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Borussia Dortmund miss Haaland in Europa League loss to Rangers

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BvB 2 4 Rangers
| PHOTO: Getty Images |
  • Borussia Dortmund surffered a 4-2 Europa League loss to Scotish side Rangers
  • Dortmund were playing without their starman upfront Erling Haaland who remains sidelined due to an injury
  • Dortmund go into the second leg with the hope of turning it around

 

A staggering performance from the Rangers ensured they take a 4-2 lead into the second leg of their Europa League knockout round play-off against Borussia Dortmund.

The Bundesliga giants were without star striker Erling Haaland at Signal Iduna Park, but it was their defence that let them down as goals from James Tavernier, Alfredo Morelos and John Lundstram along with a Dan-Axel Zagadou own goal put Rangers in control of the tie.

This was the first meeting between the two teams since the last 32 of the 1999-2000 UEFA Cup, in which Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst played – and the Dutchman could only be delighted with the display of his side on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Marco Rose was left scratching his head at the insipid showing from Dortmund, although goals from Jude Bellingham and Raphael Guerreiro ensured the tie is not over quite yet as they head into the second leg with a two-goal deficit.

Zagadou had a golden chance to open the scoring for Dortmund when he completely misjudged a free header from a corner, and things got worse for the defender nine minutes before the break as a Rangers corner struck him on the arm and, after a quick VAR check, a penalty was awarded.

Borussia Dortmund 2-4 Rangers

Rangers players celebrate a goal against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League tie. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Tavernier sent Gregor Kobel the wrong way from the spot, and a tremendous first half for the Scottish champions improved further following another corner, which Joe Aribo flicked on for Morelos to tap in unmarked.

The second half began just as well for Van Bronckhorst’s side when Ryan Kent set up Lundstram to fire past Kobel with a neat finish from the edge of the box, although Bellingham immediately pulled a goal back with an equally accurate effort from a similar distance.

That did not mark the start of a comeback, though, as Rangers made it four when Zagadou deflected in Morelos’ shot, with the VAR overturning an initial decision to rule the goal out for offside.

Guerreiro responded again for Dortmund with a neat finish with eight minutes to go, but the hosts could not make a further dent in the deficit ahead of the return leg at Ibrox.

Not even the most optimistic Rangers fan would have predicted this result, but Dortmund fans might have had a hint at the impending doom.

Despite sitting second in the Bundesliga table, random awful results never seem far away for BVB, with their last outing at home seeing them hammered 5-2 by Bayer Leverkusen.

Borussia Dortmund 2-4 Rangers

| PHOTO; Getty Images |

They understandably missed Haaland, who so often thrives in Europe, scoring 23 goals in 20 appearances in major European competition (excluding qualifying), but some of the defending was inexcusable.

Rangers had lost seven of their previous eight away games against German opponents in European competition (D1) since beating Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Cup in October 1998 and failed to score in six of those games.

Here they were especially effective on the counter, having twice as many shots in the first half as Dortmund (six to three) despite only having 37.5 per cent of the possession.

In league play, a win and a defeat might work out better than two draws, but Dortmund’s remarkable record of drawing only once in 33 games in all competitions this season suggests a lack of control, which is extremely unhelpful in a tie such as this.

There was certainly no opportunity to settle for a first-leg draw on Thursday when not firing on all cylinders, meaning BVB will have to win big away from home to advance.

 

It is back to respective league action, as Dortmund host Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday while Rangers travel to Dundee United earlier the same day, before the second leg in Scotland next Thursday.

 

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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