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Official Launch

Hello and welcome to Retro Football Analysis, a website dedicated to providing modern day analysis of classic games from the past.

We will use a variety of different audio and visual mediums to provide you with top quality analysis that bring famous games to life, delving deeper into the performance and using context to better help our understanding.

Here are our website owners and primary content providers.

Alistair and Stewart have extensive experience in football coaching and analysis, both of whom have been part of multiple title winning teams and aided the development of players who perform at the professional level throughout the world.

Alistair had this to say regarding the launch of Retro Football Analysis:

“I love watching classic games in my spare time, so now having the opportunity analyze them in greater depth is something I look forward to greatly. We are confident that we can provide a platform that is both engaging and educational, and will also serve to help those who seek to gain a greater understanding of how our game has evolved into what we see today.”

Stewart added this:

Both Alistair and I believe that we can use games from the past to help our own development as coaches. By shining a light on classic teams and managers, many of whom aren’t given the credit they are due, it gives us a new perspective on how we frame analysis of our own team dynamic. With these things in mind we believe we have created a platform that will offer help to football professionals, but more importantly provide all readers with an enjoyable experience a pleasant trip down memory lane.”

You too can join our analysis team by reaching out to either Stewart or Alistair via their twitter handles listed above.

Ajax vs AC Milan – 1996 UEFA Champions League Final

Ajax

UEFA Champions League Final

May 24th, 1995

Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna

By Keegan Boom (@KVFB_Analysis)


Line Ups

Before analyzing Ajax’s game model I want to highlight some compelling notes of the game:

•Louis Van Gaal is in his first spell with Ajax.

•24 year old Van der Sar starts for Ajax.

•Maldini starts at LB for Milan.

•This was Milan’s third consecutive UCL final.

Ajax line up in a 1-3-Diamond-3 formation which provides some fascinating rotations and positional play to break down Milan’s 1-4-4-2.

As Ajax enters the middle third, wingers Finidi and Overmars drop to provide a wide outlet for Ajax’s defenders to play out to. This drop creates a midfield overload, 6 to 4, in which progressing the ball is made easier.

While controlling the midfield, Ajax look to create the attack by exploiting space and overloads through intelligent positional play and player rotations. Ajax’s formation shifts from a 1-3-diamond-3 to a 1-3-3-4 with Litmanen joining the forward line.

A second look at Ajax’s positional play in the attacking half. Litmanen’s step into the attacking line creates overloads in Milan’s back line and space for Ajax’s midfield to progress.

After entering the attacking third, Ajax relies on their positional play and player rotations to create overloads. Litmanen and De Boer are positioned between Milan’s center backs and full backs, while Overmars and Finidi control the wings creating wide overloads.

When losing possession Ajax quickly press and close the space forcing Milan to play long or drop the ball back.

When Milan advances into the middle third, Ajax applies a mid-block through condensing the central space by squeezing wide midfielders Seedorf and David’s.

Within the mid-block, Ajax closes the space by squeezing the weak-side midfielder centrally.

When defending in their defending third, Ajax set up in a low-block by dropping wide midfielders Seedorf and David’s alongside the defensive line. As the wide midfielders drop into a back 5, wingers Overmars and Finidi occupy the space in front of the back line.

A second look at Ajax’s low-block:

The final score ended: Ajax 1-0 AC Milan I hope you enjoyed this thread analyzing Ajax in the 95’ Champions League Final. Any feedback and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

CSKA Moscow vs Rangers – Match Report

CSKA Moscow 0-1 Rangers FC

UEFA Champions League Group A Matchday 2

December 9th, 1992

Vonovia Ruhrstadion, Germany

By Stewart Flaherty (@stewartflaherty)


Glasgow Rangers earned their first ever UEFA Champions League win with a 1-0 victory over CSKA Moscow in Germany courtesy of an Ian Ferguson goal. The game was played on neutral ground in Germany after UEFA deemed no stadium in Russia a suitable venue due to the severe climate in winter.

The last ever champions of the Soviet Top League, CSKA had already passed a significant test to reach the group stages of the UEFA Champions League when they dumped FC Barcelona out of the second round courtesy of a 4-3 aggregate victory. Barca had  a lineup of world stars including Ronald Koeman, Hristo Stoichkov, Michael Laudrup and Pep Guardiola but were eliminated courtesy of a comeback from two goals down at the Nou Camp by CSKA, with Dmitri Karsakov netting twice.

With their CSKA moniker standing for Central Sports Klub of the Army, the Russian team had significant military influence with a Red Army General serving as chairman and manager Gennadi Kostylev holding the rank of Major.

Captain Dmitri Kharin had played goalkeeper for the famous win in Barcelona but had since departed to sign with Chelsea of the English Premier League and was replaced by Aleksandr Guteev. Two goal hero from the Nou Camp Karsakov was joined in the central midfield of a 3-5-2 shape by Valeri Minko and Evgeni Bushmanov.

Moscow had lost their opening game of the tournament 1-0 at Club Brugge, and were looking for points in their ‘home’ opener here, in front of a limited crowd made up of a Rangers majority and a supportive military band.

Rangers had opened their group stage play with a two goal comeback to take a point against group favorites Marseille, and were boosted here by the return of star striker Ally McCoist to the lineup after he missed the Marseille clash with injury. McCoist served as captain for this game in the absence of defender Richard Gough who limped out of the Marseille draw and was still injured for this game.

In the absence of Gough, Dave McPherson moved over to center back while Trevor Steven dropped into the right back role in a 4-4-2 behind wide midfielder Ian Durrant. McCoist was partnered in attack by powerful target man Mark Hateley, scorer of the equalizing goal against Marseille. Impact substitute Gary McSwegan scored the goal to spark the comeback last time out and remained on the bench here.

CSKA started on the front foot and carved out a golden opportunity within 30 seconds of kickoff as striker Oleg Sergeev was released by a Karsakov through ball. The striker was denied by Andy Goram before the rebound was prodded towards goal before McPherson cleared the ball away from a crowd.

At the other end, Rangers first attack of note came in the 5th minute when an overlapping David Robertson was released by a Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko backheel and the resulting cross was deflected behind for a corner. 

The inswinging corner from Durrant was plucked out of the air by Guteev who released Karsakov to start a counter attack that was stalled by a recovering Mykhaylychenko who intercepted a pass that was sprayed wide.

Rangers won another corner when Ferguson was tackled at the byline by Karsakov. Mykhaylychenko sent in a corner that was missed by Guteev and headed clear before the attack was recycled and a blocked shot from Steven resulted in another corner. Mykhaylychenko sent in a high ball that was punched wide by Guteev before Mykhaylychenko charged down the attempted clearance to concede a goal kick.

