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  Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
Rangers rolled over
Rangers put up a poor performance in Prague
Zizkov stunned Rangers with an early goal
Viktoria Zizkov 2-0 Rangers

Rangers are in real danger of toppling out of the Uefa Cup at the first hurdle after losing out to Czech side Viktoria Zizkov in the first leg of the tie in Prague.

Zizkov scored a soft goal in either half as the current Scottish Premier League leaders turned in a woeful performance.

Rangers lacked rhythm and composure and, when chances came their way, were denied by some excellent goalkeeping.

The best chance for Alex McLeish's men came in the 39th minute when captain Barry Ferguson missed a penalty kick.

Rangers were dealt a blow ahead of kick off when midfielder Mikel Arteta was ruled out through injury.

Ronald de Boer dropped back into a deeper midfield role, while Peter Lovenkrands stepped into the team to form a three-pronged attack with Claudio Caniggia and Shota Arveladze.

Ferguson's penalty kick was feeble
Barry Ferguson missed a penalty
Injury had already robbed the visitors of a of key defenders Lorenzo Amoruso and Arthur Numan and frailties at the back were exposed as early as the seventh minute.

Zizkov took the lead with their first attack when skipper Ales Pikl rose above Craig Moore to bullet home a header from a free-kick.

Rangers were rattled by the loss and much of their play was disjointed, with passes going astray and the ball being played long from the back too often.

Ibrox goalkeeper Stefan Klos had to move smartly off his line to save at the feet of Ludek Straceny as the striker almost made the most of a slack backpass from Maurice Ross.

At the other end Moore twice went close with powerful headers.

The visitors began to assert themselves as an attacking force in the last ten minutes of the first half with the pace of Lovenkrands causing the Czechs problems.

Five minutes before the interval Rangers were awarded a penalty when Bob Malcolm was tugged in the box as he challenged for a header.

However, Ferguson sent a weak kick into the arms of Pavel Kucera.

The Zizkov keeper was busy again minutes after the restart when he produced a marvellous save to stop a swerving free-kick from Fernando Ricksen.

Ronald de Boer contributed little to the match
Rangers were out of sorts
With Rangers pushing men forward in search of an equaliser, they were punished by another simple goal after 59 minutes.

A long ball over the top of a flat defence - minus Moore, who was receiving treatment for an injury - was pounced on by Straceny and he hit a dipping shot into the corner of Klos' net from the edge of the penalty area.

Zizkov were presented with another gilt-edged chance, but, with two men unmarked from a free-kick, Klos was glad to see a weak header sent straight at him.

Minutes later, a goal-line clearance denied Ricksen a goal, but the Dutch international had mishit his shot from a great position.

Klos did not know much about a fierce driven cross in the 89th minute, but the German keeper managed to punch the ball on to the bar and keep Rangers' hopes of progress alive.

Kucera once again denied Ferguson when he was at full stretch to push away a rasping drive from the Scotland midfielder in injury time.

Ricksen thought he had given Rangers a lifeline with a late header, but his effort was ruled out for a pushing offence.

Zizkov: Kucera, Buryan, Mlejnsky, Klimpl, Janousek, Smarda, Sabou, Scasny, Pikl, Straceny, Chihuri. Subs: Vacek, Sebesta, Mikulik, Kroty, Dirnbach, Chvatal, Licka.

Rangers: Klos, Muscat, Malcolm, Moore, Ross, Ricksen, Ferguson, de Boer, Caniggia, Arveladze, Lovenkrands. Subs: McGregor, Mols, Konterman, Dodds, Latapy, Gibson, Dowie.

Referee: Julian Rodriguez Santiago (Spain).

BBC Sport's Roddy Forsyth
"This performance by Rangers was inept"
Rangers manager Alex McLeish
"We know what we have to do at Ibrox"

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