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CL: Liverpool 2 vs 0 Rangers TAA 7’ Salah 53’

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--- Quote from: Dougle on October  2, 2022, 08:28:06 pm ---                                                                  Liverpool V Rangers                                                                                                                                                   
                                                               Tuesday Oct 4th,  8.00pm

                                                           Referee. Clément Turpin FRA
                                                           Assistant Refs. Nicolas Danos FRA, Cyril Gringore FRA
                                                           Fourth official. Ruddy Buquet FRA
                                                           VAR Jérôme Brisard FRA, Willy Delajod FRA                                                                                                                                 

Rangers have had a mixed start to their season. In Scotland they stand second place, 2 points behind Celtic, 6 wins from 8 but have already taken a fair beating from their buddies Celtic. Gio Von Bronkhorst, the manager and an ex-Rangers player, is in his first full season in charge.

Rangers is the most successful club in Scottish football. The club has won the Scottish League title a record 55 times, the Scottish Cup 34 times, the Scottish League Cup  27 times. They won the European Cup Winner’s Cup in 1972 after being losing finalists twice, in 1961 (the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final) and 1967. The club lost a further two European finals when they reached the UEFA Cup Final in 2008 and a fourth runners-up finish in European competition came in the Europa League Final earlier this year. That’s 5 European finals for Rangers.

Though Rangers are not a direct rival and we’ve never played a competitive game against them there are a number of ties between the 2 clubs. For example, around the same time as we were hours from administration, Rangers actually went into administration.

One of the 11 original members of the Scottish football league, Rangers remained in the top division continuously until a financial crisis during the 2001-12 season saw the club enter administration and placed in the fourth tier of the Scottish football league system the following season. Rangers then won three promotions in four years, returning to the Premiership for the start of the 2016-17 season. In 2021, Rangers won the Scottish Premiership, their first Scottish championship in ten years, a then world record fifty-fifth league win. Their manager was our own Stevie Gerrard.
Stevie was the second great midfielder and former captain of the Reds that has recently managed Rangers.

In many ways Graeme Souness was an “outstanding” manager with Rangers. He was player manager from 1986. A barren trophy-less spell came to an immediate end. They won 3 leagues and 4 League Cups under him before he left, with a few games to go in the season, to manage in England. Ironically, a trick Stevie repeated last year.

Although Souness had been hugely successful in his time at Ibrox, there was plenty of controversy. His most noteworthy act was the signing of Mo Johnston in 1989. Rangers, historically a team supported by Protestants, had for most of the 20th century a policy of refusing to sign Roman Catholics. Although there had been many Rangers players of Catholic faith, particularly before the sectarian divisions hardened after World War I, none of them were as high-profile as Johnston. He had previously played for Celtic, and had looked set to rejoin them from Nantes until Souness made an offer to sign him. Johnston publicly announced he would return to Celtic and promptly joined Rangers. Souness stated that religion was not an issue for him. A brave man our Graeme. A mould breaker (among other things broken).

A much darker link between the clubs is The Ibrox disaster which occurred on 2 January 1971 when large scale crushing on a stairway exit at the culmination of an Old Firm game claimed 66 lives. Both clubs have seen the worst of what football can bring.

We love our European heritage but Rangers have competed in Europe, across all competitions, in 58 different seasons.

Under Gerrard they regained their foothold in European competition over 3 seasons with runs in the Europa League culminating in their final appearance against Frankfurt last May. In this time they accumulated victories over teams such as Leipzig, Braga, Red Star Belgrade, Dortmund, Brondby, Sparta Prague, Antwerp, Lech Poznan, Standard Liège, Galatasaray, Feyenoord and Porto. They are no mugs in Europe. In Rangers run to the final last season they scored 17 goals in the knockout stage and whacked Dortmund in Germany 4-2.
Rangers qualified for the group stages with victories in ties against Union Saint-Gilloise and PSV. This season in the UCL they tanked in Amsterdam after a daft first half trying to play out against the Ajax press. They then, by all accounts, played better against Napoli before getting a man sent off on the way to a 1-3 defeat in Glasgow.