An entertaining start to the game continued in end to end fashion as a CSKA cross was blocked by Robertson, and a McCoist cross fizzed through the penalty area with no attacker in close proximity. Stuart McCall stepped forward from midfield soon after and hammered a shot that flew wide of the target.

Rangers took a 13th minute lead and the goal was a culmination of a nightmare start for goalkeeper Guteev. Archie Knox had singled out the backup goalkeeper as a potential weakness to TV pundits before the match, and that had played out with a game plan clearly designed to fire in crosses and corners troubled the goalkeeper before his error that led to the game’s decisive goal.

McCall launched a high cross into the penalty area that was completely missed by Guteev before Hateley teed up Ferguson to fire home a deflected shot for a 1-0 Rangers lead.

CSKA thought they had equalized in the 19th minute when Bushmanov hit a shot that deflected off Sergeev and into the net only for an offside flag to spare Rangers.

Moscow continued to pose a threat and a clever backheel from Bushmanov teed up Karsakov to make space for himself before lifting a shot over the crossbar. Karsakov was soon presented with another opportunity when a slick end to end move resulted in an Aleksey Gushchin cross that the midfielder settled before firing wide.

Both teams were playing in a positive, front foot manner and Mykhaylychenko unlocked the CSKA back line with a lofted pass over the top. The ball fell for McCoist who had his shot saved by Guteev before the ball was cleared behind for a corner.

The corner from Mykhaylychenko was cleared at the near post by Dmitri Bystrov before Durrant lofted another ball into the penalty area that was eventually worked clear. 

Lively forward Ilshat Faizulin jinked past a couple of defenders before squaring to Karsakov who had his shot blocked. Midfielder Karsakov was consistently finding space as the extra central man in midfield against the flat 4-4-2 of Rangers, allowing him space between lines to feed his front pair or create shots for himself.

Rangers were using a more direct game plan, emphasizing getting crosses into the area to pressure goalkeeper Guteev, and also finding target man Hateley in the buildup. The pattern continued when McCall sent a cross into the penalty area and Hateley rose above Sergey Fokin to head wide.

CSKA came forward again when Bystrov stepped out of defense in possession and fed Minko who fired a shot straight at Goram. 

By slotting Steven into the right back role, Rangers manager Walter Smith made Rangers a dangerous attacking force on that flank, and in the 37th minute Steven pushed on and unleashed a shot from long range. Guteev produced a diving save and the rebound fell to McCoist who dragged the chance across goal and wide.

On the other flank, left back Robertson was also joining the attack to good effect, and charged forward to collect a pass from Mykhaylychenko and blazed a ball across goal for what was the final attack of the first half.

The interval arrived with the game poised on a knife edge as CSKA held a slight advantage in possession while Rangers led 9-5 in shots and 5-0 in corners.

In the second period it was Rangers who would start fast as Durrant fed McCoist to spin and force a sharp save from Guteev, before the goalkeeper got up quickly to save the rebound at the feet of Mykhaylychenko.

McCoist was soon involved again as he headed a Steven cross towards goal and Guteev rose above Mykhaylychenko to claim the ball.

The first chance after the interval for CSKA came when Oleg Malyukov stepped out of defense and collected a pass from Karsakov before drilling a powerful shot wide.

Rangers won a wide free kick when Durrant burst out of midfield on the dribble and was hauled down by Aleksey Gushchin, with the wingback receiving a yellow card for the foul. Mykhaylychenko sent the free kick into the penalty area for Hateley to knock down before the defense worked the ball clear.

Rangers came forward again through Robertson who played the ball to a streaking Mykhaylychenko. The impressive winger chipped a cross to Hateley who blasted his finish over the top of the crossbar.

CSKA made their first substitution in the 60th minute as they searched for an equalizer, replacing Minko with Aleksandr Grishin.

Target man Hateley was chopped down by Fokin to award Rangers a wide free kick, and Robertson crossed in the set play for McPherson to head back across goal before it was eventually hacked clear.

Both Rangers fullbacks were getting forward well and Robertson charged forward before lifting a cross into the penalty area that Mykhaylychenko cushioned into the path of Durrant. A first time shot from Durrant was tipped behind for a corner by a diving Guteev. The inswinging corner from Durrant was headed clear before the attack was recycled and a Durrant cutback was ricocheted into the hands of his own goalkeeper by Malyukov.

Manager Kostylev made his second and final substitution in the 67th minute when Gushchin was replaced by Vasili Ivanov.

Rangers created a chance in the 69th minute when Mykhaylychenko dispossessed substitute Grishin and fed Robertson who hammered a long range shot wide. The Scottish champions kept pressing on and right back Steven sent over a high cross that Guteev deflected away under heavy pressure from Hateley.

Chasing an equalizer, CSKA pushed on themselves and carved out a chance when Bushmanov teed up Grishin on the edge of the penalty area, only for the substitute to fire his shot straight at Goram.

With 15 minutes remaining, there was no sign of Rangers sitting back to hold onto their slim lead and Steven pushed on once more to send over a cross. Target man Hateley headed the ball to strike partner McCoist and the layoff fell to McCall only for Fokin to save his team with a last ditch tackle.

Defender Fokin was soon in the thick of the action again, crashing through Hateley on the halfway line, and receiving a yellow card that would see him suspended for CSKA’s next game against Marseille. Brown pumped a long ball forward into the penalty area from the free kick only for Hateley’s flick on to roll harmlessly out for a goal kick.

Substitute Grishin was heavily involved in the latter stages and fired a shot over the crossbar after being teed up by Faizulin as CSKA searched for an equalizer.

The pressure from the Russians kept coming and Ivanov skipped by two defenders out wide before feeding Grishin inside the penalty area. Grishin cut the ball back to Bushmanov who had his shot blocked before the rebound fell to Sergey Kolotovkin who took a heavy touch into the penalty area before fouling defender Brown.

Winger Mykhaylychenko, a veteran of the Soviet Top League with Dymano Kyiv won an 87th minute corner for the Scottish champions when his cross was deflected behind by Bystrov.

Durrant wired a short corner routine with McCall before whipping in a cross that was flicked by the head of Hateley on the way out for a goal kick. 

CSKA won a dangerous free kick in the 89th minute when Bushmanov was fouled by McCall, but the chance went to waste as Grishin hammered his long range shot into the two man wall. 

The Russians continued to probe for an equalizer against a blue defensive wall in the final minutes and Faizulin played the ball wide to Kolotovkin in the last minute only for the wingback to skew his cross out of play. 

There was one more scare in store for Rangers as a clever through ball released Sergeev in on goal only for a recovering Brown to intervene and concede a corner. The set play was taken short only for Faizulin to be crowded out and the ball cleared as the final whistle blew.

POSTGAME FALLOUT

The narrow defeat left CSKA with a tough task to stay alive in the tournament, with the group winner progressing to the final Moscow would need a result in their next game against Group A favorites Marseille to keep their hopes alive.

