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Rangers stand firm to keep PSV at bay

PSV Eindhoven 0-0 Rangers FC
Chances were at a premium in this first leg in the Netherlands, PSV defender Marcelo heading the best of them wide when unmarked.

Rangers stand firm to keep PSV at bay
Rangers stand firm to keep PSV at bay ©UEFA.com

PSV Eindhoven and Rangers FC will travel to Glasgow all square after a goalless draw in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie in the Netherlands.

There were few openings before the break, with Walter Smith's visitors sitting deep and Fred Rutten's side unable to muster more than a couple of half chances. PSV also dictated play in the second 45, but could find no way past a stubborn Rangers rearguard – Marcelo heading the best opportunity wide when unmarked in the 71st minute.

It took the Dutch Eredivisie leaders 15 minutes to create something of note, although the move was worth the wait. Ola Toivonen carved open the Rangers defence with a deft flick into the path of his fellow Swedish international Marcus Berg, yet Rangers keeper Neil Alexander charged from his line to avert what looked a certain goal.

With the Scottish champions playing a five-man defence protected by a four-strong midfield, there was precious little space for PSV to make headway. When Jeremain Lens did find an opening, after wriggling clear of David Weir and Steven Whittaker, he shot over. Then Marcelo's header from close range also cleared the bar with no defender near.

Rangers threatened first after the restart. Defender Richard Foster ran unchallenged for almost the entire length of the pitch, only to see his low centre turned behind by PSV skipper Orlando Engelaar. PSV responded with an angled Berg drive that fizzed wide.

In the 55th minute home custodian Andreas Isaksson made his one serious save, tipping a Kyle Bartley header behind his near post. At the other end, Alexander was beaten by Balázs Dzsudzsák's deep curling cross, but not by Marcelo as the defender nodded wide with the goal at his mercy. The tie concludes at Ibrox next Thursday.