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N. Stanciu (7)
F. Helander (36)
Slavia Praha v Rangers Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
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That brings an end to our coverage of the Europa League round of 16 first-leg clash between Slavia Prague and Rangers at Sinobo Stadium. Thank you very much for joining us. Goodbye!
Before these two sides meet at Ibrox for the second leg on March 18th, Slavia Prague travel to Mlada Boleslav in their next Czech First League outing. Rangers, on the other hand, have a week to prepare for the return fixture.
Following an evenly-matched game, Rangers will head to Ibrox for the second leg in the driving seat after this score draw. The hosts got off to the perfect start, with Stanciu finding the bottom-right corner with a perfectly-placed shot from the edge of the box. Gerrard’s side struggled to find their rhythm but found an all-important away goal through Helander nine minutes from half-time. In the closing stages, McGregor made a world-class save to deny Masopust’s header as Rangers held on for a valuable draw.
90' + 3'
FULL TIME: SLAVIA PRAGUE 1-1 RANGERS
90' + 2'
Slavia Prague continue to probe down the right flank, although Masopust's ball down the line for Lingr runs out for a goal-kick.
There will be three minutes of added time at the end of this match.
WHAT A SAVE! From the resulting set-piece, Provard picks out Masopust on the penalty spot and somehow McGregor gets down low to his left to keep out the substitute’s powerful header. That looked destined for the bottom-left corner.
McGregor misjudges the flight of Lingr’s cross from the right, and Patterson has to react quickly to turn the ball behind for a corner with Dorley lurking.
Rangers make their final change of the match with just a few minutes left to play. Kamara makes way for Zungu.
Morelos has been directly involved in 15 goals (nine goals & six assists) in 17 Europa League appearances since the start of last season, the most of any player. This season alone, the Colombian has three goals and five assists in eight matches. Can he find a late winner?
Goldson catches Zima inside the hosts’ defensive third, and the referee awards Slavia Prague a free-kick.
GREAT BLOCK! The Red and Whites cleverly work the ball into the visitors’ box following a neat one-two between Bah and Dorely. After driving into the area, the full-back lays it off to Boril in the middle, and Patterson puts his body on the line to block the shot.
With less than 10 minutes of normal time to go, Gerrard makes an offensive change, bringing on Roofe for Aribo.
Following a foul by Arfield on Boril, Provod floats a free-kick from the left wing into the back post and Rangers easily clear their lines.
OPPORTUNITY! Morelos steals possession from Provod in the centre of the field, and Kent runs at Kudela after picking up the loose ball. The winger drives into the box and sees his left-footed shot from an acute angle blocked behind for corner by the Czech defender.
Trpisovsky once again turns to his bench, this time bringing on Lingr for the goalscorer, Stanciu.
Boril looks to set Provod away down the left, but Patterson spots the danger and gets across to knock the ball out for a throw-in.
The home side advance down the right-hand side of the field and Dorley cleverly cuts inside of Davis at the by-line, although his cross is nodded away at the near post.
With 19 minutes of normal time left to play, Kuchta makes way for Dorley. It remains 1-1.
Sima skips beyond Patterson down the near side and picks out Kuchta in the middle. The striker shows good awareness to tee up Boril, and his shot from the edge is the box is blocked out for a corner by Davis.
OPENING! Barisic whips the resulting free-kick into the centre of the box and Goldson is unable to get a clean connection on the delivery, before it evades Helander at the back post.
The visitors are just beginning to find their feet in the second half. Kent uses his body well down the left flank and wins a free-kick in advanced position from Bah.
SMART SAVE! Following a throw-in down the far side, Aribo skips beyond Holes and picks out Kent in the centre of the box. The attacker fires a first-time effort into the ground, and Kolar is at full stretch to claw it out from the top-right corner.
Just after the hour mark, Gerrard makes his first alteration of the match. Arfield enters the fray in place of Hagi.
WIDE! Patterson sets Morelos away down the right, and the striker pulls it back to the edge of the box for Aribo. The Nigeria international opens up his body and lashes his left-footed shot wide to the left of Kolar’s goal.
The hosts up the tempo of their play and quickly sweep the play over to the right for Ba. The full-back takes a touch to set himself before sending his cross over McGregor’s goal.
Boril creates a yard of space down the left flank, cuts inside onto his weaker right foot, and lashes a long-range shot wide of the far post.
A pass up to the halfway line is taken down well by Morelos, who spins away from Zima. The Slavia Prague defender then cynically trips the Colombian as he looked to break and goes into the referee’s book.