Rangers moved level on points with leaders Marseille courtesy of this result, with the French champions holding a goal differential advantage courtesy of a 3-0 win over Club Brugge in Group A’s other game. Brugge sat one point behind Rangers, and would host the Scottish champions next time out.

In Group B, AC Milan looked like the early favorites to qualify as they won their second straight game courtesy of goals from Frank Rijkaard and Marco Simone in a 2-1 triumph over PSV Eindhoven.

SCORING SUMMARY

13’ RAN Ian Ferguson (Mark Hateley) 0-1

MAN OF THE MATCH

#11 LM Alexi Mikhailichenko (Rangers FC) – Terrific performance from the wing wizard who will have been a familiar face to Russian fans. Mikhailichenko worked well in tandem with fullback Robertson to provide service from the left, while also putting in an impressive performance on the defensive end.

STAR MEN

CSKA Moscow

1:  CM Dmitri Karsakov – The playmaker almost assisted on a goal in the opening minute and was the fulcrum of Moscow’s attack throughout the game, finding space and creating shots for both his teammates and himself.

2:  CM Evgeni Bushmanov – Oozed quality on the ball and connected passes all game while CSKA gained the upper hand in terms of middle third possession.

3:  CF Ilshat Faizulin – Gifted dribbler who tested Rangers time and again with his skill in tight spaces and ability to beat a man.

Rangers FC

1:  LM Alexi Mikhailichenko – Man of the Match.

2:  LD David Robertson – Locked down his side defensively while overlapping and causing CSKA consistent problems going forward.

3:  CF Mark Hateley – The powerful target man assisted on Ferguson’s winning goal and was the spearhead of the attack all night, attacking crosses and holding up direct balls well.

LINEUPS 

CSKA:  Guteev, Bystrov, Fokin, Malyukov, Kolotovkin, Bushmanov, Minko (Grishin), Karsakov, Gushchin (Ivanov), Faizulin, Sergeev.

RAN:  Goram, Robertson, McPherson, Brown, Steven, Mykhaylychenko, McCall, Ferguson, Durrant, McCoist, Hateley.

HIGHLIGHTS
You can find highlights of the game on the sp1873 YouTube channel here.

Why not check out the Data Analysis Report from this match? CLICK HERE to do so.

Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – CSKA vs Rangers – Match Day 2 Retro Football Analysis Podcast

Rangers UCL Review 92/93: Stew and Ally return with part 4 of this series analyzing Glasgow Rangers historic 1992/93 Champions League campaign. In this episode we cover: – CSKA team history & Russian League reform – Rangers run up to the match – Rangers vs CSKA game itself
  1. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – CSKA vs Rangers – Match Day 2
  2. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Rangers vs Marseille – Match Day 1
  3. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Leeds vs Rangers – 2nd Round 2nd Leg
  4. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Rangers vs Leeds – 2nd Round 1st Leg
  5. Newcastle vs Barcelona – Warren Barton Interview

CSKA Moscow vs Rangers – Data Analysis

CSKA Moscow 0-1 Rangers FC

UEFA Champions League Group A Matchday 2

December 9th, 1992

Vonovia Ruhrstadion, Germany

By Alistair Bain (@allybain)


Tactical Analysis

Rangers Tactical Set Up

Up until this point in the campaign Walter Smith would line up his Rangers side in a 442, giving them a natural balance across the field, defensive solidity with two banks of four, as well as the combination play of the wide players (full backs and wingers) to rotate and create opportunities in attack. In the last match with Marseille, who fielded a 352, it was apparent that the French side were exploiting the spaces between Smith’s 442 set up, so given CSKA would use a similar strategy/formation he was dealt with a dilemma. Switch from a system that’s served his side so well or match up man for man in a 352? What we would see in the match was almost a hybrid of the two depending on what phase Rangers found themselves in. Here we break it down below.

Rangers Defending

Given Richard Gough’s omission due to injury McPherson moves inside with Trevor Steven coming in to start at right back. Steven is a winger by trade therefore his inclusion was a signal of intent by Smith that they were coming to Bochum to stay solid, but with Robertson and Steven they could also get on the front foot in transition. With Ferguson and McCoist returning to the starting eleven, we would see Durrant move to a wide right role and a return of the McCall/Ferguson partnership in central midfield that worked so well this season. Smith’s strategy was to defend in a mid zonal block, with two banks of four, which gave McPherson and Brown (two center backs) license to aggressively man mark any strikers when they dropped off the high line into midfield. McCoist and Hateley would press/cover each other centrally in front of the block in an attempt to prevent any unopposed split passes making their way into the Rangers defensive third.

Counter Attack Play

The defensive strategy was designed to create immediate pressure on CSKA’s creative players as they built play forward, but by working in small groups to press the ball and gain turn overs in possession Rangers were then able to spring forward on the counter attack. In these next few clip’s we see how well Rangers advanced the ball quickly, using the movements of McCoist and Hateley to link centrally, but also through the penetrative movements of the wide players to attack the spaces in behind CSKA’s wing backs.

Build Up Play

During this match we saw two main variations to Rangers build up play. When building from center backs Rangers favored a more rudimentary style, starting with a direct ball into the strikers and using the combination play of McCoist and Hateley to fashion attacks in the final third. They were supported centrally the diagonal runs of Durrant moving inside from the wing, but also through the advanced wide play of Alexi Mikhailichenko who offered a threat from crossing positions.

We also saw some moments when they used a more patient approach, switching the ball from side to side. We saw something similar in the 1st leg of their match with Leeds, with Ferguson and McCall recycling possession when the opponent would press heavily on one side. We saw that when play reached the opposite side full back (Steven or Robertson) they would advance play forward via a pass to the strikers or a cross into the box. These spaces were open mainly due to CSKA’s lack of pressure from wide areas, as their wing backs tended to drop back to form a defensive line of 5.

As the match developed, we soon saw the importance of the Rangers full backs with both Robertson and Steven forming critical attacking duties.

Here is a highlight reel of David Robertson’s involvement from left back, which saw him offer a threat on the overlap but also real quality when carrying the ball forward on his own.

On the right side we saw Trevor Steven offer a similar threat, acting as a service point to offer deliveries from deep. With Durrant moving inside to offer more central penetration, Steven’s approach play was simple in that he looked to find Hateley as quickly as possible. What soon became apparent was Rangers had clearly scouted how aggressive the CSKA keeper Guteyev was in attacking cross balls, so Steven’s deliveries formed a large part in getting the keeper off his line and allowing Mark Hateley to attempt either a flick on or a direct headed attack on the goal. In these clips we see CSKA keeper frequently attempting to claim crosses, which prompted further attacks from those in Rangers midfield. Inevitably it would be a goalkeeping error that lead to Rangers opening goal.

