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Rangers down Bursaspor thanks to Naismith strike

Rangers FC 1-0 Bursaspor
Steven Naismith's 18th-minute goal ensured the Scottish champions of three points against their Turkish counterparts in Glasgow.

Rangers down Bursaspor thanks to Naismith strike
Rangers down Bursaspor thanks to Naismith strike ©UEFA.com

Rangers FC ended their long wait for a victory in the UEFA Champions League with a workmanlike victory against Turkish champions Bursaspor.

The Glasgow club had not won in the competition since a 3-0 triumph at Olympique Lyonnais in October 2007 and lost all three home games in last season's group stage, but ended that barren spell against the Turkish champions. Steven Naismith clipped past Dimitar Ivankov on 18 minutes to register the only goal of the Group C game and ensure they will welcome Valencia FC on Matchday 3 in good heart.

Walter Smith again adopted the 4-5-1 formation that served them so well against Manchester United FC on Matchday 1 and his side probed the Bursaspor defence with a series of neat interchanges early on. Maurice Edu was the first to attempt a shot but his long-range effort was deflected over the bar.

Persistent pressure by the hosts was rewarded in the 18th minute when Steven Whittaker drilled a high ball across goal. Kirk Broadfoot nodded it towards Naismith who evaded the attention of Ali Tandoğan to steer beyond Ivankov.

Having lost heavily at home to Valencia on their UEFA Champions League debut two weeks ago, Bursaspor had been restricted to a few half-chances in the opening quarter. They began to show a little more purpose thereafter and a powerful Gökçek Vederson free-kick from 22 metres brought out the best in Allan McGregor, who did well to tip over.

The Turkish champions suffered a setback six minutes before the break when Ivan Ergić was forced off by injury. His replacement Federico Insúa made an immediate impact, however, and a neat one-two with Ozan İpek almost led the the Argentinian to goal but McGregor was equal to his header.

Rangers came close to doubling their lead less than a minute into the second half. Edu found space on the left and slid in Kenny Miller but the striker drove his shot straight at Ivankov. Bursaspor rode their luck again minutes later when Miller set up Edu on the edge of the box but the American lashed just wide.

Bursaspor came close on the hour, Volkan Şen running past Naismith and Broadfoot and was unfortunate that his powerful effort was deflected wide. Milan Stepanov should have levelled late on when he was given time and space to shoot but blasted well over from 20 metres. Having failed to conjure an equaliser, Bursaspor will seek their first points at Manchester United on Matchday 3.

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