Classic Matches

Rangers 8:0 BMG (Nov 30, 1960)

EUROPEAN football is littered with tales of crushing landslide victories where teams from the acknowledged superior nations clashed with those from the weaker countries such as Malta and Cyprus in typically one-sided affairs.

Rarely, however, can a team from the traditionally powerful stronghold of Germany have experienced a defeat as comprehensive and convincing over two legs as was inflicted by Rangers over Borussia Moenchengladbach en route to the first ever Cup Winners Cup Final.

Encouraged by the initial popularity of the European Cup – despite Real Madrid’s monopoly in those early years – UEFA decided in season 1960/1961 to introduce a second tournament designed to be contested by the winners of each country’s national cup competition.

Rangers, fresh from reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup the previous season, qualified for the newly inaugurated tournament after defeating Kilmarnock 2-0 in the 1960 Scottish Cup Final.

After seeing off Hungarian side Ferencvaros 5-4 on aggregate, Rangers were paired with Moenchengladbach in the second round and the Ibrox side travelled to Duesseldorf on November 15, 1960 for the first leg tie.

To the delight of the hordes of Scottish servicemen in the 50,000 crowd, Rangers ran out 3-0 winners through goals from Jimmy Millar, Alex Scott and Ian McMillan in a bad-tempered game.

It meant the German side had it all to do when they visited Ibrox a fortnight later but it wouldn’t get any easier for them in the second leg as Rangers toyed with them before tearing them apart.

A goal after only two minutes from Jim Baxter set the tone, latching on to a pass from Millar to fire home from around 18 yards and by the half-time interval Rangers were five goals up on their exasperated opponents who were left chasing shadows.

Brand scored the second off the post – Millar was again the creator – before the unfortunate Pfeffier put through his own goal 10 minutes before the break, heading Scott’s cross past his own keeper.

Rangers emphasised their authority with two quick goals within two minutes of the interval.

First Wilson crossed and Millar headed on for Brand to score his second. The cheering had hardly died down when Millar got possession 40 yards out.

He beat the right-back, drew the goalkeeper and coolly finished to have the Ibrox fans roaring their approval as the teams went up the tunnel at half-time.

The second half, played out on a waterlogged pitch, offered more of the same. Brand became the first Rangers player to score a hat-trick at this level when he scored again after the break, intercepting a short back pass from left-back Delange and finishing with aplomb.

Two minutes later and it was goal number seven. The spadework was done by McMillan and Brand who set up Millar for his second of the game with just 54 minutes played.

Harold Davis then completed the scoring after 66 minutes to bring up an 11-0 aggregate win, with the Light Blues belatedly showing some charity to their vanquished guests by visibly easing off in the closing 20 minutes or so.

Remarkably, at the end of the match, and after being comprehensively beaten, the German team lined up and were cheered off the field by the Rangers fans and players.

It was an impressive performance from the Light Blues, prompting Borussia President Herr Wenecke to note that: “Rangers on this display could beat Barcelona”.

Manager Scot Symon labelled it his biggest win in his six years as Gers boss while captain Eric Caldow added: “We have never played better.”

That comprehensive victory set up the first ever Scotland versus England in European competition when Rangers met FA Cup holders Wolves in the semi-finals.

More than 80,000 spectators crammed into Ibrox to watch goals from Scott and Brand hand Rangers a valuable two-goal first-leg advantage that they supplemented with a 1-1 draw in the return tie – Scott scoring again.

For the first and only time, the Cup Winners Cup Final was played over two legs. Eric Caldow missed a penalty as the Light Blues lost the home tie 2-0 to Fiorentina and it was a similar outcome in Florence 10 days later as the Italian side lifted the trophy with a 4-1 aggregate win.

RANGERS: Niven, Shearer, Caldow, Davis, Paterson, Baxter, Scott, McMillan, Millar, Brand, Wilson
BORUSSIA: Jansen, Pfeffier, De Lange, Jansen, Goebbels, Frontzek, Brungs, Brulles, Muelhausen, Fender