CSKA Tactical Set Up

CSKA Build Up Play

CSKA would use a possession based approach to progressively build up play through the thirds throughout this match, with Bystrov being the lead orchestrator of starting play from the back. At wing back CSKA had two very athletic attackers in Kolotovkin and Guschin, both very adept at using combination to fashion crosses from the flanks. In midfield the pairing of Bushmanov and Karsakov gave Rangers endless headaches, as their movement to pick up the ball in both deep and advanced areas illustrated their game intelligence, yet it was the quality of their execution that offered the greatest threat as they slipped through a gluttony of chances for their strikers.

Up front CSKA had an attacking pair that complemented each other very well. First of all they had Sergeyev leading the line, who was more of a traditional number 9 and looked to create shooting opportunities largely inside the 18 yard box. He was supported by, who I regard as CSKA’s most entertaining player, Ilshat Faizulin. While not someone we’d perhaps look at as a true striker in today’s game, in this 352 system he offered a creative presence in the final third through his link up play and good first touch, but its his ability to beat players on the dribble that made him such a problem for this Rangers side.

When the match kicked off it became immediately apparent that CSKA would be dangerous in counter attacking situations. When play turned over on their right hand side the ball was drawn to Karsakov like a magnet, and in a few short moments CSKA almost had the ball in the net.

While they would struggle to replicate the quality of this attack throughout the 90 minutes, it didn’t diminish the threat that CSKA offered during moments of transition, such was the pace, smart approach play and striking ability that they possessed in their team.

Data Analysis

Value of Chances

xG Timeline:

We can see from the timeline that despite recording a similar number of attacks overall that Rangers were the more consistent attackers during the match. CSKA would condense their attack play into smaller clusters, often shooting multiple times during the same attack or registering them in short bursts. We can see that Rangers score early in the game, but whats apparent is they didn’t retreat back to protect their lead, if anything it spurred them on to score more. The final twenty minutes is perhaps the only major outlier in the match, with CSKA out shooting their opponents 6-2, but we can see that Rangers rearguard was more than a match as they saw out the game 1-0 victors.  

Chance Quality:

When the overall number of attacks are relatively similar (16 to 15 in Rangers favor) it makes judging chance creation quality far easier. We can see that Rangers enjoyed bigger upticks in their timeline, which shows us that their individual attempts carried far higher probability of turning into a goal, which accumulatively added up to a higher xG and chance creation value. By looking at the time line however we see that CSKA enjoyed a large part of the match dominance up until the 40th minute. An effort from McCoist, after Guteyev would save a long range effort from Trevor Steven and it rebounded into the 6 yard box, would give Rangers their highest ranked chance in the match. Unfortunately for McCoist and Rangers the shot would miss the target, but it signaled a change in match domination and Rangers would remain on top for the duration of the match.  

Type of Chances Created

In looking at the patterns of play that generated the most attacks it’s apparent that each side were at their strongest when starting an attack and gradually building up play. CSKA used a short passing game which focused on working the ball up the field and shooting from central positions, where as Rangers favored a combination play approach through the wings which ended in a cross into the box. When we overlay each teams approach against the shot completion it tells us a different story, as CSKA would only generate 1 effort on target from their 11 build up attacks. Rangers however would work the goalkeeper 6 times from their 13 efforts on goal.

By looking at the locations it also shows us that Rangers were creating key passes (passes that result in a shot) closer to their opponents goal, with a total of 7 inside the final 3rd. CSKA would create 6 key passes from within the same zone, however the distances were markedly different to that of Rangers and would have a far lower success rate in terms of a shot converting into an on target effort.

Where Chances are Created

The first thing that jumps off the page when analyzing the shot locations is Rangers 8 golden zone shots from their 16 shots on goal, with 4 of these shots forcing the keeper to make a save. Slightly disappointing for Rangers would be that 3 of the 8 shots missed the target, however given they created a goal inside the box and created a big chance they can be happy with their numbers based on the opponents performance and the fact this was a game away from home (albeit this was the case for the opponents also). 

Perhaps slightly strange was that Rangers didn’t record a single effort on target from a corner, given how good they have been in those situations, especially against Leeds. With that said creating over 2 expected goals in an away win is impressive.

CSKA will be disappointed with the amount of efforts that failed to hit the target (3 from 15), but especially in the golden zone where they had 3 attacks and only 1 was saved (Sergeyev’s effort in the opening moments of the match). When we break down their xG we see that only 21% of its value is derived from shots on target, which again underlines how potent their creation was but the conversion was sadly lacking. Rangers on the other hand saw only 40% of their xG come from efforts on target, which in itself could be better, but in a match where they outperformed CSKA in almost every attacking metric it illustrates that this victory for Rangers was a just one.

Who Created Chances

Ally McCoist would finish as Rangers best statistical attacker, taking part in six shots on goal one of which being Rangers only Big Chance statistically speaking (his miss from the 6 yard box nearing half time). His 6 attacks would generate 3 efforts on target and his personal xG for the match was 1.02 (49% of the teams overall xG).

Alexi Mikhailicheko would again finish as Rangers best statistical creator (did so during the opening game with Marseille) with 4 key passes, two of which turning into a shot on target.

CSKA shared out their attacking intent in this match, with substitute Aleksandr Grishin registering the most attacks, however in terms of potency Oleg Sergeyev recorded their highest personal xG with 0.64 (43% of the teams xG rating).

Yevgeni Bushmanov would create the most CSKA attacks in the game, and was unlucky with a strike that was ruled out for offside, however given the lack of conversion in front of goal only one of these would result in a shot on target.  

Why not check out the Match Report from this match? CLICK HERE to do so.

Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – CSKA vs Rangers – Match Day 2 Retro Football Analysis Podcast

Rangers UCL Review 92/93: Stew and Ally return with part 4 of this series analyzing Glasgow Rangers historic 1992/93 Champions League campaign. In this episode we cover: – CSKA team history & Russian League reform – Rangers run up to the match – Rangers vs CSKA game itself
  1. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – CSKA vs Rangers – Match Day 2
  2. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Rangers vs Marseille – Match Day 1
  3. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Leeds vs Rangers – 2nd Round 2nd Leg
  4. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Rangers vs Leeds – 2nd Round 1st Leg
  5. Newcastle vs Barcelona – Warren Barton Interview

Rangers vs Marseille – Data Analysis

Rangers 2-2 Marseille

UEFA Champions League Group A Matchday 1

November 25th, 2020

Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow

By Alistair Bain (@allybain)


Tactical Analysis

Rangers Tactical Set Up

Rangers manager Walter Smith was handed a selection headache as Rangers began their first ever venture into the newly formed UEFA Champions League. Ian Ferguson would miss the match through suspension, meanwhile Ally McCoist and Richard Gough would face late fitness tests to be declared fit for the match, with Gough the only player to be declared fit. This altered Rangers traditional 4-4-2 shape into more of a functional 4-5-1, with Mikhailichenko, Durrant and Steven all supporting underneath Hateley who would serve as the lone target man. McCall would be partnered by 19 year old utility man Neil Murray in midfield, however Gough passing a fitness test would allow Smith to field his preferred back four alongside Andy Goram in goal.

