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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 21:43 GMT 22:43 UK
Inter Milan 1-0 Rangers
David Pizarro celebrates his winning goal
Rangers salvaged some pride after their recent poor domestic form as they were beaten by a solitary goal by Inter Milan in a deserted San Siro.

The Scottish champions fought hard and could have taken the lead when Peter Lovenkrands shot just over.

Inter had an Obafemi Martins goal wrongly chopped off for offside and Julio Cruz missed a first-half penalty.

But David Pizarro's deflected free kick early in the second period proved to be enough for victory.

Inter began the game by immediately relinquishing possession and Barry Ferguson should have done better than to blast well over the bar from 22 yards.

Martins had the ball in the net inside the opening three minutes, but he was ruled offside from Luis Figo's free kick, though Sotirios Kyrgiakos looked to be playing him onside.

Shortly afterwards Santi Solari saw a shot from the left well dealt with by Ronald Waterreus.

There was a sign of encouragement for Rangers after 10 minutes when Thomas Buffel whipped in a cross from the right and though Lovenkrands got to the ball ahead of Inter keeper Julio Cesar and his marker Ivan Cordoba, his clipped shot was just too high.

Pizarro strikes the winning goal
Pizarro strikes the winning goal

Rangers, and Olivier Bernard in particular, were let off the hook eight minutes before half-time when the full-back's attempted pass was cut out, allowing Martins to release Cruz who was then adjudged to have been pulled down by Waterreus, although the Dutchman seemed to get a touch on the ball.

Fortunately for Rangers, though, the Argentine striker hit the post with the resultant penalty.

Ian Murray was then guilty of a similar error to Bernard, but Martins shot just wide before, moments later, Figo headed over from close range.

Buffel was wasteful with possession at the start of the second half and Kyrgiakos had to make a superb challenge inside the box to deny Cruz a goalscoring opportunity.

But the opening goal was not long in coming. Murray fouled Martins 25 yards out and Pizarro's free kick was deflected on its way past the wrong-footed Waterreus.

Rangers' first real chance of the second half came after 63 minutes when Bernard's corner was flicked on at the front post by Hamed Namouchi but Prso just failed to re-direct the ball into the net.

Solari ought to have put the game beyond Rangers when he was slipped in by Alvaro Recoba, with Waterreus beaten, but the Argentine's control let him down and the ball ran wide.

Inter Milan: Julio Cesar, Cordoba, Samuel, Materazzi, Wome, Figo (Ze Maria 75), Pizarro, Cambiasso, Solari (Gonzalez 84), Martins (Recoba 60), Cruz.

Subs Not Used: Toldo, Stankovic, Adriano, Favalli.

Booked: Figo, Cordoba.

Goal: Pizarro 49.

Rangers: Waterreus, Ricksen, Rodriguez, Kyrgiakos, Bernard, Namouchi (Thompson 89), Ferguson, Murray (Nieto 84), Lovenkrands, Buffel (Jeffers 78), Prso.

Subs Not Used: Klos, Andrews, Malcolm, Pierre-Fanfan.

Booked: Waterreus.

Att: 0

Ref: Kyros Vassaras (Greece).

Interview: Rangers boss Alex McLeish


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