Davis fails to control the ball in the centre of the park, and catches Provod’s ankle in seeking to chase his own first touch. He is shown a yellow card and can have no complaints with the decision.
Some clever play sees Stanciu pick the ball up just inside from the right channel. The Romanian tries to pick out Kuchta with a first-time pass, but his delivery sails beyond the forward.
Slavia Prague have only lost one of their previous 10 home matches in the Europa League (W6 D3). Their last defeat came against Chelsea in a quarter-final game back in April 2019.
Sima cuts inside from the left flank and delivers a right-footed cross in towards the far post. Masopust chases after the delivery, although he is unable to keep it on and it runs out for a goal-kick.
Bah drives down the right-hand side of the field and, after being dispossessed by Kent, catches Barisic. The Gers are awarded a free-kick deep inside their own half.
We are back underway! Hategan, the referee, blows his whistle and Slavia Prague get the second half kicked off.
The home side make one change at the break. Masopust replaces Olayinka for the second half.
Having enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half, Trpisovsky will be pleased by his team’s performance thus far. Stanciu has pulled the strings in midfield, while Olayinka has had the beating of Patterson down the left-hand side of the field. Gerrard, on the other hand, will not be happy with his side’s sloppiness. The Scottish champions have failed to test the hosts’ defence, and can consider themselves a little fortunate to have an away goal.
Following a tightly-contested first half, there’s nothing to separate Slavia Prague and Rangers at the break. After a bright start, the Red and Whites took the lead on the seven-minute mark when Stanciu’s curling strike from range sailed beyond McGregor and into the bottom-right corner. Although the hosts dominated the ball, Rangers found an equaliser nine minutes from half-time when a set-piece situation broke kindly for Helander to convert from close range.
HALF TIME: SLAVIA PRAGUE 1-1 RANGERS
On the break, Hagi catches Holes with a high boot and the referee awards the home side a free-kick a few yards inside their half.
Rangers fail to clear a free-kick from the right, and Stanciu is able to collect the ball down the opposite flank. The Romanian’s floated cross is nodded down by Olayinka before being hooked away by Barisic.
Provod fires an out-swinging free-kick in from the left flank, and McGregor is quickly off his line to punch the ball away from the danger area.
Kuchta is a little too eager to regain possession from Helander and is adjudged to have fouled the visitors’ goalscorer inside the Rangers half.
Against the run of play, Gerrard’s side are level nine minutes from half-time. Barisic’s teasing delivery was flicked on by Sima and cannoned against Goldson. Hagi showed great composure to deftly knock the ball into a dangerous area, and Helander made no mistake with the finish.
GOAL! Rangers are level! After a foul on Morelos by Zima, Barisic’s deep delivery is not dealt with by the hosts. The ball ricochets off Goldson and drops at the far post, where Hagi is able to steer it back across goal. Helander is quickest to react to turn it home from close range. 1-1.
JUST WIDE! A poor touch from Patterson allows Stanciu to steal possession on the edge of the Rangers box. The midfielder cuts onto his right foot and fires a shot inches wide of the far post.
OVER! Stanciu’s free-kick from near the left corner flag is delivered into the centre of the box and Bah climbs well to meet the delivery, but his header goes inches over the bar.
Stanciu gets the better of Patterson down the left before being pulled to the floor by the full-back. The hosts win another set-piece in an advanced wide area.
CHANCE! Provod steps up to take the free-kick and looks to catch McGregor out at his near post with an effort from an acute angle. The Rangers goalkeeper is alert to the danger, and is quickly down to his left to turn the ball behind for a corner, which comes to nothing.
Stanciu launches a lofted pass down the right-hand side of the field for Kuchta to chase, and the forward is barged over by Barisic on the edge of the box. The Croatian is shown the first yellow card of the match.
After the opening 28 minutes, Gerrard’s side are yet to register a shot.
The Red and Whites turn the ball over high up the park, and Provod slides a throughball into the path of Kuchta, although he failed to beat the offside trap.
Davis whips the resulting set-piece into the box, and Sima rises to steer the delivery away from danger with Goldson lurking.
After some clever link-up play between Morelos and Hagi, the latter is cynically brought down by Boril, and Rangers have a free-kick in a dangerous central area midway inside the Slavia Prague half.
Aribo picks out Barisic down the left flank, and the Croatian lofts a first-time cross into the hosts’ box, which Boril calmly steers to safety at the back post.
Slavia Prague are controlling the match at present with Rangers camped in their own half. Provod looks to dribble his way into the box, and the loose ball is hooked out for a throw-in down the far side after a heavy touch.
