Malmo 2-1 Rangers: Scottish giants slump to Champions League loss

By Sports Desk August 03, 2021

Rangers face a fight to keep their Champions League campaign alive following a 2-1 defeat to Malmo.

Steven Gerrard's men came unstuck in the first leg of the third qualifying round tie, conceding two goals in the space of three second-half minutes.

Veljko Birmancevic was the star man for the hosts, who continued their momentum having come through the first two rounds of qualifying.

Birmancevic's right-wing cross was met with a brilliant 47th-minute volley from Soren Rieks to give the Swedish side the lead.

And two minutes later it was Birmancevic who doubled the advantage, slotting in off the post after pouncing on a defensive error from Connor Goldson.

A last-gasp deflected strike from Steven Davis gave Rangers hope for the second leg.

Yet, with the scrapping of the away goals rule, Rangers still need to score at least twice to guarantee progression to the playoff round.

 

Related items

  • No action taken against Crystal Palace fan banner criticising Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle United No action taken against Crystal Palace fan banner criticising Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle United

    Following a complaint about the unveiling of a banner by Crystal Palace supporters in their Premier League clash with Newcastle United at Selhurst Park on Saturday, police assessed the concerns and have confirmed that they will be taking no further action.

    The banner criticised the Premier League's Owners' and Directors' Test in light of the recent takeover of the Tyneside club by a Saudi consortium.

    A large sheet depicted caricatures including a man in traditional Arab dress holding a sword covered in blood, a mock-checklist of the Owners' and Directors' Test, a bag of money and the letters "P.I.F" written on the man's clothes.

    The banner also showed a magpie, seemingly representing Newcastle, whose nickname is the Magpies.

    A member of the public made a complaint to police following the game, with a statement from Croydon MPS saying "On Saturday 23 October police received a report of an offensive banner displayed by Crystal Palace fans. Officers are assessing the information and carrying out enquiries. Any allegations of racist abuse will be taken very seriously."

    However, Croydon MPS confirmed on Monday that, following an assessment, they would be taking no further action. 

    The match ended in a 1-1 draw, with a spectacular Callum Wilson overhead kick cancelling out Christian Benteke's opener for the home side.

    Newcastle are currently searching for a new manager following the recent departure of Steve Bruce.

  • Man Utd's scary month and shot-shy Spurs – the Premier League weekend's quirky facts Man Utd's scary month and shot-shy Spurs – the Premier League weekend's quirky facts

    Sunday must have felt like a horror film for Manchester United fans as their team endured perhaps their most humiliating defeat of the Premier League era.

    Still, ghoulish goings-on are not uncommon for the Red Devils during the month of October.

    Elsewhere, Chelsea's demolition of Norwich City came largely thanks to their English contingent and the in-form Ben Chilwell, who is on the kind of goalscoring run that struggling Spurs could really use.

    Read on for more of the stranger Opta facts to emerge from the Premier League weekend...

     

    United's Oktober(goal)fest

    Plenty of fans would think there must be something spooky going on at Old Trafford if the manager is not under threat of losing his job after the biggest loss to Liverpool in 126 years.

    If the Glazers do indeed continue to back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, perhaps it's because they have embraced as the norm United's history of some truly terrifying results during the Hallowe'en season.

    The debacle against Liverpool was the fifth time United have lost a Premier League game by a margin of five goals. All of those matches have come in October: 5-0 defeats to Newcastle United (1996) and Chelsea (1999), the 6-1 thrashing by Manchester City in 2011, and last season's 6-1 loss to Tottenham.

    Given their next two league games are against Spurs and City, Solskjaer must wonder whether he will still be in a nightmare after October 31.

    Four England!

    Battering another team 7-0 is a decent opportunity to rack up some goalscoring stats, which is exactly what Chelsea did against Norwich City.

    While Mason Mount took the plaudits for his hat-trick, he was one of four English players to score in the game, the others being Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and Ben Chilwell. Never before have the Blues had so many Englishman find the net for them in a single Premier League match. Indeed, the last side to do so (excluding own goals) was Bournemouth against Hull City in October 2016.

    Chilwell has now scored in four league games in a row for Chelsea, having only managed two goals in his previous 26 appearances in the competition. The previous English player to score in as many consecutive matches for the club was Frank Lampard in February 2013.

    If that form continues, the left-back will match Lampard's club-record 177 Premier League goals for Chelsea at some point in the 2026-27 season...

    Royal rumble

    Watford's 5-2 win at Everton on Saturday was... well, it was just a bit weird, wasn't it? After all, it made Watford the first Premier League team to concede five and then score five the next week since 2018, while no side in the competition's history had ever trailed by two or more goals after 75 minutes and won by a margin of at least three.

