Rangers were left shocked by Unirea's fightback at Ibrox
By Clive Lindsay
Romanians Unirea Urziceni humiliated Rangers at Ibrox, handing the Glasgow side a second successive home 4-1 defeat in Champions League Group G.
Pedro Mendes' drive looped in off Ricardo Vilana after less than two minutes to give Rangers the lead.
Marius Bilasco tapped in an equaliser before Steven Davis missed a penalty.
A Bruno Fernandez flick deflected in off Kyle Lafferty after the break, Lee McCulloch headed into his own net and a free-kick went in off Stevie Naismith.
It meant that last season's surprise Romanian champions had recorded their first-ever win in European football.
And it leaves Rangers, beaten by Sevilla by the same scoreline in their previous Champions League game, bottom of their group and struggling to even claim the consolation of Europa League football that comes with finishing third.
Rangers manager Walter Smith had reverted to his tried and tested 4-1-4-1 European formation, with Mendes back from injury and coming into the startling line-up along with Naismith and lone striker Kenny Miller with Stevie Smith, Lafferty and Kris Boyd missing out.
The visitors were forced into a change in goal, with Lithuanian international Giedrius Arlauskis only deemed fit enough for the bench after a back injury.
And it was a nightmare start for stand-in goalkeeper Daniel Tudor after Rangers' first corner.
Mendes was found on the edge of the box by Jerome Rothen and the Portuguese midfielder's drive cannoned off Vilana and looped over Tudor and into the far corner of the net.
Rangers took heart from that and a Miller header flicked a couple of feet over, by which time Unirea coach Dan Petrescu decided he needed to make some drastic changes.
Right-back Epaminonda Nicu was withdrawn and striker Marius Onofras thrown in - an alteration that effectively changed the game.
Mendes had put Rangers in the lead with an early goal in Glasgow
Miller and Naismith both came close to applying the final touches to some fine flowing moves from the home side, but it was the visitors who were rewarded for making it a much more open game with their attacking formation.
Iulian Apostol found Pablo Brandan with a fine ball behind the Rangers defence and the left-back's low cross was tapped home by Bilasco from three yards to square the match after 32 minutes.
Rangers were handed a great chance to restore their lead five minutes later when Davie Weir's header struck the arm of Bruno Fernandes.
However, Tudor guessed correctly to push away Davis's rather tame penalty kick.
It was Rangers' turn to make a change at the break, with forward Lafferty replacing Mendes, who it appeared had not recovered fully from an injury picked up shortly after the opening goal.
However, it was Unirea who started the second-half in the ascendency, with Bilasco forcing goalkeeper Allan McGregor to turn the ball over the bar at full stretch.
Following the corner, a back-heel from Bruno Fernandez deflected off Lafferty and in off the far post.
Rangers had been denied the imposing presence of Madjid Bougherra with a knee injury and stand-in centre half McCulloch headed a Tiberiu Balan free-kick into his own net after 59 minutes.
That prompted some home fans to head for the exits and more followed when Rangers went further behind six minutes later.
Brandan's free-kick from 25 yards took a deflection off the heel of Naismith and into the corner of the net.
With Rangers' fans leaving Ibrox in droves, Unirea eased to a victory that left the Scottish champions visibly shaken and demoralised and suffering jeers from their remaining support.
Live text and stats
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Gomes (og) 2
Lafferty (og) 50
McCulloch (og) 59
04 Mendes (Lafferty 46)
11 Rothen (Novo 67)
14 Naismith yellow card
16 Nicu (Onofras 18)
19 Brandan yellow card
22 Bruno Fernandes
18 Gomes yellow card
21 Balan (Frunza 74)
09 Varga (Paduretu 88)
Ref: BraamhaarAtt: 37,500
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+2:02 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
90:00+0:33 Iulian Apostol challenges Steven Naismith unfairly and gives away a free kick. Strike comes in from Nacho Novo from the free
kick, blocked by Joao Bruno Fernandes.
89:53 The ball is sent over by Kyle Lafferty, Vasile Maftei makes a clearance.
89:06 Centre by Kenny Miller, Headed effort from inside the box by Steven Naismith misses to the right of the target.
87:53 Substitution Razvan Paduretu is brought on as a substitute for Dacian Varga.
87:27 Marius Bilasco takes a shot.
86:49 Nacho Novo produces a cross, save by Daniel Tudor.
84:40 Shot by Dacian Varga from deep inside the penalty area bounces off the post.
82:48 Nacho Novo sends in a cross, clearance made by George Galamaz.
79:47 Marius Onofras delivers the ball, save by Allan McGregor.
79:01 The offside flag is raised against Kyle Lafferty. Daniel Tudor takes the free kick.
78:33 Effort from the edge of the area by Sorin Frunza goes wide of the right-hand upright.
77:39 Centre by Sasa Papac.
76:09 Dacian Varga concedes a free kick for a foul on Kevin Thomson. A cross is delivered by Kevin Thomson, Headed effort from deep
inside the area by Kyle Lafferty misses to the right of the goal.
