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Scotland Bounces Back Thanks to Broadfoot’s “Limited Ability”

For a man on deadline, Roddy Forsyth spins quite the yarn — as usual — about Iceland 1-2 Scotland. The win released loads of pressure on the Scottish side and its boss George Burley, for whom the honeymoon is decidedly over. He’s had interesting personnel issues to deal with, but the team appears to be exhibiting some of the characteristics he’s striving for. Namely, more open, attacking football.

Rangers’ Kirk Broadfoot is laughing the loudest following the victory. After Burley classified the recent call-up as a player with “limited ability,” Broadfoot played solidly on defense (something Rangers observers will not be surprised to learn) but also neatly headed in a crisp cross from day-job archrival Barry Robson from Celtic — oh, the drama — to put the Scots up initially and send the Tartan Army into hysteria. This on the tails of the season’s first Old Firm match, in which Broadfoot featured prominently in Rangers’ drubbing of Celtic at Parkhead.

Scotland was up 2-0 for a fair stretch of this match and controlled most of it — and rightly so. It’s been blessed with a merciful group draw — all the more welcome after their tough grouping with Italy and France among others for Euro 08. Scotland better make the most of it while the makin’s good. It would be excruciating to sit through another, er,  Scot-free World Cup.

 The Scottish side must enter matches against the likes of Iceland the way France or Italy comes into Hampden Park, or any other pitch anywhere, really — with confidence, patience, and ruthless execution, pressing the competition from the start. They may lose, but they’re there to win. They believe they can win. They expect to win.

Now, enough said. Bring on the Norwegians. Damn… Next match isn’t until next month.

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Fugly Football Sees Rangers Through to UEFA Cup Finals

 

 

Ciao Fiorentina, Hello Manchester…

It wasn’t pretty, but Sir Walter Smith’s (I’ve just knighted him myself, so shaddup) strategy worked flawlessly as Rangers held the Viola scoreless in Florence, then sacked up during a nervy round of penalty kicks, including the deal-sealer by Nacho Novo (above). Here’s the report.

Rangers are through to their first European final in 36 years, and will face a Zenit side that served up a 4-0 drubbing of Bayern Munich in the other bracket.

Fiorentina may have been the classier side — I’m anticipating Aloysius’s forthcoming comments on the Telegraph message boards already — and they can soothe themselves with that knowledge as they watch the final on television. Snigger snigger.

Now, if Rangers can only survive their final six domestic fixtures to claim the SPL crown, in doubt in large part due to their unexpected European success, how sweet it would be.