Rangers Defending

Due to the attacking threat of Voller and Boksic Rangers center backs would be tested to the limit throughout the match, therefore defending in 1v1 situations would prove pivotal. To reduce the central spaces and support their central defensive pairing, full backs Robertson and McPherson would have to move narrow and remain compact in an effort to zonally mark any movements from the strikers into the central channels. This therefore placed more onus on Steven and Mikhailichenko to track back and defend the advancing moves of Di Meco and Angloma respectively, as both Frenchmen would frequently get forward from wingback in an effort to cross the ball into the box.

Throughout the game Rangers dropped into two defensive banks of 4, with Durrant often dropping in to make it a line of 5, with a view of compacting the central spaces and making life hard for Marseille’s creative players to find shooting opportunities. While the French champions would have too much quality for Rangers in a creative sense, quite often still finding a way to shoot in tight areas, on multiple occasions the likes of McCall and Brown were on hand to make key interceptions or block the shot all together. Andy Goram would also perform very well adding to his already impressive string of saves from the earlier rounds with Leeds.

Counter Attack Play

Moving from defence to attack proved to be a real struggle for Rangers throughout the first two thirds of this match. Their defensive shape and individual defensive quality enabled them to create multiple turn overs in possession, but a mixture of poor decision making and movement off the ball rendered much of these turn overs as opportunities for Marseille to quickly win the ball back.

Build Up Play

In order to gain more rhythm to their attacks they were forced to use restarts, goal kicks/set pieces/throw ins, as a means of gaining territory higher up the field and forcing Marseille onto the back foot. In Mark Hateley Rangers have the perfect target striker, not only can he link the play in the air and on the ground, but he is also clinical in front of goal when presented with an opportunity. While Marseille were ferocious in their forward press and collective defending, Rangers lacked the quality to build the ball through the thirds so relied heavily on the presence Hateley had when leading the line.

Supporting Hateley from the wings we would see two players perform very different roles. On the left Rangers fielded Alexi Mikhailichenko who was tasked with creating width in moments of transition to combine with full back Davie Robertson, but also someone who could progress the ball quickly on the dribble and show individual quality to beat a man and cross into the box.

On the right hand side Trevor Steven would form a tighter defensive relationship with McCall and Murray, at times operating as a defacto center midfielder, but in doing so he would create an opportunity for Durrant to spring forward as well as offering quality on the ball. His greatest quality on the night came in his crossing as evidenced in his set pieces and balls into the box from open play. It was clear that Rangers were looking to create a 1v1 duel with Mark Hateley and the French keeper Barthez, a challenge that almost brought Rangers a penalty in the second half.

While Rangers would rely heavily on Ian Durrant to provide the creative spark in this match, it wasn’t until a second half substituation and a role change that would see him deliver a performance worthy of man of the match. In the opening exchanges he would look to advance forward and do most of his work alongside Hateley on the break, either through runs into the box to get onto the end of a flick on or by collecting a play and opening the game out to Mikhailichenko on the flank. Once Walter Smith brought on Gary McSwegan, and moved Durrant back into a central midfield position, it was then that Durrant began to pull the strings and served as the catalyst for Rangers come back from a 2-0 deficit. Almost instantly Rangers found an answer to their issues in moments of counter attack, finally they were connecting attacks more freely and Durrant was able to demonstrate his quality when playing forward passes from deep.

Marseille Tactical Set Up

Back 3 Influence

In Desailly and Boli Marseille had two of Europe’s most elite defenders, both equally combative in defence and possessing all the athletic capabilities to defend zonally or in 1v1 situations. Allied to their individual destructive play they both displayed a calmness and quality on the ball that allowed them to step into midfield and not look a beat out of place. With Casoni positioned a few meters behind them he would marshall the back line and employ an aggressive offside trap that even caught out Rangers despite being positioned only marginally within the Marseille half.

Basil Boli

Marcel Desailly

Midfield Roles & Functions

Despite Di Meco and Angloma being placed at left and right wing back respectively, they would spend most of this match in the opposition half serving more as out and out wingers. Both possess a high level of athleticism and quality on the ball, giving them the ability to make forward runs and cross first time, but also the opportunity to defend higher up the field to prevent Rangers from attacking the spaces in behind them.

In central areas Deschamps and Sauzee worked tremendously well as a pair, working simultaneously to break forward and combine with the forward players, but also provide cover for the back three in moments of transition. Sauzee is naturally the more attack minded of the two, and with a sublime right foot also enjoys a strike from distance as well as an effort from set plays. Deschamps ability to cover ground was remarkable, both in moments of defensive transition to prevent an attack, but also when carrying the ball forward to create an attack on the counter for his own side.

Attacking Trident

The graphic we have used to illustrate the Marseille line up is far from representative of the role that Abedi Pele played as the creative force for the French Champions. While I am sure there was direction as to where Goethals would like Pele to operate, his ability to play between the lines and work to serve the striking duo, of Voller and Boksic, saw him take up positions across the entire width of the field throughout the match. In addition to his support play Abedi Pele was as adept in fashioning chances for himself and was highly unfortunate not to have gotten himself on the scoresheet in this game.

While Boksic would open the scoring with a thoroughly clinical first time finish past Andy Goram, Rudi Voller served as the focal point in almost everything Marseille would create in this match. His ability to pull into wide areas and dribble into shooting positions inside and around the box was exceptional, and in doing so he would also create opportunities for his teammates who had moved into the spaced now vacated by the defenders Voller had attracted. His attacking nous was best illustrated by his movement to follow in the mistake made by Rangers defensive substitute Steven Pressley, an opportune moment that the German striker would pounce on to give his side a two goal advantage.

Data Analysis

Value of Chances

xG Timeline:

We can see from the timeline that Marseille were the more consistent attackers in this match, dividing the majority of their attack play into two clusters at the start and end of the game, with a decent return taking place at either end of half time. Conversely Rangers would fail to register a shot on goal for almost 40 minutes, between the 31st and 67th minutes, which makes their comeback all the more remarkable considering Marseille’s dominance at 2-0. Despite Rangers turning the tide and getting themselves back into the match, Marseille actually record 13 of their 24 attacks in the final 30 minutes which shows they certainly didn’t sit in and hold onto their lead and in fact attempted to regain it when at 2-2.

