Rangers' conquerors suffer Champions League hammering
Photo by Mike Kireev/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Rangers' conquerors suffer Champions League hammering

Rangers supporters felt that Malmö were there for the taking in Champions League qualifying and their defensive frailties were on show on Wednesday as Zenit St Petersburg dished out a hammering.

The Swedish champions defeated a well below-par Rangers 4-2 on aggregate in QR3 before scraping past Ludogorets Razgrad to make it into the competition proper.

Jon Dahl Tomasson got the better of Steven Gerrard and went on to qualify for the Champions League proper. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

It was a major achievement for Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side, while Steven Gerrard and his players were left pondering what might have been had it not been for suspensions and a lack of momentum.

Malmö’s group stage campaign isn’t going to plan so far, though.

They were downed 3-0 at home by Italian giants Juventus on matchday one and on Wednesday night, their goal difference took another battering with a 4-0 defeat in St Petersburg.

It was a record margin of victory for Zenit in the Champions League, with the visitors only testing home keeper Stanislav Kritsyuk on three occasions.

The hosts took the lead in just the ninth minute when Claudinho took advantage of statuesque defending to score from eight yards and Daler Kuzyayev doubled the advantage with a header four minutes after the interval.

Zenit St Petersburg dished out a Champions League hammering to Rangers’ conquerors Malmö. (Photo by Mike Kireev/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Things would then go from bad to worse when Anel Ahmedhodzic was sent off for deliberate handball soon after.

The ten men of Malmö held firm for a while but an 80th-minute strike from Aleksei Sutormin and a simple finish from Wendell in injury time completed the scoring in a one-sided affair.

With a trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea coming up on matchday three, it’s not getting any easier for the Swedes, and there’s a very real chance that they could fail to pick up a point in the group.

In other news, Rangers have received an injury boost ahead of their Europa League clash with Sparta Prague.

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