Naismith capped a superb individual display with the only goal of the game
By Thomas McGuigan
Steven Naismith's predatory strike saw an impressive Rangers see off Bursaspor to record their first Champions League victory in 14 attempts.
The forward, who was superb throughout, broke the deadlock when he flicked the ball home after Kirk Broadfoot headed on Steven Whittaker's pass.
Naismith and Kenny Miller spurned chances to double their lead at Ibrox.
Rangers survived a penalty scare when Lee McCulloch appeared to handle Sercan Yildirim's shot but held on to win.
Smith kept faith with the side and 5-4-1 formation that emerged from Old Trafford with a point in their opening match in Group C.
Rangers had gone 13 group matches in the Champions League without a victory - their last being away to Lyon in October 2007 - and were keen to halt that run.
Bursaspor's number 10 Volkan Sen was at the centre of much of the visitors' early play but, despite some dangerous crosses into the box, they lacked a cutting edge.
Maurice Edu saw a shot deflected wide for a Rangers corner as the hosts sought an early breakthrough.
Bursaspor responded in the eighth minute when McCulloch lost possession, but Yildirim's shot from the edge of the area lacked the direction to trouble Allan McGregor.
Rangers were impressive throughout and recorded a deserved win
Rangers came agonisingly close to taking the lead after 12 minutes when goalkeeper Dimitar Ivankov - a bag of nerves all night - flapped at Steven Davis's free-kick and Madjid Bougherra's shot was deflected over by Omer Erdogan.
But the Rangers fans were soon on their feet when Whittaker drilled a long cross-field pass to Broadfoot and his headed flick played in Naismith who stabbed the ball past Ivankov.
Buoyed by his goal, Naismith found space down the left-hand side moments later, and he forced another corner as Rangers looked to double their lead.
McCulloch headed wide of Ivankov's left-hand post as the Bursaspor defence creaked under a constant wave of Rangers pressure.
Bursaspor left-back Gokcek Wederson caused a moment of alarm in the Rangers ranks when his thunderbolt of a free-kick from 30 yards deflected off the wall and forced a superb save from McGregor.
After being hemmed into their own half for the opening 25 minutes, the Turks began to venture into Rangers territory with more confidence.
But it was the hosts who threatened once again when Wederson's slip allowed Rangers to launch a lightening counter attack.
Naismith, though, lacked his earlier composure as he sent his effort wide.
Substitute Federico Insua, on for the injured Ivan Ergic, played a neat one-two and his header from 15 yards out was well-saved by McGregor.
Miller spurned a superb chance to double Rangers' lead moments after the re-start when Davis and Edu combined to send the striker clear but his low shot was saved by Ivankov.
Bursaspor hit back immediately and McCulloch appeared to block Yildirim's low shot with his arm but referee Serge Gumienny was having none of it.
Edu then dragged a shot just wide from 18 yards, much to the frustration of the Rangers supporters inside Ibrox.
Sen, who was becoming more influential in Bursaspor's ranks, darted in between gaps in the Rangers defence as the visitors searched for an equaliser.
The tricky number 10 saw a shot deflected wide by Sasa Papac as the Turks forced a number of corners.
Rangers, in a tactic they have used expertly away from home in Europe, appeared comfortable to soak up pressure and hit their opponents on the break.
Sen and Insua tried in vain to carve out an equaliser as Rangers made it four points from six in an impressive start to their Group C campaign.
Live text and stats
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
05 Papac yellow card
09 Miller (Lafferty 87)
04 Erdogan yellow card
55 Stepanov yellow card
17 Batalla (Nunez 72)
21 Tandogan yellow card
25 Ergic (Insua 39)
09 Yildirim (Bahadir 72)
Ref: GumiennyAtt: 41,905
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+2:18 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
88:54 Madjid Bougherra gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Turgay Bahadir. Ali Tandogan crosses the ball from the
free kick right-footed from left channel, David Weir manages to make a clearance.
88:15 Kyle Lafferty is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Ali Tandogan.
87:23 Sasa Papac takes the free kick.
87:23 Booking Ali Tandogan is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
87:05 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kirk Broadfoot by Ali Tandogan.
86:17 Substitution (Rangers) makes a substitution, with Kyle Lafferty coming on for Kenny Miller.
86:02 Volkan Sen produces a cross.
85:14 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gustav Svensson on Steven Naismith. Sasa Papac delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed
from left wing, Gokcek Wederson makes a clearance.
84:16 The free kick is delivered right-footed by Sasa Papac from right channel, save by Dimitar Ivankov.
84:16 Booking Booking for Milan Stepanov.
84:10 Steven Naismith fouled by Milan Stepanov, the ref awards a free kick.
83:18 Effort from the edge of the area by Volkan Sen goes wide of the left-hand upright.
81:55 Ozan Ipek fouled by Madjid Bougherra, the ref awards a free kick. Gokcek Wederson takes the free kick.
80:48 Gokcek Wederson concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee McCulloch. Direct free kick taken by Madjid Bougherra.
79:56 Omer Erdogan restarts play with the free kick.
79:56 Booking The referee shows Sasa Papac a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
79:45 Unfair challenge on Leonal Nunez by Sasa Papac results in a free kick.
77:43 Shot by Gokcek Wederson from outside the box goes over the target.
77:09 Leonal Nunez takes a shot. Save by Allan McGregor.
76:27 Madjid Bougherra takes a shot. Omer Erdogan gets a block in.
74:58 Kenny Miller is ruled offside.
74:21 Gokcek Wederson has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
72:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Milan Stepanov by Kenny Miller. Milan Stepanov takes the free kick.
70:56 Substitution (Bursaspor) makes a substitution, with Turgay Bahadir coming on for Sercan Yildirim.