Looking at both clubs records against English/Scottish opponents in big European competitions over the years Liverpool have met (an equivalent) Celtic 3 times, losing once and narrowly winning twice in knockout ties. Rangers have tangled with Man Utd and Leeds winning once and losing twice.

I asked a member of the RAWK family, Scottish Gooner, for some of his thoughts about the upcoming game(s). He is an Arsenal and Rangers fan.

Are Rangers happy with how their domestic season is going ?

No, we are unhappy at how it's going domestically. The Celtic game was a humiliation, and we can't work out why it reverted back that way after getting decent results against them at the end of last season. However, it was like everything we had learned in how to cope with them was thrown out the window. We've struggled to pick up since, performances have taken a step back.

Are they coming to terms with the higher standard of the Champion's league ?

I've been disappointed in our Champions League performances. We played Champions League level teams last season in our Europa Run vs the likes of Dortmund, Leipzig and put in good performances. The Ajax performance was a shambles, I can accept being outplayed, but there looked like a lack of organisation and even worse a lack of effort which I'd never seen before. It made me think that perhaps words had been had after the Celtic game because that wasn't a Rangers performance. Napoli was a slight improvement but still way off last season.

What has worked well for them and what has not worked well ?

Not much has worked well. Easier to say what hasn't worked. We have a big weakness in the centre of defence after selling Bassey. The hope was that Ben Davies would help fill that void, but he's barely played, (apparently fitness issues but not sure if that's just the case). The manager has played Sands at centre back alongside Goldson who in my opinion is a midfielder, he doesn't have the physicality or defensive nous to play as a centre back in a back 4 and we've became very brittle. He got sent of Vs Napoli and will miss the Liverpool game.

What are the expectations of the general Rangers fanbase about the double header and beyond for the group stages ?

The way we are playing this season it would be to avoid heavy defeats. There seems something broken at Rangers just now and I'm not sure if the manager can fix it. Last season it would have been to sit in, keep it tight and try and hit on the counter at Anfield, and to come out more and use the crowd at Ibrox to carry us in the home game to try and eek out a draw or sneak a win.

What's the likely team set up and tactics for Anfield ?

We've been playing a 433, 4231 variation this season, possession seems slow and laboured, lost all bravery on the ball so you will see plenty of backwards passing and the old horseshoe shape passing along the backline before we invariably lose it to your press. Last game the young lad Leon King partnered Goldson, at least he is an actual central defender. We seem to be a bit all over the place in terms of team selection in midfield, Lundstrum will play and it will a choice between Davis, Jack and Kamara to play alongside him.
Wide Kent will play with a choice from the likes of Arfield, Wright and Tilman, with Colak and Morelos competing for the striker role.

What are your expectations for the Anfield game knowing Liverpool well as you do (as an old hand on the boards here and fan of the Champions elect (Arsenal)) ?

Expect a defeat to be honest. Just hoping we actually see some fight and organisation that we were really lacking away at Ajax. If Liverpool swarm us and we are as abject as we were at Ajax it could get nasty.

Will there be a big buzz and a big contingent coming down to support ? How does the travelling support mix in the their European travels ?

There will still be a big support coming down regardless of how we are currently performing. Rangers fans travel in massive numbers, especially to England. Despite many thinking we have a poor reputation, our genuine fans are fantastic, travel with pride and mix well when away from home. Our main problems occur when some of the neds in our society travel with no real interest in the game and can sully our name.

How has the UEFA anthem been received in Glasgow after the bad treatment your support received in Seville (??) at the Europa League Final.

We've only played Napoli at home so far, and the anthem wasn't played after the death of the queen. Be interesting to see how it's received on the Liverpool game. Seville was a disgrace by all accounts. Unfortunately I wasn't there due to having a new babyz but every account says the organisation and actual facilities at the stadium were shocking. Being advised to be there early in 30+ degree heat, little access to food and water. Due to extra time and penalties many had been there 5+ hours. How the likes of Paris and Seville happen at Uefas flagship events in this day and age is an actual disgrace.