76:02 Nacho Novo delivers the ball, Dacian Varga manages to make a clearance.
74:45 Sorin Frunza crosses the ball, Lee McCulloch manages to make a clearance.
73:56 Substitution Sorin Frunza joins the action as a substitute, replacing Tiberiu Balan.
73:03 Steven Davis takes a shot. Ricardo Gomes gets a block in.
72:45 Kyle Lafferty crosses the ball, save by Daniel Tudor.
71:52 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kyle Lafferty on Joao Bruno Fernandes. Joao Bruno Fernandes restarts play with the free kick.
70:38 The ball is swung over by Nacho Novo.
Correction - 70:18 Pablo Brandan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kevin Thomson. Free kick crossed by Steven Davis, George Galamaz
makes a clearance.
70:18 Pablo Brandan challenges Kevin Thomson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Davis delivers the ball from the free kick
right-footed from right channel, George Galamaz makes a clearance.
68:08 Pablo Brandan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Naismith. The ball is sent over by Kevin Thomson, Header
by Kenny Miller from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
67:03 Corner taken right-footed by Steven Davis, Lee McCulloch produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
66:54 Nacho Novo delivers the ball, Pablo Brandan manages to make a clearance.
66:14 Substitution Nacho Novo joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jerome Rothen.
64:55 The assist for the goal came from Iulian Apostol.
64:55 GOAL - Pablo Brandan:Rangers 1 - 4 Unirea Urziceni Goal scored by Pablo Brandan from 30 yards to the bottom left corner of the goal. Rangers 1-4 Unirea Urziceni.
63:45 Jerome Rothen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Vasile Maftei. Iulian Apostol restarts play with the free
63:06 Steven Whittaker challenges Tiberiu Balan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Tiberiu Balan, clearance
made by Kenny Miller.
62:34 Centre by Kenny Miller.
61:55 Steven Whittaker delivers the ball, George Galamaz makes a clearance.
61:21 Kenny Miller handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Pablo Brandan restarts play with the free kick.
60:20 Free kick crossed by Jerome Rothen, clearance made by Pablo Brandan.
60:20 Booking Ricardo Gomes is booked.
60:12 Ricardo Gomes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Naismith.
58:31 The assist for the goal came from Tiberiu Balan.
58:31 GOAL - Lee McCulloch:Rangers 1 - 3 Unirea Urziceni Headed own goal by Lee McCulloch. Rangers 1-3 Unirea Urziceni.
58:03 Tiberiu Balan delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing,
58:03 Booking Steven Naismith booked for persistent infringement.
57:57 Steven Naismith gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Iulian Apostol.
57:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ricardo Gomes by Steven Naismith. Ricardo Gomes restarts play with the free kick.
54:59 The ball is sent over by Iulian Apostol, Sasa Papac manages to make a clearance.
53:51 David Weir gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marius Bilasco. Dacian Varga has a direct shot on goal from the
53:04 The ball is swung over by Steven Davis.
52:51 Steven Whittaker fouled by Marius Bilasco, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Davis takes the free kick.
51:42 A cross is delivered by Steven Whittaker.
51:08 Kyle Lafferty challenges George Galamaz unfairly and gives away a free kick. George Galamaz takes the direct free kick.
50:46 Marius Onofras has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
Correction - 49:42 Assist on the goal came from Iulian Apostol.
Correction - 49:42 GOAL - Kyle Lafferty:Rangers 1 - 2 Unirea Urziceni An unfortunate own goal is conceded by Kyle Lafferty. Rangers 1-2 Unirea Urziceni.
49:42 Iulian Apostol provided the assist for the goal.
49:42 GOAL - Joao Bruno Fernandes:Rangers 1 - 2 Unirea Urziceni Joao Bruno Fernandes scores a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Rangers 1-2 Unirea
48:13 The ball is delivered by Iulian Apostol,
47:55 Shot by Marius Bilasco. Save by Allan McGregor.
47:17 A cross is delivered by Sasa Papac, Joao Bruno Fernandes makes a clearance.
45:25 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joao Bruno Fernandes by Kyle Lafferty. Free kick taken by Pablo Brandan.
45:01 The second half has started.
45:01 Substitution Kyle Lafferty on for Pedro Mendes.
45:00+1:30 The ref blows to end the first period.
45:00+1:03 Jerome Rothen challenges Pablo Brandan unfairly and gives away a free kick.
43:31 The ball is sent over by Pablo Brandan.
42:49 Unfair challenge on Iulian Apostol by Steven Davis results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Iulian Apostol.
42:22 Pedro Mendes takes a shot. Joao Bruno Fernandes gets a block in.
41:03 The ball is swung over by Steven Davis.
40:00 Foul by Kevin Thomson on Marius Onofras, free kick awarded. Ricardo Gomes restarts play with the free kick.
39:52 Centre by Jerome Rothen.
