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‘I’M REALLY PROUD OF THE PERFORMANCE,’ SAYS GIO

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BEAMING Giovanni van Bronckhorst praised his Rangers players after the excellent 4-2 Europa League play-off first leg win over Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

However, the Dutchman reminded his stars there is still much work to be done in the return leg at Ibrox on Thursday evening.

Van Bronckhorst smiled: “It’s a very good result for us against a big team in Europe. We wanted to take a result back with us to Glasgow for a good game next week.

“I think we achieved that with the two-goal difference.

“I’m really proud of the performance the players have shown on this occasion. We also know it’s only halfway, there is still another game to be played, but to come here and score four away goals in Europe is a very good achievement. I’m more than happy with the result and especially the performance.

“We also presented well as a club. We played against a quality side, got a good result and we’re going to have a good game next week at a full Ibrox.”

Van Bronckhorst, speaking to Sky Sports News, added: “It’s difficult to get an away win in Europe, it’s not easy. As a manager, it’s the first time I’ve won away in Europe so it shows you how difficult it is.

“It’s a great night, but it’s only a great night. We’re not through to the next round, which we want, so we know we have to have a good performance next week, as well. But we worked hard for it and we deserved to win this game.

IT TAKES TWO…Rangers goalscorers Alfredo Morelos and James Tavernier celebrate in Dortmund.

“We watched a lot of Dortmund games and we knew that they were getting a lot of goals against them lately.

“I think we prepared for the game well, we had a lot of meetings with the players on the way Dortmund can play. We were prepared tactically and more importantly, mentally.

“We had the right attitude to get a good result.”

Dortmund were playing in their 1,000th game at the Westfalenstadion, but Van Bronckhorst’s side refused to follow the script to shock the Bundesliga aces.

They raced into a quick 2-0 lead late in the first-half. VAR spotted a handball from Dan-Axel Zagadou from a corner and, after consulting the pitchside monitor, referee Clement Turpin awarded the visitors the penalty in the 38th minute.

Captain James Tavernier stepped up to send Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel the wrong way. Three minutes later, Alfredo Morelos added the second. Tavernier was involved again, with his corner flicked on by Joe Aribo at the near post. The Colombian was unmarked at the back post to prod the ball home.

Four minutes after the turnaround, midfielder John Lundstram swept in a third, but, only moments later, the home team pulled one back through England international Jude Bellingham.

VAR played a crucial part again soon after as a fourth Gers goal was initially flagged for offside. It was overturned and Zagadou was credited with an own goal after deflecting Morelos’ effort into the net.

Dortmund did give themselves a lifeline late in the game when Raphael Guerreiro left Allan McGregor standing with a drive into the roof of the net.

Now all eyes are on Govan on Thursday for what is certain to be a titnaic tussle.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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