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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 October, 2003, 13:23 GMT 14:23 UK
Rangers held at Livingston
Neither side could break the deadlock
Livingston 0-0 Rangers

Rangers dropped points for a third consecutive time in the SPL as they were held to a no-score draw by Livingston at the City Stadium.

The visitors lacked punch and ideas up front and were spared a shock defeat when Livingston missed a first half penalty.

Livingston, who have now gone four games without conceding a goal, were well-organised and more than a match for Rangers in terms of commitment.

Rangers were forced to make changes to the side that lost out to Manchester United on Wednesday, with strikers Michael Mols, Shota Arveladze and Peter Lovenkrands all unavailable.

Egil Ostenstad was given his first start for the champions but struggled to lead the line and did not receive much in the way of support from Nuno Capucho.

Livingston goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie was called into action in only the second minute to parry a powerful drive from Mikel Arteta from the edge of the penalty box.

But both sides were struggling to find any rhythm and the forwards in both teams were forlorn figures for long spells.

The visitors were given a scare in the 21st minute when David Fernandez flicked the ball into McAllister's path and he went down in the box under a Ricksen challenge.

Referee Hugh Dallas immediately pointed to the spot but Stefan Klos guessed correctly by diving to his left to keep out Lee Makel's unconvincing effort.

Capucho won a corner which led to a move that found Ostenstad free at the back post and Livi defender Rubio had to hack away his header across goal at the expense of another corner.

Rangers were pushing forward and Paolo Vanoli's overhead kick in the box was left by Christian Nerlinger but found Capucho but the former Porto winger blasted well over from a promising angle.

Livi midfielder David McNamee put the ball in the net with a neat finish in the 43rd minute having got goal-side of Vanoli but referee Dallas ruled he had used a hand to do so and it was disallowed.

The tackling was fierce at the City Stadium
Rangers made a change at the break when Stephen Hughes replaced Emerson in the middle of the park and the visitors made a lively start to the second half.

Vanoli set up Ostenstad for a snapshot in the box but Marvin Andrews was there to block and when Nerlinger tried his luck from further out seconds later there was another gold-shirted opponent in the way.

There was an almighty scramble in the Livi box but Ostenstad was unable to convert Cupucho's ball across goal and the ball ended up in McKenzie's hands.

The former Hearts keeper was busy a few minutes later when he dived to push away Ostenstad's snap shot from near the penalty spot.

With 20 minutes remaining, Ostenstad turned smartly on the edge of the area but his shot had the sting taken out of it by a deflection and McKenzie was able to gather the ball on the goal-line.

Hughes and Capucho linked well to create an opening but the young Scot's strike lacked the power to trouble McKenzie.

In the 87th minute Capucho found himself in behind the home defence but was hesitant in possession and eventually dragged his shot wide from 14 yards.

Livingston: McKenzie, Rubio, Andrews, Dorado, McNamee, Makel, Kerr, Lovell, McAllister, Fernandez, Lilley. Subs: Findlay, Walker, Arthur, McGovern, O'Brien.

Rangers: Klos, Ricksen, Moore, Khizanishvili, Ball, Arteta, Emerson, Nerlinger, Vanoli, Ostenstad, Capucho. Subs: McGregor, Ross, Berg, Hughes, Burke.

Referee: H Dallas (Scotland).

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