What's the vibe about playing Liverpool amongst the supporters ?

Think theres still a big excitement, but it is tempered with how we are currently playing. But it's Liverpool, it's a Champions League game, it's still massive. Think most are realistic about our chances, but it won't stop us enjoying the occasion. Think most appreciate the levels between the 2 teams is vast.

Graeme Souness a hero for the 'Gers, Steven Gerrard a what for the 'Gers ?

Mmm...that's tough. I think many still love him for what he did, for rebuilding the club, giving us pride in performances and obviously stopping the 10. There were signs in Glasgow at the time, "Steven Gerrard Legend in Liverpool, A God In Glasgow". Think theres a good few hurt with how he left us, and the timing of his departure, but there's also now more thought and realisatuon that everything isn't ideal behind the scenes. The same feelings were thought about Souness at the time, but time is a great healer.

Ryan Kent, ex Liverpool, how's he getting along?

Started off really well but flattered to deceive recently. He's frustrating as the talent is obviously there, but it's just putting it all together in a consistent basis that's the issue. He's capable of the spectacular, but it's becoming all to infrequent. Interestingly he's out of contract at the end of the season, so we could lose him for nothing soon.

Any other connections between the Clubs ?

Souness, Gerrard, Mark Walters, Danny Wilson, Ryan Kent and Ben Davies are the main connections between the club player and manager wise. But more importantly, I think there will always be a certain link of deep understanding and loss between the 2 clubs due to the disasters both clubs have been involved in. Kenny Dalglish is another link. Dalglish, the ex Celtic player? Yes, because Dalglish was a Rangers fan as a child, and was a supporter in the Rangers end at the Ibrox disaster, was a player on the field at Heysel, and a manager at Hillsborough. He must carry the scars of them all still to this day.

Anything else ?

I feel I might need to apologise to any Rangers fans looking in, and explain to Liverpool fans on here, why I've been a bit negative. Some might think I've been overly negative in my comments, some will agree. There seems to be a bit of a disconnect just now at the club, between the team and the manager, between the manager and the recruitment, and between the fans and the board. This seems to have come to a head in the summer and start of the season, with many unanswered questions, mainly around recruitment. Who is buying the players? Is the manager aligned with this? If so, why have we spent our limited budget in terms of fees signing 3 players (Davies, Yilmaz and Matondo) that can't seem to get on the first team. We have signed several players but in losing Bassey and Aribo arguably weakened the first XI. That's never a good basis to go into a season with.

Thanks mate.    Thoughtful words.

As for Liverpool, as I am writing this, I suspect the starting 11’s for Brighton and Rangers will have pods of rotation. Diaz, Nunez, Jota and Carvalho, Konaté and Matip, plus all the available midfielders, swapping in and out for each other.  Given the onslaught of football about to hit us and given the wrecking ball injuries and monarchial passings have made of the season so far I suspect Klopp will give the fat of the squad a decent runout in the next few games. All of the players need rhythm and some (badly) need goals.

Irrespective of the Brighton performance or result (mixed to say the least) we have to win this game. Ajax and Napoli both extracted 3 points from their games with Rangers so we need to do likewise. The back to back element combined with the away leg being next week is going to level things up in a big way. Ibrox is not going to be a picnic, they make noise up there. We have to win and ideally in a controlled manner with a clean sheet. But this is Liverpool and this is a daft season. There’s a Joker loose these days.
As ever the first goal or two would make life a lot easier. If we are “on it” then quality should win out. A noisy 2-0 would be just fine. It’ll probably be another chaotic 6 goal ride.
This is Big Ears. This is Liverpool. This is the reward. Let's do it Reds.

--- End quote ---



Impeccable silence for those poor souls who died in Indonesia.

Two clubs tonight who have suffered in the hardest of ways in similar situations 

0 underway, the reds attacking the Annie road end.


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