When Nacho Novo converted Rangers’ fifth penalty kick he did more than seal their place in the UEFA Cup final, he sealed this Rangers side’s place as legends. Win or lose in Manchester every Rangers fan will be rightly proud of the achievement of this group of underdogs for years to come.
It may not have been the prettiest game of football, but Walter Smith’s men again showed that what they may lack in technical ability they more than make up for with grit, determination and passion.
Fiorentina coach Ceare Prandelli does not seem to share my enthusiasm for the Rangers performance however. He is quoted on bbc.co.uk as saying:
“Rangers came here just to stop us playing our best football and got the result they wanted.
The game would have been more entertaining if we were facing a team ready to play a bit more.”
Hmm, perhaps I am wrong but was it not the Italians who invented defensive football? Rangers played to their strengths, who can criticise them for that? In yet another David versus Goliath encounter Walter Smith ensured his team did what was needed and I congratulate the whole team.
The only disappointment was Daniel Cousin’s stupidity. While I don’t think for a second he hurt Liverani with his ‘head-butt’, everyone with even a passing interest in football knows you are going to see red if you put your head into another player the way Cousin did. Rangers will now be without the big striker in the final which stacks the odds further in the favour of the excellent St. Petersburg side. But then that’s the way Rangers like it…