Chance Quality:

While Marseille recorded three times as many attacks as Rangers, we can see that the distance in chance quality is significantly reduced by the size of Rangers upticks. This signifies that Rangers shots carried a higher value and probability, while Marseille attacked more frequently but did so from areas that gave Rangers a better chance of preventing a goal. The small repeated upticks not only signal multiple attacks within the same shot pattern, but also shots from distance that carry a lower threat.

Type of Chances Created

Rangers would create all 7 of their 8 attacks from Key Passes, which shows us that Marseille made very little errors in possession, but also that Rangers required groups of players to fashion efforts on goal as they didn’t have an individual who could do so. Marseille however would create 16 of their 24 attacks from Key Passes, which when we delve deeper shows us that of the remaining 8 attacks 5 were a direct result of a Rangers turn over in possession and Marseille taking advantage by shooting on goal. The most notable of these would come on 55 minutes, when Rudi Voller would take advantage of an initial John Brown turn over and subsequent Steven Pressley mis placed tackle, to score the 2nd goal of the match.

Rangers most frequently used method of creating attacks came from Crossing, which we can surmise by looking at the chance creation map above, with 5 of their 8 attempts coming from a wide area. Only 2 of these 5 would end up as a shot on target, but to Rangers delight both efforts resulted in a goal.

Marseille’s chance creation has a sprinkling of key passes from crossing positions, but their most prominent route to creating an attack came through a successful switch of play or a short lay off prior to the shot. Marseille’s intricate interplay between the forwards and midfielders saw them fashion 9 efforts from inside the central portion of Rangers half, but where things became a problem is that only 1 of these 9 chances lead to a shot on target.

Where Chances are Created

When analyzing the attack play from this game it is as fascinating as it is baffling. On a surface level we can see that Marseille recording 24 shots to 8 would suggest a level of dominance that labels the scoreline as flattering in Rangers favor, however when we drill down deeper it perhaps suggests something more impressive about how Rangers played.

9 of Marseille’s 24 efforts would be blocked by Rangers players, something in itself that suggests how well Rangers defended against a strong Marseille side, a further 4 efforts would be saved by Andy Goram which accounts for over half of Marseille’s attack play. Of their remaining 11 shots 9 would miss the target completely, and of course two would hit the back of the net. There is something telling about the quality of Marseille’s strike play overall that leads us to ask could they have been more clinical on another night?

While again we cannot understate how impressive the creation of 24 shots are in a match, the fact is Marseille would only land 10 of those 24 from inside the box shows us how speculative many of the shots were. In comparison Rangers would hit 7 from the same area, and to delve further we also see that only 3 of Marseille’s 10 box shots would come from the Golden Zone (Central portion of the box and the highest probability) where as Rangers would record 6 of their 7 box shots from inside the Golden Zone. This allows us to consider that on the night Rangers made more of their chance creation, purely from a probability perspective, as they did more with an overall lesser output.

When we look at Attack play broken down by “patterns of play” we can grade the quality/probability of the attack play further, and in the analysis we see that just over 50% Rangers shots came from open play, where as Marseille would see 92% of their shots from open play. Clearly there is a greater chance of scoring during an attack that is created in moments of free play, however with Rangers creating 2 big chances in the match (chances as defined by Opta as having the highest level of probability) Marseille would only create 1, which would actually land at the feet of a fortunate Rudi Voller after a Steven Pressley error, this suggests that again Rangers are perhaps doing more with the attacking output they are creating.

Clearly the balance of play fell in favor of Marseille, with them enjoying far more regains of possession, better ball progression throughout the field and more importantly a higher xG and shot output. Yet as we look back on this game as a contest Walter Smith clearly got something right. Perhaps it was the move to put Durrant back into midfield? Maybe it was Marseille’s missed chances affecting their mentality? What we can derive however by looking at the numbers is that both coaches have a very clear way of approaching football matches, and it will be interesting to see if this continues to illustrate itself throughout the group stage games.

Who Created Chances

Mark Hatelely would finish as Rangers best statistical attacker, even though he would only take part in two shots on goal in the match and create two more for his teammates. His 2 attacks would generate 1 goal, and his personal xG for the match of 0.35 (35% chance of scoring).

Alexi Mikhailicheko would finish as Rangers best statistical creator with 3 key passes, one of which turning into a shot on target and a goal assist with a splendid cross in for Gary McSwegan to score on his European debut.

Rudi Voller was Marseille’s best Attacker and Creator in the match. He would shit 6 shots of his own, two of which landing on target and getting himself a goal. He would also record a personal xG of 0.76, not too far off the entire probability of the Rangers team. In a creative sense he had 4 key passes which lead to 3 shots on target and 1 goal, skillfully setting up Alen Boksic for the opening goal of the match.

Why not check out the Match Report from this match? CLICK HERE to do so.

Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – CSKA vs Rangers – Match Day 2 Retro Football Analysis Podcast

Rangers UCL Review 92/93: Stew and Ally return with part 4 of this series analyzing Glasgow Rangers historic 1992/93 Champions League campaign. In this episode we cover: – CSKA team history & Russian League reform – Rangers run up to the match – Rangers vs CSKA game itself
  1. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – CSKA vs Rangers – Match Day 2
  2. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Rangers vs Marseille – Match Day 1
  3. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Leeds vs Rangers – 2nd Round 2nd Leg
  4. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Rangers vs Leeds – 2nd Round 1st Leg
  5. Newcastle vs Barcelona – Warren Barton Interview

Rangers vs Marseille – Match Report

Rangers 2-2 Marseille

UEFA Champions League Group A Matchday 1

November 25th, 2020

Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow

By Stewart Flaherty (@stewartflaherty)


Glasgow Rangers opened their Champions League group stage with a point against Marseille courtesy of a dramatic late comeback. Marseille entered this game as the bookmaker’s favourites to win the group and progress to the final, and the French champions duly cruised into a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from strike pair Rudi Voller and Alen Boksic. Teenager Gary McSwegan was introduced from the bench by Walter Smith and clawed a goal back for Rangers with his first touch before Mark Hateley grabbed a point with an 81st minute diving header.

This fixture made Rangers the first team to host a Champions League group stage game on home soil and they entered the game in good form, having extended their Scottish Premier Division unbeaten streak to 13 games including a 1-0 win at bitter rivals Celtic on November 7th courtesy of an Ian Durrant winner.

The three foreign player rule gave Smith a selection conundrum, with Hateley leading the attack and the non-Scottish trio selected being completed by Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko and Trevor Steven on the flanks. England international midfielder Steven had left Rangers to join Marseille in the summer of 1991 for a British record transfer fee and after winning a league title in France, Steven was sold back to Rangers for less than half the transfer fee due to reported financial difficulties at Marseille.