38:06 Corner taken by Pedro Mendes from the left by-line, Joao Bruno Fernandes makes a clearance.
37:18 Penalty taken by Steven Davis is saved by Daniel Tudor. Rangers 1-1 Unirea Urziceni.
37:18 The referee penalises Joao Bruno Fernandes for handball.
36:23 Jerome Rothen produces a cross, David Weir takes a shot. Joao Bruno Fernandes gets a block in.
36:23 Booking Pablo Brandan is cautioned.
36:16 Pablo Brandan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jerome Rothen.
35:13 A cross is delivered by Kenny Miller, clearance made by Ricardo Gomes.
34:01 Dacian Varga challenges Sasa Papac unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sasa Papac takes the direct free kick.
32:06 Assist by Pablo Brandan.
32:06 GOAL - Marius Bilasco:Rangers 1 - 1 Unirea Urziceni Marius Bilasco gets on the score sheet with a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Rangers 1-1 Unirea Urziceni.
32:01 The ball is crossed by Pablo Brandan,
31:40 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Iulian Apostol by Pedro Mendes. Direct free kick taken by Iulian Apostol.
30:46 The ball is swung over by Dacian Varga.
30:18 Centre by Pablo Brandan, Jerome Rothen gets a block in.
29:06 Centre by Sasa Papac.
28:34 The ball is crossed by Marius Onofras, Lee McCulloch makes a clearance.
27:55 Pedro Mendes takes a shot. George Galamaz gets a block in.
27:16 Kevin Thomson concedes a free kick for a foul on Iulian Apostol. George Galamaz restarts play with the free kick.
26:20 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Pedro Mendes, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Tudor by Steven
Naismith. Daniel Tudor restarts play with the free kick.
26:02 Kevin Thomson takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Iulian Apostol gets a block in.
25:26 Pablo Brandan concedes a free kick for a foul on Jerome Rothen. Kevin Thomson takes the direct free kick.
23:46 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jerome Rothen by Pablo Brandan. Kevin Thomson restarts play with the free kick.
23:19 Sasa Papac takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.
21:39 Dacian Varga fouled by Sasa Papac, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by George Galamaz.
21:24 Centre by Jerome Rothen.
20:22 Kenny Miller fouled by Vasile Maftei, the ref awards a free kick. Allan McGregor restarts play with the free kick.
20:11 The ball is delivered by Pablo Brandan.
19:34 Tiberiu Balan takes a shot.
19:30 Ricardo Gomes crosses the ball.
19:16 Marius Onofras crosses the ball, blocked by Sasa Papac.
18:58 Corner taken by Iulian Apostol from the left by-line, save by Allan McGregor.
18:49 The ball is crossed by Pablo Brandan, Lee McCulloch makes a clearance.
17:43 Direct free kick taken by Joao Bruno Fernandes.
17:43 Substitution (Unirea Urziceni) makes a substitution, with Marius Onofras coming on for Epaminonda Nicu.
17:43 Jerome Rothen concedes a free kick for a foul on Tiberiu Balan.
15:04 The ball is sent over by Joao Bruno Fernandes, Sasa Papac manages to make a clearance.
13:20 Unfair challenge on Marius Bilasco by Sasa Papac results in a free kick. Epaminonda Nicu restarts play with the free kick.
11:49 Foul by Jerome Rothen on Pablo Brandan, free kick awarded. Pablo Brandan takes the free kick.
10:22 Pedro Mendes fouled by Ricardo Gomes, the ref awards a free kick. Pedro Mendes delivers the ball, Header from deep inside
the area by Kenny Miller goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
9:25 The referee penalises Tiberiu Balan for handball. Allan McGregor restarts play with the free kick.
9:12 Pablo Brandan sends in a cross, David Weir makes a clearance.
3:54 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Davis on Iulian Apostol. Free kick crossed right-footed by Iulian Apostol, save by
3:46 Tiberiu Balan delivers the ball, clearance by Sasa Papac.
3:19 Unfair challenge on Jerome Rothen by Joao Bruno Fernandes results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Steven Whittaker.
2:48 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Whittaker on Iulian Apostol. Direct free kick taken by Iulian Apostol.
Correction - 1:22 GOAL - Ricardo Gomes:Rangers 1 - 0 Unirea Urziceni An unfortunate own goal is conceded by Ricardo Gomes. Rangers 1-0 Unirea Urziceni.
1:22 Jerome Rothen provided the assist for the goal.
1:22 GOAL - Pedro Mendes:Rangers 1 - 0 Unirea Urziceni Pedro Mendes finds the back of the net with a goal from just outside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Rangers
1-0 Unirea Urziceni.
Correction - 0:51 Corner taken left-footed by Jerome Rothen from the right by-line,
0:51 Inswinging corner taken by Jerome Rothen,
0:22 Foul by Epaminonda Nicu on Steven Naismith, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Jerome Rothen, clearance made by Pablo
0:00 The referee gets the match started.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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