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Rangers recovery against Marseille raises the roof

Rangers FC 2-2 Olympique de Marseille
A stunning late comeback whipped the crowd at Ibrox into a frenzy and earned the Scottish side a point on their group stage debut.

There are few venues as vibrant as Ibrox during an Old Firm derby, but with so much at stake in the inaugural UEFA Champions League group stage, the visit of Olympique Marseille took intensity to new levels.

Their campaign was floundering inside only 55 minutes, with goals from Rudi Völler and Alen Bokšić landing a heavy blow to Rangers FC's hopes of winning the section and qualifying for the final. As Ibrox roared headers by Gary McSwegan and Mark Hateley kept the Scottish champions' European dream alive.

Without their injured talisman Ally McCoist, it was always going to be a tall order for the hosts to tame a Marselle side boasting such emerging talents as goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, centre-back Marcel Desailly and midfield general Didier Deschamps – 21, 23 and 24 respectively. But it was Völler and Bokšić who justified their reputation as two of the deadliest marksmen in Europe, with strikes either side of half-time.

Rangers had started promisingly, Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko and Hateley sending decent chances wide, yet Marseille's attacking verve told on 31 minutes when Völler, crowded by defenders, conjured a left-wing cross which Bokšić dispatched with a cool, first-time finish.

It sparked a concerted spell of pressure as the hosts found themselves increasingly pegged back. They survived a close call when Abedi Pele hit the foot of goalkeeper Andy Goram's post, but within ten minutes of the restart it was 2-0. Völler reacted first to Steven Pressley's lunging miscue, raced around Goram and slotted into an empty net.

It was just as Walter Smith's side, shorn of the injured Richard Gough for the entire second half, looked as though they might be overrun that they gained a foothold in the match. Mykhaylychenko raced onto Ian Durrant's through ball and crossed for McSwegan, only just on as a replacement, to arc a header into the top corner 14 minutes from time.

Super sub McSwegan also had a hand in the equaliser six minutes later, flicking a deft pass to Durrant, whose deflected cross was met by Hateley's diving header – and the deafening Ibrox roar.