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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 December 2005, 21:38 GMT
Rangers 1-1 Inter Milan
Peter Lovenkrands celebrates his equaliser
Peter Lovenkrands was the goalscoring hero as Rangers became the first Scottish club to qualify from the group stages of the Champions League.

Rangers had started brightly, but Adriano put Inter Milan in front when he headed home from five yards.

The Glasgow side equalised when Thomas Buffel sent Lovenkrands clear to fire past goalkeeper Francisco Toldo.

Inter had Cristiano Zanetti sent off with five minutes left before Rangers played out the remaining time.

How much longer Alex McLeish will remain in charge remains open to question, but he will have created history if it is to be his last match as manager.

Criticised by some for his tactics during a run without a win now stretching to 10 games, McLeish got it right on the European stage with the surprise inclusion of Lovenkrands as a lone striker.

He was without a host of top players due to injury but brought Hamed Namouchi and suspension-free captain Barry Ferguson back into the side at the expense of Alan Hutton and Steven Thompson.

Rangers started brightly and a Chris Burke cross found Namouchi at the back post, where the midfielder was unlucky to find his downward header deflected off the back of a defender.

But they were under pressure at the other end as Inter, already confirmed as group winners and having left eight first-team regulars back in Italy, forced a series of corners.

Sinisa Mihajlovic almost caught out Rangers with an inswinging corner that goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus had to punch clear off the line.

From the resulting flag kick, Adriano bulleted home a header from five yards after fending off the attentions of Marvin Andrews.

Toldo had to clear with his feet to prevent a low Burke cross finding Lovenkrands.

But the equaliser was not long in coming, Buffel battling to win the ball before sending a superb pass to Lovenkrands, who raced clear before slotting the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

Inter lost Marco Materazzi shortly before the break, the Italy central defender having injured himself earlier in a tackle on Buffel.

Waterreus held a dangerous free kick from Mihajlovic, but it was Rangers who were the more positive in the second half.

Marco Andreolli was next to be withdrawn through injury, with the Italians angry that Rangers played on before the defender was stretchered off.

Angry Inter were reduced to 10 men when Zanetti was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for kicking the ball away.

Namouchi flashed a header just over from Bob Malcolm's cross from the resultant free-kick, but one goal was enough for Rangers as they finished second in Group H.

Rangers: Waterreus, Ricksen, Andrews, Kyrgiakos, Murray, Burke, Ferguson, Malcolm, Namouchi, Buffel, Lovenkrands.
Subs Not Used: Klos, Pierre-Fanfan, Thompson, Hutton, Jeffers, Smith, McCormack.

Booked: Kyrgiakos, Andrews.

Goal: Lovenkrands 38.

Inter Milan: Toldo, Andreolli (Javier Zanetti 70), Mihajlovic, Materazzi (Momente 41), Burdisso, Solari, Cristiano Zanetti, Pizarro, Wome, Adriano (Maa Boumsong 81), Martins.
Subs Not Used: Julio Cesar, Favalli, Cambiasso, Samuel.

Sent Off: Cristiano Zanetti (87).

Booked: Cristiano Zanetti, Pizarro, Momente.

Goal: Adriano 30.

Att: 49,170

Ref: Konrad Plautz (Austria)

Interview: Rangers boss Alex McLeish


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