Midfield duo Dale Gordon and the suspended Ian Ferguson were missing after featuring in the win at Leeds United that secured progress to the group stages, while Ally McCoist was injured, forcing Durrant to fill a role as a makeshift striker alongside Hateley in a 4-4-2 shape. Dutch winger Pieter Huistra was forced out of the squad due to the foreigner restriction, leaving Rangers with a threadbare bench that consisted of backup goalkeeper Ally Maxwell, three teenagers and formerly retired assistant coach David Dodds.

Marseille were favored by many to make the final and with good reason, the French champions had the experience of losing a European Cup final in 1991 on penalties to Red Star Belgrade, and fielded four players from that final in this game here. The quartet of Basile Boli, Eric Di Meco, Abedi Pele and Bernard Casoni all had the experience of that deep run in European competition, while striker Voller had made the UEFA Cup Final with Roma in 1991 and finished as the leading goal scorer in the tournament.

This was the second trip to Britain for Marseille in the tournament, with an 8-0 aggregate victory over Glentoran in the first round featuring a 5-0 first leg victory in Belfast.

Despite a fired up home crowd, Marseille flew out of the gate and Voller had a shot blocked before the rebound fell to Franck Sauzee who hammered a long range shot that was deflected behind for a corner by John Brown. The resulting corner was under hit and comfortably headed away by Di Meco at the near post before Suazee released another shot from distance, this time directing his effort well wide.

Rangers weathered the early storm and appeared to create a 7th minute chance when Stuart McCall chipped a pass in behind for Durrant only for an offside flag to end the threat.

While Marseille spent plenty of time on the front foot, it was Rangers who would carve out the next clean cut chance when Fabien Barthez went up with Hateley to claim a high cross from Steven. The 21-year old goalkeeper missed the ball and it fell invitingly to Mykhaylychenko at the back post, only for the winger to drag his shot wide with the goal gaping.

(Marseille goalkeeper and future World Cup winner Fabien Barthez)

The home team were settling into the game and received another chance to test Barthez when Boli tackled an overlapping David Robertson to concede a corner. The ‘Gers failed to make the most of the opportunity and an underhit corner was blocked at the near post before Di Meco hacked it clear.

The French champions showed their ability to attack in lightning strike fashion when Casoni launched a long ball forward to release Voller who cut across the face of Brown on the edge of the penalty area before forcing a good save from Andy Goram. Marseille came forward again less than a minute later and this time Pele blazed an errant shot way off target.

The aerial route was the preferred method of attack for Rangers and a high cross from Dave McPherson was met by Hateley who beat Jocelyn Angloma in the air before heading wide. The physical presence of Hateley was a key feature for Rangers, and the target man competed well against a physical back three that included Boli and Marcel Desailly.

The direct attacking ability of Marseille was on show again in the 31st minute when the visitors took the lead. Barthez sent a long kick forward that Richard Gough misjudged in the air, allowing Voller to drive into the penalty area. The German international striker was stood up by Brown, but squared the ball through the defender’s legs to striker partner Boksic who guided a neat one touch finish past Goram.

Rangers responded immediately and Steven was set up by Hateley before firing a shot wide from long range.

Marseille won a corner when Angloma sent a cross to the back post where McPherson headed behind under pressure from McCall. Pele’s cross was punched away by Goram before the attack was recycled and playmaker Pele drove a shot wide of the target.

The visitors continued to apply pressure and Didier Deschamps picked up possession in the center circle before driving forward and firing a shot wide. Rangers were clinging on as halftime approached and Pele was teed up by Voller before driving another shot off target. As the attacking central midfielder in a 3-5-2 shape, Pele was working hard to find possession between the Rangers lines and display his attacking threat.

Central defender Gough was having a rough outing, having misjudged the long ball forward that led to the opening goal, the Scotland international defender was now visibly limping through the latter stages of the opening half.

The injury to veteran defender Gough will have been of particular concern to manager Smith given the inexperienced bench at his disposal. Those fears were confirmed as during the interval, Gough was deemed unable to continue and 19-year old Steven Pressley was thrown into the heart of the battle. Pressley slotted into the right back position, with McPherson shifting central to battle the partnership of Boksic and Voller.

As well as hoping Pressley could take the strain, Smith would have been looking to boost the Rangers attack during the interval, with goalkeeper Barthez protecting a 1-0 lead having not registered a save in the first half.

On the other end, battling center half Boli was imposing himself on Rangers throughout the first half, but went too far after the interval when he picked up a 55th minute yellow card for a crashing foul on Robertson by the sideline. The booking was Boli’s second of the tournament, meaning he would now be suspended for Marseille’s next group stage game against Club Brugge.

The physical nature of the game continued when Brown went through the back of Pele to award Marseille a free kick. Boli lifted a high ball forward towards the penalty area only for McPherson to head clear.

The French champions soon came again and this time doubled their lead through Voller in the 57th minute. The changes that Smith was forced into at the half came into play, with converted center back McPherson adopting a high position while right back Pressley lagged behind to keep Voller onside.

Midfielder Suazee lofted a through ball into the penalty area and Voller positioned himself on the offside line before capitalizing on a mixup between Pressley and Goram to gather possession and tap the ball into an empty net.

The foul count kept ticking over in an intense game when Deschamps crashed into Pressley to concede a wide free kick. Steven’s cross was headed away before a second ball into the penalty area was rendered useless by an offside flag against McPherson.

Marseille sensed blood in the water and came forward yet again when Voller played Boksic into the left channel and the Croatian crossed to the back post where Pele skewed a volley well off target.

As Rangers fought to stay in the game, they won another wide free kick when the aggressive Di Meco brought down Hateley out wide. Steven sent in a cross that Barthez punched away weakly, only for Mykhaylychenko to collect and square across goal. The ball reached Brown and the defender fired a shot that deflected into the air before Hungarian referee Sandor Puhl blew his whistle for a foul on the goalkeeper by Hateley.

Young goalkeeper Barthez seemed vulnerable under pressure from crosses, a point that had been singled out by TV pundit and former Rangers midfielder Ray WIlkins before the game (audio in clip below).

The home team kept searching for a way back into the game and Durrant played a ball wide left that held up in the soaked grass for Mykhaylychenko to latch onto it and whip in a cross that Barthez deflected clear. Pressley was first to the loose ball and won a free kick when he was chopped down by Di Meco, with the French defender receiving a yellow card for the challenge.

The free kick was launched into the penalty area, and another poor clearance from Barthez fell to Brown who fired a shot that was blocked on the goal line. The attack was recycled and Mykhaylychenko sent in a cross that was headed down by Hateley before a Marseille clearance launched an end to end counter attack that saw Boksic being teed up by Voller to force a good save from Goram at the near post.

The impressive Voller soon turned provider and teed up Angloma who had his driven shot saved by Goram. Rangers were creaking and less than a minute later Suazee carried the ball forward and fed Voller before the veteran striker curled a shot high and wide.

