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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 November, 2004, 21:37 GMT
Rangers 3-0 Liebherr GAK
UEFA CUP GROUP F
Nacho Novo, Shota Arveladze and Hamed Namouchi grabbed the goals as Rangers rose to the top of Uefa Cup Group F with a hard-fought victory.

A Roland Kollman drive had entered the Rangers net in the first half, but the striker was pulled up for hand ball.

Novo eased their nerves against the Austrians when he fired home a Fernando Ricksen cross from close range.

Arveladze bundled the second home late on after a goalmouth scramble and Namouchi slotted in the third.

Rangers manager Alex McLeish had made just one enforced change after the fine win over Celtic, with Bob Malcolm replacing the suspended Alex Rae in central midfield.

But Grazer started brightly and Mario Bazina fired a few yards wide from 20 yards after picking up a slack pass from Jean-Alain Boumsong.

Amerhauser was next to try his luck as the Austrians exploited space in front of the Rangers back four but sliced his shot a few yards past.

Malcolm produced the first real threat from Rangers after 18 minutes, powering an effort towards goal from 30 yards that goalkeeper Andreas Schranz beat away with his fists.

Rangers were forced to replace injured full-back Gregory Vignal with Michael Ball after 30 minutes.

Marvin Andrews was next to test Shranz, the goalkeeper diving to smother the defender's low drive from 20 yards.

Joachim Standfest was put through on goal by Bazina, but Stefan Klos was quickly off his line to block the effort with his legs.

Kollman fired the rebound home but had controlled the ball with his hand.

Bazina fired in a superb volley direct from a corner kick only to see his shot miss the crossbar by a matter of feet.

The Glasgow side took the lead after 58 minutes, when Novo stole in at the back post following Ricksen's free-kick and the striker's first-time effort gave Schranz no chance from three yards.

Kollman should have done better than head a Matthias Dollinger straight at Klos from 12 yards before the lead was extended.

Dado Prso headed into the six yard box, where Namouchi's effort was cleared off the line before Arveladze pounced to ensure Rangers' victory.

Namouchi slotted home Novo's cross into the six-yard box with the last kick of the match.


Rangers: Klos, Khizanishvili, Boumsong, Andrews, Vignal (Ball 30), Namouchi, Ricksen, Malcolm, Lovenkrands (Arveladze 77), Prso, Novo.
Subs Not Used: Graeme Smith, Mladenovic, Hutton, Ross, Hughes.

Goals: Novo 58, Arveladze 86, Namouchi 90.

Liebherr GAK: Schranz, Plassnegger, Ehmann (Skoro 81), Tokic, Pogatetz, Standfest (Dollinger 72), Sick, Aufhauser (Muratovic 70), Amerhauser, Kollmann, Bazina.
Subs Not Used: Almer, Poetscher, Ramusch, Majstorovic.

Booked: Plassnegger.

Att: 46,453

Ref: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal).




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