News Update


A goal from Sima gives Rangers a slim victory over Real Betis.

Rangers celebrated their return to the Europa League’s safety zone by defeating Real Betis by a slim but significant margin.

The 2021-22 finalists had a difficult time in the Champions League the previous year, but this time around they were considerably more confident at Ibrox as summer signing Abdallah Sima secured an opening-night victory by poking home during a frenzied scramble.

The La Liga opponents of Rangers were stopped by goalkeeper Jack Butland in the first half as Abde Ezzalzouli’s class threatened to dampen the atmosphere in Glasgow.

Borna Barisic and Tom Lawrence both smashed against the goal frame at the other end.

Rangers will visit Cyprus after Sparta Prague’s 3-2 victory over Aris Limassol in the other matchup of Group C.

Is Beale’s turning moment necessary?
“We’ve had a few headbutts, but we deserved to win,” says the podcast about a memorable night for Scottish clubs.
What you should know about the Rangers
For Rangers fans, losing to PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League play-off was disappointing, but not as disappointing as that excursion into the big boys’ playground was the previous season.

Zero points were obtained in a group campaign that had several crushing defeats, therefore Michael Beale and his team may have had a better chance if they had returned to Europe’s second-tier competition.

Similar disappointments to those the Ibrox crowd has had during their team’s shaky start to the season were present, most notably when Rabbi Matondo missed a wonderful opportunity by slicing the ball straight at Claudio Bravo when through early on.

Sima also missed a chance from close range that had the potential to be a dangerous wasted opportunity for a team that was desperate for a strong showing to take some of the heat off of their manager.

To twice stop Ezzalzouli, the Rangers had to gamble and rely on Butland’s vigilance. The Moroccan also swung across from the area’s edge, but Butland made a number of deft stops as Rangers managed to hold on in the waning moments.

However, the home performance had a resoluteness about it, with the Glasgow team scoring during a spell of domination. Lawrence’s bending shot hit the post, and Barisic’s diving free kick from 20 yards out arced just over the crossbar.

However, Rangers ultimately scored against the team now occupying the worst spot in La Liga, salvaging what might have otherwise been a disappointing night.

Sam Lammers nodded James Tavernier’s corner back into the box, which caused the Betis defense to scramble. Kemar Roofe missed a clear-range chance at Bravo, but Sima and Ben Davies later combined to score.

Kemar Roofe was named the game’s MVP.
Roofe Kemar
Roofe made a beautiful pass that should have resulted in an assist, but Matondo’s feeble goal-scoring attempt was superbly stopped by Bravo.
“Well done,” says the analysis
Kheredine Idessane from BBC Scotland at Ibrox

Excellent technical footballers can be found in Betis. Ezzalzouli, Luis Henrique, and Isco—the highly praised midfield master who participated in more than 200 games for Real Madrid—come to mind.

So it’s a job well done for Rangers to defeat them.

Beale will be pleased with his side’s tenacity, vigor, and determination to concede. Rangers didn’t play particularly well in the first half, but they improved after the break and weren’t intimidated by the caliber of their opponents.

They brushed the crossbar, grazed a post, and seized the opportunity when it presented itself. After just two minutes, Matondo ought to have scored, and things might have gone much better.

A well-earned victory that gave the group the start that under-pressure manager Beale desired.

Rangers manager Michael Beale responded, “We’ve had a few hits on the head. First half, we had big moments. We didn’t possess enough ball confidence. We discussed that during halftime. That happens time and time again.

“We were much better everywhere in the second half. The objective embodied the passion. It is a goal off a set play for all of us. There are four contacts for us. Those are the things we need to accomplish more frequently in close games.

“This group has received a few blows to the head. We can clearly hear it coming from outside. There is no action. There is only one performance. I found a lot to be pleased with and a lot to work on.

There are many things I’m pleased with, but there is much room for improvement.
Manuel Pellegrini, the coach of Real Betis: “I don’t particularly recall Rangers’ goal-scoring opportunities. Another three or four of our clear chances were well-saved by their goalkeeper.

“I was pleased with how we played. If you want to win, you must score. We failed to score. We dropped.

statistic for the match
In their first clean sheet in 13 games since a 3-0 victory over Crvena Zvezda in March 2022, Rangers snapped a run of six straight losses in Europe (excluding qualifications).
Betis has already experienced three straight defeats in Europe, matching their previous 16 losses (W9 D4).
Rangers are now unbeaten in seven games at Ibrox and have won four straight home Europa League contests. In the competition, they last experienced a lengthier winning streak between September 2006 and February 2007.
Eight of Betis’ 11 European games against British opponents have ended in losses (W2 D1), including the last four.
In his tenth appearance for Rangers across all competitions, Sima scored his third goal, and all three of those goals came in different competitions (the Scottish Premiership, Champions League qualifying, and the Europa League).


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