable jibe – so long as United win of course.

Ed was speaking to Andrew Muirhead of Scotzine and James Grant of Rangers Media.

Rooney set for Rangers return

September 13, 2010 Tags: , , Matches 242 comments

Wayne Rooney will play as Manchester United welcome Rangers to Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson dropped the striker for United’s visit to Goodison Park following a week of lurid headlines about Rooney’s sex-life but the manager says he has no regrets despite dropped points  for the second time this season.

Manchester will breathe a collective sigh of relief if the match passes without incident. On Rangers’ last visit to the city in May 2008 more than 150,000 fans descended on Piccadilly Gardens for the UEFA Cup final against Zenit St. Petersburg. Frustration with failing city centre public screens and defeat to the Russians descended into chaos and violence.

However, with just 3,500 visiting fans allocated tickets – and forced to visit Wigan Athletic’s DW Stadium before traveling to Old Trafford – few expect the post-match headlines to be anything other than football-related, with the emphasis on Rooney’s return to the fold.

Ferguson says that he did the right thing taking Rooney out of United’s match against Everton, with the player desperate to start tomorrow night.

“I don’t think there’s any need for any encouragement, I did the right thing. I have no concerns about playing him, none at all,” said Ferguson ahead of United’s first fixture against Rangers since 2003.

“He’s a terrific player and I think his performance for England in scoring was a good boost to him. We expect a good performance from him tomorrow and look forward to it.

“He’ll be looking forward to it, all our players look forward to European occasions, we’ve had some memories and great nights at this club. There have been some great memories here.”

United beat the Scottish champions home and away in the 2003/4 competition, with Phil Neville scoring the winner at a raucous Ibrox in the away leg. In-form Diego Forlan scored spectacular goal after five minutes of the 3-0 win at Old Trafford.

Few expect anything other than a comfortable win for United on Tuesday night, with Scottish football largely in the doldrums. Indeed, Rangers is the only Scottish side to have qualified for either the Champions or Europa Leagues this season.

Not that Ferguson will allow his players to be sucked into the kind of defensive complacency that cost the club points in recent matches against Fulham and Everton.

“You’ve got to respect Rangers and with their history you can’t take them for granted,” said Ferguson, who played 41 times for Rangers, scoring 25 goals between 1967-9.

“I know Walter Smith well and just how organised and difficult to beat his side will be. Walter will get a good glass of wine after the match but, hopefully, that’s all he’ll get.”

Smith, previously Rangers manager 1991-1998, briefly assisted Ferguson before becoming Scotland coach in 2004. On returning to his boyhood club, Smith has led the blue half of Glasgow to two successive league titles. His haul over two spells at Rangers comprises nine league titles, five Scottish Cups and five Scottish League Cups.

Chalkboard v RangersFor United, Ferguson will choose between in-form Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen or Javier Hernández to partner Rooney in a probable 4-4-2 system. With a fully fit squad available – Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves aside – Ferguson is liable to rotate, with Paul Scholes likely to sit out the game ahead of United’s fixture with Liverpool next Sunday.

The fixture could also feature returns for Anderson and Rio Ferdinand. While Anderson is likely to feature from the bench, Ferdinand could start his first match since prior to the World Cup following a knee ligament injury.

Rafael is suspended following his red card against Bayern Munich in last season’s quarter-final second leg.

Meanwhile, Rangers will train at Old Trafford today ahead of tomorrow’s game hoping to improve on last season’s performance when the Scottish champions finished last in their group. The Glasgow club’s results in Europe have hardly been helped by financial restrictions that limited manager Walter Smith’s spending in the transfer market.

Recent signing James Beattie from Stoke City was Rangers’ first paid acquisition in nearly two years. Nikica Jelavić from SK Rapid Wien and Manchester City’s Vladimír Weiss also joined the club during the summer to counter the loss of Kris Boyd to Middlesbrough FC and teenage defender Danny Wilson to Liverpool.

Andy Webster and John Fleck are yet to feature this term after picking up hamstring injuries in pre-season, while Steven Whittaker and Kirk Broadfoot suffered knocks on international duty with Scotland. The latter started against Hamilton only to injure his other ankle shortly before half-time.

United, meanwhile, hasn’t lost an opening day Champions League fixture in 13 seasons. Few expect that record to be broken Tuesday night.

Rangers – 4-5-1 – McGregor; Weir, Whittaker, Papac, Bougherra; Edu, McCulloch, Davis, Lafferty, G Naismith; Miller

Subs from: Foster, Broadfoot, Webster, McMillan, Perry, Cole, Scott, Fleck, Weiss, Bendiksen, Shinnie, Stirling, Wylde, Ness, Hutton, Dick, McCabe, Beattie, Little, Loy, Campbell, Hemmings, K Naismith, Wright.

Referee: Olegário Benquerença (POR)
Assistant referees: Jose Cardinal (POR), João Santos (POR)
Additional assistant referee: Artur Soares Dias (POR)
Additional assistant referee: Carlos Xistra (POR)
Fourth official: Vasco Antonio Moreira Dos Santos (POR)

United – WWDWD
Rangers – WWWW