Gers edge past PSG
Rangers overcame Paris St Germain 1-0 in the opening contest of the Emirates Cup on Saturday.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 01/08/09 3:59pm
Rangers overcame Paris St Germain 1-0 in the opening game of the Emirates Cup on Saturday.
A second-half header from Madjid Bougherra was enough to hand Walter Smith's men a morale-boosting success in a keenly-fought contest.
The early exchanges promised much, with both teams expressing a desire to get forward at every given opportunity.
Kenny Miller looked bright for the Gers, while Turkey international Mevlut Erding showed just why PSG were prepared to spend big on his services this summer.
The former Sochaux frontman failed to hit the target with any of his many efforts throughout the first half, but he was a constant menace to the Rangers defence.
He was only inches away from making contact with a low cross which skidded across the face of goal just after the half-hour mark, while a clever lob just before the interval had Neil Alexander worried before it landed on the roof of the net.
Rangers did see plenty of the ball during a lively opening 45 minutes, but they rarely threatened the French goal.
Miller's work rate was commendable, without providing much of an end product, while Pedro Mendes pulled the strings in midfield and was unfortunate to see a curling effort deflected behind after 31 minutes.
The second half followed much the same script as the first, with plenty of endeavour failing to produce many clear-cut opportunities.
Kyle Lafferty did thump a header off a post shortly after the restart, but he was harshly adjudged to have clambered over his marker in order to reach the ball.
Erding continued to represent PSG's greatest threat going forward and he was furious with himself on 54 minutes after failing to get a telling touch to a drilled Jerome Rothen cross.
The inevitable rounds of substitutions duly arrived as the second half wore on, with both managers keen to rotate their playing staff.
The introduction of Kris Boyd provided Rangers with a considerable physical presence in the final third, and the free-scoring striker kept the French back four on their toes.
It was Bougherra, though, who forced the breakthrough on 76 minutes as he powered a header past a stranded Gregory Coupet and desperate Claude Makelele - with the midfielder back defending on the goalline at a corner.
That proved to be the decisive moment in the contest, although the SPL champions did come close to doubling their advantage as the game drew to a close.