Champions League - Mixed night for Edu as Rangers draw

Wed, 20 Oct 21:42:00 2010

Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu scored at both ends as the Scottish champions produced a gutsy display to hold Valencia to a 1-1 draw in the Champions League.

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Walter Smith's side went ahead on 33 minutes when Edu rose bravely to head Vladmir Weiss's corner beyond visiting keeper Cesar Sanchez at a sodden Ibrox.

But the Liga team equalised 46 seconds into the second half when Tino Costa threw over a free-kick that Edu somehow managed to head into the corner of his own net with Allan McGregor well beaten.

Valencia had more of the possession, but Rangers enjoyed the better chances.

Rangers move on to five points in second place in Group C, a point ahead of Valencia with Manchester United top on seven points after their 1-0 victory over Bursaspor.

They travel to Spain to face Valencia in the Mestalla on November 2. They will do so in good heart after a rousing performance against a side who are only a point behind leaders Real Madrid in La Liga.

Rangers had never defeated a Spanish side in the Champions League and they were pressed back early on before creating the first real chances of the night.

Scotland striker Kenny Miller picked out Steven Naismith, but Cesar Sanchez was out quickly to make the block.

Cesar was called into action a minute later when Naismith threw a ball to the back post for Miller's header that he managed to divert away from goal.

Cesar was suddenly the centre of attention as he did wonderfully well to claw a booming Sasa Papac shot over his bar that flew in from distance with some pace.

Valencia finally discovered some joy around the half-hour mark when skipper David Navarro nodded wide of the home goal before McGregor got down smartly to tip Pablo Hernandez's shot wide of the target.

Cesar was all over the place from Edu's opening goal on 33 minutes and could only admire the American's shot eight minutes later as it cracked off a post before Miller blazed wildly over.

Rangers were made to pay for that miss when Edu nodded into his own net with the second half less than a minute old, but Rangers were not ready to stage a collapse a season after they had been thrashed 4-1 at home by Sevilla in Europe's premier club tournament.

Papac thumped a free-kick inches over on 71 minutes while Naismith failed to control the ball in front of goal when a better touch would have benefited him before Ricky Foster walloped over as Rangers pushed for a late winner as play raged from end to end in the rain.

And McGregor ensured Rangers picked up a merited point when he halted visiting substitute Roberto Soldado's shot in the dying seconds.


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