Rangers FC 2-0 Werder Bremen
Two strikes either side of half-time earned Rangers a commanding last-16 advantage over Bremen at Ibrox.
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Two goals either side of half-time gave Rangers FC a commanding UEFA Cup last-16 advantage over Werder Bremen at Ibrox.
Strikes from Daniel Cousin and Steven Davis – both coming after errors from Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese – secured Rangers the first-leg win on a night when little went right for the German visitors, who now have it all to do ahead of next Thursday's return game.
The Glasgow side had already hosted Bundesliga opposition this season, defeating VfB Stuttgart 2-1 in the first game of the UEFA Champions League group stage, and they started positively. Charlie Adam forced Wiese into a full-length save within 60 seconds, and it was not until 20 minutes had gone that the away side fashioned a response when Markus Rosenberg picked up a loose ball and hit a rasping shot which Allan McGregor had to palm away.
Bremen were finding it hard to get playmaker Diego into the game and, on the stroke of half-time, Rangers took the lead when Cousin hit a speculative shot from distance and Wiese could only palm the ball up before it bounced into the net. Two minutes into the second half, Cousin found himself in space on the right-hand side of the penalty area and drilled in a shot which Wiese spilt allowing Davis to pounce.
Davis headed another chance over after a cross from Barry Ferguson, making his 77th UEFA club competition appearance, a new record for a Scotsman. The home captain went close himself twice in the space of two minutes as Rangers looked to increase their lead. Bremen tried to respond and Daniel Jensen's 75th-minute effort tested McGregor. With four minutes remaining, Rangers squandered a golden chance to get a third when substitute Lee McCulloch latched on to Naldo's under-hit header, rounded Wiese but was superbly tackled by the back-tracking Brazilian defender.