Stanciu whips an inviting cross from the right-hand side of the field into the visitors' penalty area, but nobody in the middle gambled on it and it runs out for a goal-kick.
Olayinka breaks down the left following a neat one-two with Provod and looks to set Kuchta away in behind. Helander gets across to shield the ball before being pushed to the floor by the striker. Rangers are awarded a free-kick inside their own area.
Morelos goes down on the halfway line and appeals for a free-kick after losing out in the air to Zima. The referee, however, is well-placed to wave away the Colombian’s protests.
The away side are enjoying their best spell of possession at present. Slavia Prague are pressing Gerrard’s side high up the field, although the Gers win a free-kick just inside their own half after Kuchta caught Helander.
OPENING! Stanciu skips beyond both Davis and Kamara on the edge of visitors' box before sliding Provod through. From the left side of the area, the midfielder sees his shot blocked behind for a corner by Goldson’s last-ditch sliding tackle.
Boril attempts to fire a lofted throughball in behind the Rangers defence for Kuchta, although Helander read it well and nodded away the danger.
Provod starts the move with an inch-perfect sweeping pass over to Olayinka, who controlled it well and stood up Patterson. The winger showed great awareness to find Stanciu, and he delivered a top-drawer finish. The perfect start for the Red and Whites.
GOAL! Slavia Prague take the lead! After breaking Rangers’ press in the middle of the park, the home side spread the play over to the left. Olayinka picks out Stanciu on the edge of the box, and the Romanian curls a well-struck shot into the bottom-right corner. McGregor had no chance with that. 1-0.
Morelos thought he had stolen possession from Bah in an advanced position, but the forward is adjudged to have pushed the full-back to the floor. Free-kick to the hosts.
The hosts are passing the ball around neatly as they look to build pressure in the opening minutes. Rangers regain possession down the right flank, and Kamara wins a free-kick from Boril.
Kick off! The referee, Ovidiu Hategan, blows his whistle and Rangers get the game underway.
The teams are out, and kick-off will soon be upon us here at Sinobo Stadium.
This will be Rangers' first ever meeting with Slavia Prague in European competition. They last faced Czech opposition in the 2002-03 UEFA Cup first round, going out on away goals to Viktoria Zizkov.
Thus far in the Europa League, Trpisovsky’s team are yet to lose at home. In their four matches at Sinobo Stadium, the Red and Whites have won on three occasions and drawn only once. Moreover, the hosts have conceded two home goals and scored seven in that time. The Gers, on the other hand, are unbeaten in Europe this season and have lost just one game in all competitions. Gerrard’s side have won their last four matches in the Europa League, scoring 14 goals across those outings.
Jindrich Trpisovsky makes four changes from the starting line-up that beat Banik 2-1 in the Czech First League. Kudela, Zima, Holes and Provod come into the side in place of Taras Kacharaba, Deli, Masopust and Lingr. Gerrard, meanwhile, names an unchanged team following the Gers’ three-goal win at Ibrox over St Mirren.
RANGERS SUBS: Jon McLaughlin, Jack Simpson, Leon Thomson King, Calvin Bassey, Scott Arfield, Bongani Zungu, Scott Wright, Greg Stewart, Cedric Itten, Kemar Roofe.
SLAVIA PRAGUE SUBS: Matyas Vagner, Premysl Kovar, Simon Deli, Jakub Hromada, Lukas Masopust, Oscar Dorley, Ondrej Lingr, Denis Visinsky, Stanislav Tecl.
RANGERS (4-3-3): Allan McGregor; Nathan Patterson, Connor Goldson, Filip Helander, Borna Barisic; Glen Kamara, Steven Davis, Joe Aribo; Ianis Hagi, Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos.
SLAVIA PRAGUE (4-5-1): Ondrej Kolar; Alexander Bah, Ondrej Kudela, David Zima, Jan Boril; Abdallah Dipo Sima, Nicolae Stanciu, Tomas Holes, Lukas Provod, Peter Olayinka; Jan Kuchta.
Following their round of 32 win over Leicester City, the hosts defeated Banik 2-1 in their most recent league outing. Rangers, meanwhile, come into this clash as the newly-crowned Scottish Premiership champions after beating St Mirren 3-0 last time out. Steven Gerrard's side booked their place in the last-16 thanks to a 9-5 aggregate win over Royal Antwerp.
Hello and welcome to live match coverage of the Europa League round of 16 first-leg fixture between Slavia Prague and Rangers at Sinobo Stadium.