Werder Bremen vs. Rangers  1 - 0

Article

Rangers save Britain´s UEFA Cup blushes

13 March 2008 23:36

PARIS (AFP) - Rangers marched into the UEFA Cup quarter-finals on Thursday to save Britain's blushes after English clubs crashed out.

Rangers lost 1-0 at Werder Bremen of Germany but their 2-0 first leg victory at Ibrox was enough to see the Scots through.

In Thursday's late match, Sporting Lisbon beat Bolton 1-0 to go through 2-1 on aggregate for a further English victim after Tottenham and Everton were both eliminated after penalty shootouts on Wednesday.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor refused to talk up his side's chances of winning the competition.

Diego scored the only goal of the game after 58 minutes but McGregor was forced to stand firm under a barrage of late pressure, making several impressive saves.

On their chances of going all the way in the competition, he told BBC Scotland: "I don't know about that but Werder Bremen must have been one of the favourites and you can only take it one game at a time.

"But it's an unbelievable spirit here and all the boys get on well. It's a great mix of Scottish lads and foreigners and the banter is good.

"This is massive for the club. Even at the start of the Champions League draw nobody expected us to get here. We've dug deep tonight and that's what was needed."

Portuguese outfit Sporting were an unremarkable team, and it will be a major surprise if they go on to win the competition in May.

But against a Bolton side shorn of several stars as Premier League survival is paramount, Sporting clinched their quarter-final place via Bruno Pereirinha's 85th-minute strike.

Bolton's Gary Cahill, a winter transfer window signing from Aston Villa, told BBC television after the match: "We knew it would be difficult. I thought we frustated them and they did not hit us that much in the first half.

"I don't know what was lacking today. It was one of those games."

On Wednesday, England's Tottenham and Everton also exited this second-tier European competition.

Tottenham came back from a 1-0 first leg deficit to level the tie at 1-1 against PSV Eindhoven thanks to Dimitar Berbatov, bringing about extra time, but it was the Dutchmen who held on to win 6-5 in the shootout.

Aiyegbeni Yakubu's spot-kick against the post condemned Everton to their exit after they lost 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out to Fiorentina at Goodison Park.

The English Premiership team had taken this last sixteen second-leg into extra-time after goals from Andy Johnson and Mikel Arteta cancelled out the Italian club's 2-0 first-leg lead.

But misses by Yakubu and Phil Jagielka in the shoot-out enabled Fiorentina to book their place in the last eight -- despite being outplayed by Everton throughout the game.

Having been lucky to escape with just a 2-0 defeat from the first-leg in Florence last Thursday, Everton were fully aware of the task that they faced against Cesare Prandelli's Serie A high-flyers.

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
14 12 -3 12
15 12 -8 12
16 12 -5 11
17 12 -12 10
18 12 -12 9

Championship table

# Team MP D P
1 14 +30 38
2 14 +22 29
3 14 +10 25
4 14 +8 22
5 14 -10 18