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Lightning Lens strike sees PSV down Rangers

Rangers FC 0-1 PSV Eindhoven (agg: 0-1)
Jeremain Lens's close-range effort proved to be the only goal of the tie as one quick counterattack floored the Light Blues.

Lightning Lens strike sees PSV down Rangers
Lightning Lens strike sees PSV down Rangers ©UEFA.com

A close-range Jeremain Lens strike sent PSV Eindhoven through to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals as they earned a well-deserved 1-0 aggregate victory over Rangers FC.

The Dutch league leaders failed to break down Rangers' well organised five-man defence last week, but this time out PSV began with impressive vim and vigour and broke the Scots' stubborn resistance through Lens's early strike. Rangers threw caution to the wind in the second half with the introduction of forward Steven Naismith for defender David Weir, but despite a spirited onslaught PSV held on to ensure passage to the last eight.

From the outset, PSV were on the front foot with a series of flowing moves causing panic among the hosts' rearguard. Rangers survived an early scare after almost gifting their opponents the lead when a Neil Alexander clearance ricocheted off Marcus Berg. PSV continued to exert their dominance when Ola Toivonen centered the ball to Atiba Hutchinson on the edge of the box but the midfielder curled wide.

Rangers were struggling to get out of their own half and were duly punished on 14 minutes with a goal of devastating speed and quality. Defender Erik Pieters unleashed a long pass down the left to Balázs Dzsudzsák and he cut the ball back to Lens, who slid in.

Lens should have scored a second within a minute of the restart when he sent a fierce shot just wide. However, the Ibrox side finally gained a foothold in the match and surged forward in numbers in search of an equaliser.

Rangers were desperately unlucky not to restore parity on the hour mark when Maurice Edu shot straight at Andreas Isaksson. Soon afterwards, Naismith sent a header crashing against the crossbar. Dzsudzsák went close again late on but his free-kick cannoned off a post.