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Larsson earns Malmö victory at Rangers

Rangers FC 0-1 Malmö FF
Daniel Larsson's splendid first-half strike gave the Swedish champions victory at Ibrox and the initiative heading into next week's return leg.

Daniel Larsson scored the only goal of the game at Ibrox
Daniel Larsson scored the only goal of the game at Ibrox ©Getty Images

Malmö FF recorded a 1-0 win against Rangers FC to take charge of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie.

Daniel Larsson, namesake of fellow countryman Henrik Larsson − so often the scourge of Rangers while at city rivals Celtic FC − was the hero for the Swedish champions with a well-taken first-half strike. Rangers must now score in the Swedbank Stadium on 3 August if they are to have any chance of progressing.

It was their visitors who started the brighter, with Larsson and Jimmy Durmaz passing up presentable opportunities in the opening stages. However, the latter made amends in the 18th minute when he unleashed a powerful right-footed shot from just inside the area which sailed past Allan McGregor.

With Brazilian Wilton Figueiredo controlling the midfield, Rangers had to wait until the 31st minute for their first effort on target, a retaken free-kick from Steven Davis which Dušan Melichárek parried to safety.

Malmö continued to look the sharper after the break and only a fingertip save from McGregor prevented Figueiredo from doubling the visitors' lead just before the hour. The hosts should have levelled seven minutes later, though, when Steven Naismith failed to convert two chances in the space of a minute after good play from Nikica Jelavić.

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