Politano Napoli end Rangers resistance of 10 players after McGregor tournaments | Champions League

11 goals conceded and none scored in three matches cannot bode well for Notice Management. However, on a strange night at Ibrox, Giovanni van Bronckhorst affected his team’s competitive edge against Napoli before reducing Rangers to 10 men.

Napoli finally emerged as a deserving winner, but a whiff of controversy has filled Govan’s air from the moment James Sands was fired. Rangers felt wronged, in contrast to the embarrassment they suffered as a result of the 4-0 back-to-back loss to Ajax and Celtic.

Wayne Rooney had a late penalty kick for Manchester United the last time Ibrox played Champions League Group stage match. Nearly 12 years later, sanctions have defined the Rangers’ return to this environment.

Alan McGregor twice denied Peter Zelenskiy from 12 yards – the Polish midfielder was ordered to retake the penalty – before Matteo Politano did not commit a foul from the same position. Napoli had the platform from which to press their supremacy.

“Even the red card I thought we gave Napoli a really tough game,” said Van Bronckhorst. “I don’t think the 3-0 defeat reflected the difference in quality today. The manner of this defeat was clearly different from the two previous defeats.” The point was fair.

The Queen’s death has inevitably been recorded at Ibrox more than many other football stadiums across the UK. The Rangers’ cultural identity is intrinsically linked to the British, and thus to the royal family. A big TiVo show paid tribute to the Queen when the teams showed up.

A minute of complete silence was perforated by playing God Save The King over the stadium’s speaker system. It remains to be seen if UEFA will take action against this, in light of advice given to British clubs ahead of this week’s Champions League matches.

Rangers fans display a banner in honor of Queen Elizabeth II before kick-off. Photo: Lee Smith/Action Images/Reuters

The match started at a frantic pace. Rangers were supposed to take the lead within 30 seconds, instead it was Alfredo Morelos taking a long way off James Tavernier’s cross. Zelensky broke McGregor’s right post with half a ball.

Scott Arfield forced Alex Merritt to a fine save from long range, with Napoli’s response arriving via Giovanni Simeone. McGregor raced sharply from his goal to deny the striker.

Van Bronckhorst adopted many of the principles of last season’s Europa League final by choosing him here. Indeed, it is a damning indictment regarding Rangers’ summer recruitment, as not a single player who arrived during that period has appeared in the starting line-up.

Zielinski’s superb free kick somehow managed to get away with all his teammates and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s long shot but otherwise the home defense coped superbly for most of the first half. For the first time in three games, Rangers applauded at the break.

Rangers opened the second half in a similar fashion to the first. This time it was Arfield who was extravagant after Tavernier awarded him a free kick on target from 10 yards.

Controversy was in the aftermath. Sands received a second yellow card for Simeone after the Napoli striker managed to pass Zelensky’s superb pass. McGregor saved Zelensky’s penalty kick, but Politano quickly shot the rebound from the strongest angles. The VAR identified multiple instances of infringement, so Zelensky was asked to try again. He hit the kick to McGregor’s right for the second time; And with the same result. This time, no player from Napoli was on hand to convert the loose ball. Ibrox breathed a sigh of relief, saving the anxiety of facing the Serie A leaders for half an hour while a short man.

Alan McGregor saves the penalty kick, which was repaid to Peter Zelensky.
Alan McGregor saves the penalty kick, which was repaid to Peter Zelensky. Photography: Andrew Milligan/PA

The rest period was only brief for the Rangers. Borna Barisic brilliantly parried Kvaratskeli’s shot, with Zelensky making the smart choice to stay clear of the evening’s third penalty kick. Instead, Politano buried the ball low to McGregor’s left.

Napoli added shine to the score line. Giacomo Raspadori finished off a brilliant move and Tanguy Ndombele fired the ball after Glenn Camara admitted possession on the cheap. Naples march.