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One step closer (0-0)
One step closer (0-0)

Villarreal draw in Glasgow and will play for their place in the Round of 32 at La Cerámica

Villarreal picked up a hard-earned point on their visit to Ibrox Stadium tonight in Glasgow which takes them that bit closer to their goal of qualifying for the Round of 32 of the UEFA Europa League. The Yellows had more chances than Rangers, but were out of luck in front of goal.

The Submarine looked to play the ball around quickly while up against high pressure from the Scottish outift. The Yellows made use of their quality midfielders to create clear chances on goal. The best of these falling to the boots of Toko Ekambi.

His first opportunity came in the 29th minute. Carlos Bacca got away from his defender to pull back a driven cross to the Yellow No. 17 at the near post, but his shot fell wide of the mark. Just two minutes later, Toko Ekambi was through on goal again and very nearly opened the scoring. On this occasion he got on the end of a fantastic through ball by Fornals and, up against McGregor one on one, tried to place the ball around the Rangers keeper but his effort was saved.

The match was even, but Villarreal were hitting harder on the attack and would have took the lead if their finishing had been more clinical. A perfect example of this was another clear chance for Toko Ekambi. The French-Cameroonian striker was sharp to take advantage of a Rangers defensive error and found himself up against McGregor again. His firm strike across goal was kept out by the Scottish side’s goalkeeper once again though.

As the first half was about to come to an end a key play changed the course of the game. Rangers were left with ten men after the sending off of Candeias in the 44th minute following his second yellow card of the game.

With a man up, Villarreal became much more dominant at Ibrox. That said, clear goal scoring chances were few and far between. The Rangers defence sat back and made sure the ball did not get through to McGregor’s goal. The best chance of the second half came late on in the 88th minute. Morlanes had a shot from the edge of the box but his effort was deflected slightly by Gerard. The ball did not find the target.

This result means Villarreal will play for their place in the Round of 32 of the UEFA Europa League on the last matchday of the group stage. The Yellows’ final opponent will be Spartak Moscow who will come to the Estadio de la Cerámica on Thursday 13th December. Currently, the Submarine still lead Group G, level on points with Rapid Vienna. 


Rangers FC: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Worrall, Flanagan, Jack, Coulibaly (McCrorie, m. 91), Arfield, Middleton, Candeias and Morelos (Lafferty, m. 78).

Villarreal CF: Andrés; Mario Gaspar, Álvaro, Funes Mori, Jaume Costa; Cáseres, Trigueros (Cazorla, m. 61), Morlanes, Fornals (Chukwueze, m. 73); Toko Ekambi and Bacca (Gerard, m. 61).

Referee: Matej Jug (SVN). Booked: Flanagan and Middleton for Rangers; Mario Gaspar and Álvaro for Villarreal. Sent off: Candeias (m. 44).

Matchday Information: Match corresponding to Matchday 5 of the UEFA Europa League group stage played at the Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow in front of 50,171 spectators.