    Emmanuel Dennis, a 64th-minute substitute, was directly involved in three of Watford's goals, scoring one and assisting two. That's the same return managed all season by Raul Jimenez, Jarrod Bowen and £100million man Jack Grealish. Indeed, only Paul Pogba, Gabriel Jesus, Jamie Vardy, Michail Antonio and Mohamed Salah have had more direct goal involvements than Dennis (six) in 2021-22.

    And what a regal performance it was for former Toffee Joshua King. A visiting hat-trick would be a tough one to swallow for the Goodison Park faithful at the best of times, but King scored as many goals on Saturday as he attempted shots for Everton in his 11 league appearances for them.

    Fifteen minutes of infamy

    Paul Pogba became the first United player since Luke Chadwick in December 2000, also against Liverpool, to be sent off in a Premier League game after coming on as a substitute.

    The red card changed the game only inasmuch as it prompted Jurgen Klopp's men to take pity on their opponents – only five of their 19 shots overall came in that final half-hour.

    Between his introduction at half-time and his dismissal 15 minutes later, Pogba certainly tried to make an impact on more than just the shin of Naby Keita. He completed eight passes in Liverpool territory, more than half the number Cristiano Ronaldo managed in the whole game, while also losing possession five times (one of which led to the fifth goal). Scale those numbers up for a full 90 minutes, and Pogba would have ended the game with 56 opposition-half passes, by far the most of any United player, but he would have lost the ball 35 times. Only once this season has a Premier League player lost possession more often in a single match: that was Matt Lowton for Burnley against Norwich City (37 times).

    Pogba, dropped from the starting line-up against Liverpool and Atalanta after proclaiming something had to change following the Leicester City defeat, presumably wanted to make a point to his manager in his time on the pitch. You'd imagine this wasn't it.

    Kane unable

    Tottenham didn't manage a single shot in the second half of their 1-0 loss to West Ham. That shouldn't come as a great surprise given they have only attempted 94 all season, the lowest tally in the division apart from Norwich (89).

    At their current rate, Spurs will finish 2021-22 with roughly 302 attempted shots, which would represent their worst such return for a single season since... well, last season (443). In seven of the past 12 Premier League campaigns, they have managed at least double that number.

    It's not all about Harry Kane, of course, but the England striker's numbers are a good yardstick. His average of 0.26 non-penalty expected goals per 90 minutes in 2021-22 is his lowest rate ever in a Premier League season, and his 2021-22 tally stands at one goal in 648 minutes across eight league appearances.

  • Liverpool-linked Adeyemi not on the move in January, insists Salzburg director Liverpool-linked Adeyemi not on the move in January, insists Salzburg director

    Karim Adeyemi will not be leaving Salzburg in January despite an explosive start to the season, according the Austrian club's sporting director Christoph Freund.

    The 19-year-old forward has long been touted as a potential star of the future, having originally been in the Bayern Munich academy as a child before being let go and joining Unterhaching.

    It was there that he attracted the interest of numerous foreign clubs and he ultimately picked Salzburg, with Chelsea among those he turned down, and the move has so far gone well.

    After an impressive 18 months on loan at Salzburg's sister club Liefering in the second tier, Adeyemi got his chance at the Red Bull Arena early last year as he played 10 Austrian Bundesliga games before the end of the season.

    Then in 2020-21, his playing time increased again with 29 appearances, and he has really kicked on this term, the teenager's 11 league starts the same he was given last season as he has become a central figure.

    Adeyemi's 10 league goals is three more than anyone else in the Austrian Bundesliga this term, while he has also got three in the Champions League – only four players (including Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah) have more.

    A lively and technically gifted striker who likes to run at defenders, with his 60 dribble attempts the most of anyone in Austria's top flight this season, it is understandable that many clubs are reportedly keen on bringing him in.

     

    Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool are among those to have been mentioned, but Freund doubts any transfer will occur before the end of the season.

    "Karim will finish the season with us," Freund told Sky Austria. "He should fill the role he has right now for the whole season.

    "That is clearly the main focus in Karim's head, and also in ours. I don't know what would have to happen, what scenario would have to occur, for Karim to not finish the season with us.

    "He is on the right track and enjoys playing. That fits in well here."

    Adeyemi's form this season has seen him break into Germany's senior national team as well, with the talented forwarded playing three World Cup qualifiers and scoring his first goal in September's 6-0 win over Armenia.

    It is reported that Salzburg would demand at least €30million for Adeyemi, who is contracted to the club until June 2024.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.