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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 February, 2004, 16:54 GMT
Partick Thistle 0-1 Rangers
Frank and Ronald de Boer give a post-match interview
Both de Boer brothers featured for Rangers at Firhill
A wonderful solo goal from Peter Lovenkrands gave Rangers maximum points against a battling Partick Thistle.

The Jags held out for 75 minutes of a scrappy match but the Danish winger left a trail of defenders in his wake before unleashing a powerful strike.

Thistle played passionately but despite their endeavour never tested Rangers goalkeeper Stefan Klos.

Rangers, who sorely lacked a creative spark in midfield, now trail Premier League leaders Celtic by 11 points.

With Craig Moore suspended, Rangers handed new signing Frank de Boer his debut and the former Ajax and Barcelona star enjoyed an assured afternoon, making some telling interceptions and distributing the ball well.

However, few of his new team-mates could match his contribution.

The match started a whirlwind pace and the home side upset their wealthy Glasgow neighbours with some robust tackling.

Although Rangers were enjoying the lion's share of possession, Thistle posed an attacking threat with John Paul McBride and James Grady both trying their luck with shots from distance.

Lovenkrands did much better at the other end and Kenny Arthur had to make a spectacular tip over to deny the Dane's goalbound effort from 25 yards.

Michael Mols found some room in the box but Kenny Milne slid in to win the ball before the Ibrox striker could fire off a shot.

Jean Yves Anis tries to stop Rangers' Christian Nerlinger
Rangers struggled to overcome determined Partick Thistle
A purposeful surge from Lovenkrands then cut open the Jags defence but Nuno Capucho fired over the bar from a good position after being released by the speedy winger.

The scrappy nature of play continued after the break with both teams guilty of errant passing and mis-timed challenges, while heavy rain made conditions difficult.

Ronald de Boer was introduced just before the hour and immediately caused problems for Thistle when he connected with a Christian Nerlinger free kick at the back post and Arthur did well to gather after a deflection off Milne.

The same de Boer then saw a 20 yard shot spin off a defender and slide narrowly wide of the post.

With 15 minutes remaining, Lovenkrands showed great close control to squirm past a number of Thistle men and into the penalty area before firing a low angled shot into the net.

Five minutes after scoring, Lovenkrands was stretchered off after a painful late tackle from Ian Ross connected with his ankle.

Thistle continued to chase down their opponents but never looked like forcing their way back into the match.


Partick Thistle: Arthur, Murray, Madaschi, Milne, Anis, Rowson, McBride (Andy Ross 90), Ian Ross, Waddell (Bonnes 65), Grady, Britton (Thomson 85). Subs Not Used: Langfield, Forrest.

Rangers: Klos, Khizanishvili (Ross 66), Ball, Berg, Frank de Boer, Ricksen, Capucho (Ronald de Boer 54), Nerlinger, Lovenkrands (Malcolm 81), Namouchi, Mols. Subs Not Used: McGregor, Walker.

Attendance: 8,220
Referee: S Dougal





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