RB Leipzig v Rangers: Europa League semi-final, first leg – live! | Europa League


5 min: West Ham have gone a goal down to Eintracht inside a minute … wow.

4 min: Rangers will have to “pick their moments” to attack here, I fancy. Nkunku goes down in the box as he tries to spin Goldson, but tumbles a bit too easily.

2 min: Rangers, all in blue, are kicking left to right. After a squall of early pressure they’re settling and McGregor has the ball.

Peeeep! Off we go!

Leipzig are straight on the front foot here.

The teams are out! 4,000 Rangers fans raise the roof. We’ll be underway soon …

There’s also the small matter of West Ham v Eintracht Frankfurt – we couldn’t have a Hammers-Rangers final … could we? – with Rob Smyth.

I must say, the atmosphere does sound tremendous in there. Rangers’ fans have been making themselves seen and heard in town all afternoon, in tremendous number. It feels like an arrival back at the biggest stage, or close to that – what a night this is for them!

Rangers fans enjoy themselves ahead of the match.
Rangers fans enjoy themselves ahead of the match. Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

Van Bronckhorst: “We don’t get many chances to be in a final. We have prepared well and I’m very proud of my players for getting to this stage. Our players believe, they’ve trained well, they look very focused and we’re going to play in a great atmosphere against a good team. We want to enjoy it as well.”

Rangers are depleted in attack today – Alfredo Morelos is out, of course, and so is Kemar Roofe. Fashion Sakala might have been expected to start up top but instead Van Bronckhorst has gone with Scott Wright – seemingly looking to get at Leipzig with pace and mobility on the counter. Has he got it right?

Are RB Leipzig tired? Giovanni van Bronckhorst isn’t having a lot of those old tricks.

Starting lineups

RB Leipzig: Gulacsi; Gvardiol, Henrichs, Halstenberg; Laimer, Adams, Klostermann, Angelino; Olmo, Nkunku, Szoboszlai.

Rangers: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic; Jack, Lundstram; Aribo, Kamara, Kent; Wright.

Good evening

It’s 14 years since Rangers last contested a European semi-final. Back then, they edged past Fiorentina in the Uefa Cup, only to fall short against Zenit at the last. Tonight they go again, in this not-particularly-new-fangled Europa League of ours – and they’re tantalisingly close to making history again.

They face RB Leipzig, who had not even been founded when Rangers stepped out in 2008. This won’t be easy at all, but the Bundesliga’s fourth-placed side perhaps don’t quite have the lustre of years past … and Rangers can play the second leg at home. So at long as there are no disasters tonight, the Ibrox crowd may well be able to see them home next time out. Rangers are underdogs, sure – but they’ve done incredibly in getting this far, and you can’t back against them now.

Let’s see how they do! Get your emails and tweets in, and tell me what you think.



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