PSV October 1999
WHEN Rangers beat PSV Eindhoven in Holland courtesy of a late Jorg Albertz in September 1999 it was dismissed by many as a fluke result.
Three weeks later and Dick Advocaat’s men proved emphatically to their detractors that it most certainly wasn’t as they rose to the top of their Champions League group with a dazzling performance against the Dutch giants.
For Advocaat, against his former side, and Michael Mols in particularly it was an especially sweet moment.
On the domestic front, Mols had made a great start since his summer move from Utrecht with eight league goals before the end of September but he had failed to find the target in Rangers’ three previous Champions League matches.
Against a PSV side containing renowned stars like Mark van Bommel, Johann Vogel, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Luc Nilis, the Dutchman netted twice against his countrymen to help Rangers on their way to a comprehensive victory.
Without the injured Claudio Reyna and Arthur Numan and Albertz surprisingly dropped to the bench, Rangers’ reshaped line-up slipped smoothly into gear and they would have had the game won by half-time but for woeful finishing.
A succession of chances went begging but Lorenzo Amoruso, leading by example, put Rangers in front in the 19th minute with a firm header after a delightful corner by Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Rod Wallace was the main culprit, missing three chances before Mols opened his Champions’ League account six minutes before the break with a simple goal.
Neil McCann got away down the left and delivered a tempting ball to the far post, where Mols headed home past Ivica Kralj, in for the rested Ronald Waterreus.
Rangers seemed to be cruising to victory but allowed PSV back into the contest shortly before half-time.
Van Nistelrooy tumbled in the penalty area after a challenge from Craig Moore, and Italian referee, Pierluigi Collina, astonished the home fans by awarding a penalty, which the current Manchester United striker converted.
Rangers picked up the pace right at the start of the second half and McCann, growing in confidence, restored their two-goal advantage in the 56th minute.
Van Bronckhorst hit a free-kick that Kralj could not hold. He blocked the rebound from Wallace but McCann rushed in to tuck it away.
That goal seemed to knock the stuffing out PSV and Mols made the game safe for Rangers minutes from time when he ran on to a long ball from Sergio Porrini and shrugged off the challenge of Jan Heintz before thumping a shot beyond keeper Kralj.
Valencia’s 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich in the other group game meant Rangers moved to the top of Group F with just two games remaining.
Amoruso, Man of the Match on the night, praised the effort shown by the whole team as they recorded an emphatic victory
“Of course I was very happy with that result but I was more happy about the performance against PSV,” he said.
“I feel we played as well that as we did when we beat Parma 2-0 in the qualifying round earlier that season.
“Of course, we scored more goals against PSV but then Parma are a stronger team than they are.
“We missed a couple of chances but that didn’t matter.
“I admit I was worried after they scored with their penalty but we did well to come back and get more goals in the second half.”
Perhaps the greatest compliment after the match came from beaten boss Eric Gerets.
He said: “We have had a lesson in modern football by a very good team.
“This defeat will be in my mind, and the mind of my players for a while.”
Sadly for Rangers they were unable to sustain that form into their final two games. They lost 2-1 at home to Valencia and then suffered a 1-0 defeat in Munich in their final group game and had to settle for a place in the UEFA Cup.
RANGERS: Klos; Porrini, Moore, Amoruso, Ferguson, Van Bronckhorst, Vidmar, McCann (Albertz 70), McInnes, Mols (Johansson 80), Wallace (Kanchelskis 87).
Substitutes not used: Amato, Adamczuk, Wilson, Charbonnier
PSV EINDHOVEN: Kralj; Faber, Heintz, Van Bommel, Khokhlov, Vogel, Nikiforov, Stinga (Rommedahl, 73), Wielaert (Kolkka, 30) Van Nistelrooy, Nilis (Bruggink 85).
Substitutes not used: Dirkx, Van Der Doelen, Addo, Lodewijks
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