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Rampant Rangers hit top gear

Thursday, 21 October 2004

By Luke McLaughlin

[1] Ambitious KS Amica Wronki were hoping to cause an upset in their UEFA Cup Group F tie against Scottish giants Rangers FC but despite making a bright start, they could not prevent the visitors recording a comfortable victory.

Early strike

[2] Peter Løvenkrands finished smartly on 18 minutes but it was not until the second half that Nacho Novo, Fernando Ricksen, Shota Arveladze and Steven Thompson all got in on the act to mark an excellent night for Alex McLeish's team.

Dembinski danger

[3] Amica were hopeful of causing problems going forward, and coach Maciej Skorza kept faith with Jacek Dembinski and Pawel Kryzstalowicz in attack. Long-term absentee Michael Ball travelled to Poland with the Rangers squad, as the Scottish team were suffering from a long list of injuries. Despite not being fully fit, Dado Pršo started up front.

Early promise

[4] Amica began the game brightly with Mateusz Bartczak having a great chance to score in only the second minute. Kryszalowicz set him up with a clear shot at goal five metres out but Bartczak scuffed his effort just wide. The home side continued to play a high tempo, not giving Rangers any time to settle into a familiar rhythm. Jacek Dembinski hit the side-netting from a corner on eight minutes but he was off-balance and never looked likely to trouble Stefan Klos.

Rangers romp

[5] Rangers then began to take control of the match. On 18 minutes Arveladze made good progress through the heart of the Amica defence, and as he was challenged the ball deflected straight to Løvenkrands lurking on the edge of the penalty area. The Dane needed only two touches - one to control and one to send an unerring shot low past Arkadiusz Malarz.

High five

[6] Amica were deflated and suffered further in the face of a ruthless second-half display of finishing by the Scottish side. Twice Pršo created clear-cut chances with excellent link-up play, and Novo and Ricksen pounced gleefully to give Malarz no chance for the second and third goals. After Arveladze's penalty on 74 minutes, Thompson completed the scoring with two minutes to go, converting a simple headed chance.

Chances missed

[7] Kryzstalowicz saw a late effort curl just wide of the post after he had beaten Jean-Alain Boumsong in the penalty area. It would have been a deserved consolation for Amica who had worked tirelessly and created some good chances. In the end, clinical finishing was the difference between Amica and Rangers, who both face Austrian champions Grazer AK next, on 4 November and 25 November respectively.

Michal Stasiak tussles with Dado Pršo (right)of Rangers