Rangers’ Europa League semi-final with RB Leipzig hangs in the balaance after a 1-0 defeat in Germany – but the Gers will take plenty of confidence after a dogged defensive display.
Angelino’s late stunner was the difference between the sides on the night but there wasn’t much between the sides in Leipzig and Rangers will be looking forward to next week’s return at Ibrox.
The Light Blues lined up with a three-man central defence and two wingers playing as strikers as they took a conservative stance against the Germans.
While it took the Light Blues a while to find their footing, RB threatened plenty without really delivering as Allan McGregor made it off at the break without having had a save to make.
Leipzig would have the bulk of possession in the opening 45 minutes but the Gers midfielders and defence snuffed out any promising attacks from the hosts.
When Rangers did get forward, the attacking duo of Kent and Wright had precious little to work with; Rangers’ final ball letting them down on the few occasions they did get forward.
Going in at the break, Gio van Bronckhorst’s side will have been the happier of the two sides despite RB Leipzig’s dominance of the ball.
The thousands of Rangers fans who had made the trip to Germany were certainly happy enough with the display from the Light Blues as they continued to dream of heading to Seville for next month’s final.
Rangers made a tactical tweak at the break with Joe Aribo in a more advanced role, and it looked to pay off with the Light Blues having more impact on the game after the restart.
The Nigerian was central to the Gers’ trying to break forward before the Light Blues made changes intoducing Fashion Sakala, Scott Arfield and James Sands.
As the game sat still fairly evenly balanced, it looked as though Rangers were going to take a scoreless draw back to Glasgow for the second leg after a solid defensive display
With five minutes to go the Germans took the lead through Angelino; a Leipzig corner when a corner was headed out as far as the full-back, who met it first time on the volley to beat McGregor and break Rangers’ resolve.
Rangers now have 90 minutes to turn things around and keep the Europa League dream alive.
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi, Angelino, Adams, Klostermann, Szoboszali, Nkunku, Halstenberg, Olmo, Lamier, Gvardiol, Henrichs.
Subs: Tschauner, Martinez, Poulsen, Forsberg, Mukiele, Andre Silva, Raebiger, Novoa, Lelle.
Rangers: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic; Jack, Lundstram, Kamara; Wright, Aribo, Kent.
Subs: McCrorie, McLaughlin, Davis Diallo, Sands, Balogun, Sakala, Arfield, King, Lowry, McKinnon, Devine.