HomeFeatured ArticlesChampions League Hopes Dashed as Rangers Humbled by PSV

Champions League Hopes Dashed as Rangers Humbled by PSV

Eindhoven Heartbreak: PSV Eindhoven Dismantle Rangers 5-1

Dream Slips Away

Eindhoven was unkind to the Ibrox men this season. Their long-awaited dream of making a triumphant return to the Champions League group stage was doused, not with a gentle drizzle, but a torrential downpour, courtesy of a relentless PSV.

Last season, Rangers had the upper hand in this Dutch contest. But history would not repeat itself this time around. From the onset, it was clear – PSV’s motive was vengeance, and they came prepared.

Ismael Saibari, a name Rangers might now prefer to forget, initiated the scoreline with a striking header, placing PSV ahead in the aggregate for the first time. If that wasn’t enough, Saibari was back post-interval, demonstrating his mettle once again.

Photo: IMAGO

However, Rangers’ fire was far from quenched. A glimmer of hope was restored by James Tavernier’s fiery strike. But just as quickly as it came, Luuk de Jong’s perfectly timed header snuffed it out. And then the unthinkable happened – Joey Veerman, in what many claim to be an offside position, found the back of the net, shortly followed by Connor Goldson’s devastating own goal. A tumultuous evening for the Ibrox side to say the least.

Echoes from the Sidelines

Manager Michael Beale, with a mix of humility and regret, admitted:

“It’s fair that PSV go through. The story of the two legs was our inability to counter Saibari and de Jong. Facing such a formidable team after undergoing several team changes might’ve been premature for us.”

This game was a testament to the gap between preparation and execution. Rangers, despite entering with vigour, were unmatched to PSV’s heightened gameplay. Jack Butland, in a commendable effort, made spectacular saves. However, the surge from PSV players like Saibari and De Jong was too overwhelming to fend off.

Noise That Drowned Rangers

Eindhoven’s cauldron of noise has melted many, and Rangers was its latest victim. Michael Beale’s optimism of a grand performance faced the grim reality of PSV’s unbeaten record here since last November. This crushing defeat does raise concerns about its potential impact on Rangers, especially with the season’s inaugural Old Firm game looming large.

While the heartache is undeniable, the ‘what ifs’ provide little solace. Yet, for the determined, there are always lessons in losses, and Beale might find some between now and their next fixture.

Reflections and Looking Ahead

Rangers Captain, James Tavernier, ruminated:

“The manner of the goals was disappointing. This hurt is raw, but we need to recover swiftly. The weekend presents another massive challenge, and we must respond positively.”

Rangers have to regroup quickly, as the ever-intense Old Firm clash against Celtic awaits. Additionally, their fate in the Europa League is to be unveiled soon.

PSV, with their spirits high, gear up for their face-off against RKC Waalwijk in the Eredivisie.

Match Statistics: PSV Eindhoven vs Rangers

  • Possession: PSV 57% – 43% Rangers
  • Shots: PSV 21 – 12 Rangers
  • On Target: PSV 10 – 3 Rangers
  • Corners: PSV 5 – 4 Rangers
  • Fouls: PSV 14 – 13 Rangers

Player of the Match: Ismael Saibari

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