70:56 Substitution (Bursaspor) makes a substitution, with Leonal Nunez coming on for Pablo Batalla.
70:56 Ozan Ipek concedes a free kick for a foul on Madjid Bougherra.
68:56 Federico Insua produces a right-footed shot from 35 yards and missed to the left of the net.
66:14 Steven Davis takes a shot. Blocked by Dimitar Ivankov.
65:48 Ali Tandogan challenges Kirk Broadfoot unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Davis,
Federico Insua manages to make a clearance.
65:24 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gustav Svensson on Steven Naismith. Sasa Papac takes the free kick.
64:53 Free kick awarded for a foul by Volkan Sen on Kirk Broadfoot. Allan McGregor restarts play with the free kick.
62:51 Corner taken short by Ali Tandogan.
62:07 Foul by Steven Davis on Pablo Batalla, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Ali Tandogan, Madjid Bougherra makes a clearance.
61:23 Shot by Volkan Sen from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
59:28 Steven Whittaker sends in a cross, save by Dimitar Ivankov.
58:36 Omer Erdogan challenges Kenny Miller unfairly and gives away a free kick. Madjid Bougherra takes the free kick.
57:28 Centre by Volkan Sen, Effort from inside the area by Sercan Yildirim misses to the right of the target.
57:07 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kenny Miller on Gustav Svensson. Gustav Svensson restarts play with the free kick.
55:40 Ozan Ipek is ruled offside. Allan McGregor takes the free kick.
52:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kirk Broadfoot by Volkan Sen. Sasa Papac takes the direct free kick, Effort from
deep inside the area by Maurice Edu misses to the right of the target.
52:03 Gokcek Wederson sends in a cross, clearance by Lee McCulloch.
49:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Madjid Bougherra by Sercan Yildirim. Madjid Bougherra takes the free kick.
49:20 Effort on goal by Steven Naismith from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
49:00 The ball is delivered by Steven Davis, clearance by Milan Stepanov.
47:47 Corner taken by Gokcek Wederson, clearance made by Lee McCulloch.
47:30 Sercan Yildirim takes a shot. Blocked by Lee McCulloch.
46:06 Effort from inside the area by Steven Naismith misses to the left of the goal.
45:53 Kenny Miller takes a shot. Save by Dimitar Ivankov.
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00+2:00 The half-time whistle blows.
45:00+1:47 The ball is delivered by Volkan Sen, David Weir makes a clearance.
43:14 Pablo Batalla fouled by Lee McCulloch, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Ali Tandogan,
Lee McCulloch manages to make a clearance.
41:46 Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Davis, Foul by David Weir on Milan Stepanov, free kick awarded. Dimitar Ivankov takes
the direct free kick.
41:46 Booking Omer Erdogan receives a yellow card.
41:39 Kenny Miller fouled by Omer Erdogan, the ref awards a free kick.
40:52 Federico Insua takes a shot. Save made by Allan McGregor.
38:37 Free kick taken by Steven Davis.
38:37 Substitution Federico Insua comes on in place of Ivan Ergic.
38:37 Foul by Volkan Sen on Kirk Broadfoot, free kick awarded.
37:25 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ivan Ergic by Lee McCulloch. Gokcek Wederson takes the direct free kick.
36:28 Steven Naismith fouled by Gustav Svensson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Sasa Papac from left
35:10 Steven Naismith takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.
32:49 Volkan Sen delivers the ball, clearance made by Sasa Papac.
30:55 Kenny Miller challenges Omer Erdogan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Omer Erdogan.
29:43 Inswinging corner taken by Ali Tandogan, Omer Erdogan has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.
28:26 Maurice Edu concedes a free kick for a foul on Ivan Ergic. Gokcek Wederson has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, Allan
McGregor makes a save.
28:17 A cross is delivered by Ali Tandogan, Madjid Bougherra manages to make a clearance.
25:15 Centre by Volkan Sen.
24:50 Volkan Sen crosses the ball.
24:18 Centre by Gokcek Wederson, brilliant save by Allan McGregor.
22:15 Steven Naismith crosses the ball.
21:23 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Whittaker by Gokcek Wederson. Free kick crossed by Sasa Papac, Sercan
Yildirim makes a clearance.
19:58 Inswinging corner taken by Steven Davis, Lee McCulloch produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide
of the right-hand upright.
17:24 Kirk Broadfoot provided the assist for the goal.
17:24 GOAL - Steven Naismith:Rangers 1 - 0 Bursaspor Goal scored by Steven Naismith from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Rangers 1-0 Bursaspor.
15:31 Steven Naismith fouled by Milan Stepanov, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Davis takes the direct free kick.
14:59 Effort on goal by Volkan Sen from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
14:24 The ball is crossed by Ali Tandogan, clearance made by Sasa Papac.
11:31 Unfair challenge on Steven Naismith by Milan Stepanov results in a free kick. The ball is crossed by Steven Davis, Madjid
Bougherra has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal. Steven Davis takes a inswinging
corner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Dimitar Ivankov. Maurice Edu takes a shot.
10:35 Pablo Batalla has an effort at goal from outside the box missing to the wide left of the goal.
7:56 Sercan Yildirim has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area which goes wide right of the goal.
6:11 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Naismith on Gokcek Wederson. Dimitar Ivankov takes the direct free kick.
5:47 Corner taken by Steven Davis from the left by-line played to the near post, Gokcek Wederson manages to make a clearance.
5:31 Maurice Edu takes a shot. Blocked by Gustav Svensson.
3:43 Gokcek Wederson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Whittaker. Free kick taken by Steven Whittaker.
3:26 Ali Tandogan crosses the ball, Steven Whittaker manages to make a clearance.
0:47 Foul by Gustav Svensson on Steven Naismith, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Steven Davis from
0:00 The game gets underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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