German international Voller was presented with a golden chance to strike a decisive blow when Di Meco blocked a Steven clearance into the striker’s path. Voller advanced into the penalty area before firing a golden chance to seemingly seal the win into the side netting as Brown recovered to apply pressure.

Marseille were not sitting back and Voller fought Brown for a ball before the rebound fell to Angloma who dribbled into the penalty area and forced another save from Goram.

Rangers manager Smith made his second and last substitution of the game in the 78th minute, and it would prove to be an impactful one, as Steven was replaced by teenage forward McSwegan. McSwegan made an instant impression and clawed a goal back for Rangers with his first touch in the 79th minute.

Durrant drove a pass into the left channel, and the ball once more held up in the wet conditions before Mykhaylychenko sent in a high cross and McSwegan planted a header into the top corner beyond Barthez.

The goal showed a clever adjustment by Durrant to the conditions, with the forward overhitting a pass into the channel for a second time in front of Mykhaylychenko, knowing that it would hold up on the drenched turf.

With the home crowd now alive, Rangers came forward again and won a corner when Neil Murray had his cross deflected behind by Angloma. The corner was taken short to Mykhaylychenko and the winger skipped past Pele before firing a shot that was deflected away by the defense. The deflection fell to Pele and the playmaker tried to dribble upfield before being dispossessed by a combination of Mykhaylychenko and Durrant. After winning the ball, Durrant swapped passes with substitute McSwegan before driving into the penalty area and sending over a low cross that was guided home by a diving header from Hateley at the near post. The goal capped a remarkable comeback from the home team and sent the Ibrox crowd into raptures.

It appeared that the Rangers managerial debut of Smith and assistant Archie Knox had pinpointed the right side of the Marseille defense including wingback Angloma as an area to exploit at halftime, with both goals and numerous other attacks coming as a result of raids down that flank.

Another notable aspect of the goal was the turnover coughed up by reigning African Footballer of the Year Pele. The Ghana international midfielder was one of the more skilled players in the world at the time, and was shackled tightly by a hard working Rangers team all game.

In the immediate aftermath of the goal, Marseille manager Raymond Goethals replaced striker Boksic with midfielder Jean-Phillipe Durand, a substitution that had been lined up waiting to come on for over a minute before the equalizer and one likely designed to hold a 2-1 lead. 

Marseille pushed forward after the substitution and won a free kick when Suazee teed up Pele who was fouled on the edge of the penalty area by Robertson. Midfielder Pele stepped up to take the free kick but hammered his shot into the wall before a follow up shot was deflected behind for a corner.

Deschamps sent over an inswinging corner that Goram punched away before a follow up shot from substitute Durand was blocked.

Marseille had a golden chance to win it late when a Suazee shot was deflected into the path of Pele inside the penalty area. The ball got stuck under Pele’s feet in the muddy field and the chance went begging as the home crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief. This play was one of the many incidents in the game where the field and weather directly impacted the game and attacking players had the ball hold up in the mud, a factor that modern day players rarely have to face, and never to this degree.

The pressure from the visitors kept coming and a cross from Deschamps bounced around the penalty area before being claimed by Goram at the feet of Voller. Marseille were offered one last attacking opportunity when Pele was dragged down out wide by Pressley.

Before Marseille launched the final cross into the penalty area, manager Goethals made the surprising move of subbing off star striker Voller and bringing on Jean-Jacques Elydelie.

Suazee elected to shoot from the free kick but his driven, curling effort was just over the crossbar and the final whistle was blown on an absorbing battle that saw both teams finish with a point.

POSTGAME FALLOUT

After being two goals down with a depleted lineup and two teenagers thrown into the fire from the bench, Rangers will have been delighted to start their campaign with a point ahead of a tough trip to face CSKA Moscow next time out. 

Manager Smith will have been hoping for the return of star striker McCoist from injury as the ‘Gers looked for a win in Russia. With Moscow having gone down 1-0 to Club Brugge in their opener, the loser of the next game would be in an early hole when it came to qualification for the final.

Marseille will have been disappointed to throw away a 2-0 lead, but showed their quality and would be looking to go a step further and claim the win next time out against Club Brugge, the Group A leaders after Matchday 1.

SCORING SUMMARY

31’ MAR Alen Boksic (Rudi Voller) 0-1

57’ MAR Rudi Voller (Franck Suazee) 0-2

79’ RAN Gary McSwegan (Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko) 1-2

81’ RAN Mark Hateley (Ian Durrant) 2-2

MAN OF THE MATCH

#9 CF Rudi Voller (Olympique de Marseille) – A performance oozing class from the German international, nutmegging a defender to create the opener for Boksic, before tapping into an empty net after good movement to double the lead for the visitors before their late collapse.

STAR MEN

Rangers FC

1:  CF Mark Hateley – Led the line well and engaged in a physical battle with Marseille center back Boli before netting the late equalizer.

2:  LM Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko – Came alive in the second half, sending in the cross for McSwegan’s opener before tracking back to force the turnover that led to the equalizing goal.

3:  CF Ian Durrant – Forced into duty as a center forward due to the injury of McCoist, Durrant dropped deep to link play well and his driving run into the penalty area teed up Hateley for the equalizer. 

Olympique de Marseille

1:  CF Rudi Voller – Man of the Match.

2:  ACM Abedi Pele – Marked tightly all game by Rangers, Pele was the extra man in midfield for Marseille, and displayed skill and creativity all game as he drove the French attack.

3:  CM Franck Sauzee – A thoroughly composed performance from Suazee who fought on the defensive end while showing quality passing ability, his ball over the top for Voller doubled the lead for the French champions early in the second half.

LINEUP 

RAN:  Goram, Robertson, Gough (Pressley), Brown, McPherson, Mykhaylychenko, Murray, McCall, Steven (McSwegan), Hateley, Durrant.

MAR:  Barthez, Boli, Casoni, Desailly, Di Meco, Suazee, Deschamps, Pele, Angloma, Boksic (Durand), Voller (Eydelie).

HIGHLIGHTS
Full highlights can be found on the davywilson21 YouTube channel here.

Why not check out the Data Analysis Report from this match? CLICK HERE to do so.

Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – CSKA vs Rangers – Match Day 2 Retro Football Analysis Podcast

Rangers UCL Review 92/93: Stew and Ally return with part 4 of this series analyzing Glasgow Rangers historic 1992/93 Champions League campaign. In this episode we cover: – CSKA team history & Russian League reform – Rangers run up to the match – Rangers vs CSKA game itself
  1. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – CSKA vs Rangers – Match Day 2
  2. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Rangers vs Marseille – Match Day 1
  3. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Leeds vs Rangers – 2nd Round 2nd Leg
  4. Rangers UCL Review 92/93 – Rangers vs Leeds – 2nd Round 1st Leg
  5. Newcastle vs Barcelona – Warren Barton Interview