viernes, 18 de marzo de 2011

Rangers crashed out of the Europa League, is football or handball?


GIVE US A HAND ... Gers appeal in vain for penalty after handball

Este jueves, el PSV dio un paso gigante en un templo del fútbol británico Ibrox Park, sabiendo que necesitaba anotar allí tras el 0-0 de Eindhoven. El gol de la clasificación holandesa fue marcado a los 14 minutos del primer tiempo por Jeremain Lens. Un partido jugado a un ritmo lento y predecible al igual que el primero de la serie.
Durante un tiempo, sin embargo, en el principio, parecía que Rangers y PSV estaba viendo la posibilidad de un espacio la posibilidad de los cuatros de final europeo con todo el entusiasmo de un niño ante un plato de verduras. Ugh!!!, ambos parecían estar pensando, ¿tenemos que hacerlo? Francamente, parecía que la Europa League era una distracción de la que realmente se podía prescindir. Ambos clubes tienen un campeonato de liga por perseguir -y con la oportunidad de regresar a la Liga de Campeones, donde el dinero real puede obtenerse- mientras que el Rangers tiene asuntos urgentes que atender este fin de semana.
A pesar de estar en casa, Rangers utilizó un tradicional 4-5-1 carente totalmente de intenciones ofensivas, los cinco jugadores en el medio campo escocés se limitaron a realizar labores defensivas e iban al ataque muy tímidamente. El primer tiempo transcurrió de la misma manera, un PSV que buscaba más y el Rangers que a pesar de ser local y con la necesidad de buscar dos goles para clasificar, solo disparó en una sola ocasión al arco contrario.
El planteamiento finalmente cambió para la segunda mitad, un partido mucho más abierto por parte de los locales. Walter Smith sacó a un defensor e ingresó a Naismith, lo que finalmente le dio algo de creatividad al Rangers. A pesar de que los holandeses tenían las mejores ocasiones, el conjunto de Smith saltó al terreno de juego con la intención de empatar la eliminatoria y tener alguna opción de clasificación con Foster y Kyle Lafferty tratando de sorprender a Isaksson en los primeros compases de la segunda parte. De hecho un centro de Gregg Wylde en el 55 lo tuvo que mandar a corner Marcelo evitando el 1-1 que ponía en apuros a los de Eindhoven. Al minuto 61, una jugada en el área del PSV parecía le daba el empate a los Gers pero el árbitro Schorgenhofer determinó que el esférico no cruzo en su totalidad. Cinco minutos más tarde Toivonen estuvo cerca de sentenciar la eliminatoria pero el arquero Alexander realizó una gran atajada.
PSV controló las siguientes aproximaciones del Rangers que nunca encontró la llave para abrir la defensa holandesa.
Con el tiempo, Walter Smith y Rangers puede llegar a considerar la salida de la Europa League como una bendición. Antes que, sin embargo, su frustración sea larga y con cansancio.

Los jugadores del Rangers participan en un momento de silencio por las víctimas del terremoto y posterior tsunami en Japón antes de jugar contra el PSV.

RANGERS manager Walter Smith last night laid the blame for his team's Europa League exit firmly at the door of Austrian referee Robert Schorgenhofer and his team of match officials. 
The incident was a 61st-minute handball by PSV's Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson as he cleared a Maurice Edu shot off the line. Neither Schorgenhofer or any of his assistants, including the one behind the goal as part of Uefa's continuing experiment, spotted the offence.  
The game's most controversial incident arrived just after the hour mark, however, when Steven Naismith saw his header crash back off the bar. Maurice Edu then pounced on the loose ball and saw his netbound shot handled on the line by PSV defender Atiba Hutchinson - only for Austrian referee Robert Schorgenhofer to wave play on. 



On Thursday, PSV took a giant step into a temple of British football Ibrox Park, knowing that I needed there after the 0-0 record in Eindhoven. The Dutch classification goal was scored on 14 minutes the first time by Jeremain Lens. A game played at a slow pace and predictable as the first of the series. Smith watched his side lose 1-0 to PSV Eindhoven in the last 16 of the Europa League before 35,373 spectators, including Craig Whyte, the businessman whose attempt to take over the club is said to be a crucial stage. The impact of the blow on Rangers was palpable. Caught in two minds between their desire to respond and the ingrained habit of sitting tight and waiting for the chance to hit on the break, they did neither.  Like a boa constrictor, the Dutch league leaders squeezed tight and threatened at times to suck any resistance from Walter Smith’s side. From the embers of a burning European campaign, however, Rangers can take heart from much of this.
Kyle Lafferty’s departure on a stretcher will surely rule him out of Sunday’s Co-operative Insurance Cup Final against Celtic, while Kyle Bartley also limped off with a knee injury. But the return of Steven Naismith as a second-half substitute and the emergence of Gregg Wylde as a bona fide starting option will offset the loss.
For a while, though, in the build-up it, seemed as if both Rangers and PSV Eindhoven were viewing the prospect of a European quarter-final with all the enthusiasm of a child faced with a plateful of greens. Ugh, they both seemed to be thinking, do we have to? Frankly, it looked as if the Europa League was a distraction they could really do without. Both clubs have a league championship to pursue – and with it the chance to return to the Champions League where the real money can be made – while Rangers have pressing matters to attend to this weekend.
Smith changed his 5-4-1 formation to a 4-5-1 after PSV dominated the first half and the Rangers manager said the withdrawal of David Weir for Steven Naismith was a purely tactical move. The empty seats, not many but gaps were noticeable in each of the four stands, told their own story. You could have strolled up to Ibrox five minutes before kick-off last night and still got in. Try doing that at Hampden on Sunday.
Rangers will watch ruefully, wishing they too were still involved, before gradually turning their attention to Sunday’s match. Criticism of the display will likely follow. Nobody can say, though, that they didn’t care.
In time, Walter Smith and Rangers may come to regard this Europa League exit as a blessing. However, their frustration lingered long and weary.


Rangers pressed for the elusive two goals to send them through however they couldn’t find a way past the PSV defence which was solid for the most part all evening.








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