One Step Beyond

Last updated : 15 May 2008 By Ed_ScottishFitba

Scotland's representatives in the UEFA Cup final could not find that piece of luck/genius/call it what you will that turns games into victories. I doubt that many Rangers fans will be reading this after the disappointment of losing their first European final in 36 years. But if they do - in the cold light of day - I think they will agree that the better team on the night won. Zenit appeared to have more of a goal threat throughout the game while Rangers were limited to a couple of chances. The domestic treble is still on but the quadruple that requires some European guile has fallen by the wayside.

The fixture nightmare that Rangers have had to deal with will not have helped but the game plan that worked to get them to the final was just not able to cope for the final time. Weariness will have played it's part but speed of thought was also missing last night. On and off the pitch. If substitutes were introduced at half time they may have made a difference. Traditional match-winners Natcho Novo and Chris Boyd were just added to the mix too late to work their magic goal touch to proceedings. Jean-Claude Darcheville ran his heart out for the cause but was under supplied and out-numbered all night. Support was lacking for the strapping lad at the key moments when he did have the ball.

Will it be another 36 years before Rangers see a final in Europe again? Will they have learnt their lesson on the flexibility required to play European sides? Will they be able to recover for their domestic chores with two trophies still up for grabs? Only time will tell.

Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)

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