Rangers thrashed by PSV, fail to reach ECL group stage


Rangers' Champions League hopes have been extinguished in Eindhoven as PSV ran out comprehensive 5-1 play-off winners to go through 7-3 on aggregate.

Michael Beale's side, who drew 2-2 draw with the Dutch outfit at Ibrox last week, deservedly fell behind in the 35th minute of the return game in the Philips Stadion when Ismael Saibari headed in.

The Moroccan attacker added a second in the 53rd minute for the 1988 European champions, while Gers skipper James Tavernier pulled a goal back in the 64th minute. PSV captain Luuk de Jong wasted little time in restoring the two-goal lead with a header similar to the one he scored in Glasgow.

Joey Veerman compounded the visitor's misery when he fired in number four before hapless Gers defender Connor Goldson scored an own goal to confirm the Light Blues will drop down to the Europa League.

They must now also regroup for the Old Firm visit of Celtic on Sunday.

"I felt over the two legs we've struggled to handle de Jong and Saibari, the two forwards in both legs and in key moments in the game, certainly in set plays, we conceded," Beale said.

"Listen, the buck stops with me.

"Today is obviously bitterly disappointing. We're out of the Champions League. I think we played against an excellent team and just an apology to our fans who came across. They stuck with the team in both legs and they expect a little bit more than what they got."

Elsewhere on Wednesday night, FC Copenhagen reached the group stage for a sixth time, and a second successive season, by drawing 1-1 at home to Polish side Rakow for a 2-1 aggregate triumph.

A moment of genius from Vavro on 35 minutes sent the Danes on their way, but Rakow tested their resolve at the Parken Stadium by levelling on the night in the 87th.

And in Greece, AEK Athens suffered a 2-1 defeat on the night and 3-1 on aggregate to Belgian champions Royal Antwerp, who had not played in the competition since 1957.

There will be 14 winners of the Champions League, or the old European Cup, in the 32-team group stage draw which takes place on Thursday.


Pot 1: Manchester City (England), Sevilla (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Bayern Munich (Germany), Napoli (Italy), Paris Saint-Germain (France), Benfica (Portugal), Feyenoord (Netherlands).

Pot 2: Real Madrid (Spain), Manchester United (England), Inter Milan (Italy), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Atletico Madrid (Spain), RB Leipzig (Germany), FC Porto (Portugal), Arsenal (England).

Pot 3: Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), Salzburg (Austria), AC Milan (Italy), Braga (Portugal), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Lazio (Italy), Red Star Belgrade (Serbia), FC Copenhagen (Denmark).

Pot 4: Young Boys (Switzerland), Real Sociedad (Spain), Galatasaray (Turkey), Celtic (Scotland), Newcastle United (England), Union Berlin (Germany), Royal Antwerp (Belgium), Lens (France).

With AP.