Borussia Dortmund 2 Rangers 4
Long before full-time, debate was under way regarding where this sits in an all-time table of one-off results for Scottish teams in European competition.
Success for Rangers against Borussia Dortmund is at least a valid part of the discussion. The Rangers contingent inside Signal Iduna Park not only – and quite rightly – partied but realised this was an extraordinary occasion as will be spoken about for some time.
Far from stealing victory, the Scottish champions were fully deserving of it; including by the two-goal margin. In fact, there may even be a tiny element of frustration for Giovanni van Bronckhorst that Rangers do not have more leeway ahead of leg two. Rangers will rue the scrapping of the away goals rule.
Dortmund of course have the talent to turn this tie on its head next week in Glasgow. Erling Haaland, who missed this defeat through injury, could be back by then. Still, Rangers clearly harbour no sense of trepidation whatsoever. The spotting of glaring weakness in the Dortmund defence is one thing, capitalising on it in the manner Rangers did here quite another.
When Jude Bellingham curled a fine shot beyond Allan McGregor to reduce the Dortmund arrears to two goals, at 3-1, there was a lingering sense the Germans may complete their comeback and restore a sense of natural order. Rangers were having none of that. Alfredo Morelos, who tormented the home back line all evening, strode forward to restore Rangers' three-goal lead.
The final goal – of six – in the game belonged to Dortmund’s Raphaël Guerreiro, which changes the complexion of the tie ever so slightly. Rangers, though, must have belief they can puncture Dortmund’s back line when roared on by a capacity Ibrox crowd.
An indication that this may be Rangers’ evening arrived within 10 minutes. When played in by the outstanding Ryan Kent, Borna Barisic lacked conviction with a shot as was saved by Gregor Kobel. The opportunity endorsed the visitors’ confidence touch.
Minor panic, but only that, followed for Van Bronckhorst. Dan Axel-Zagadou had a simple task to head Dortmund in front from a corner but instead fluffed his lines. Bellingham soon flashed a pass across McGregor’s six-yard line as found no takers. That was as good as the first half got for Marco Rose’s team, who were jeered off at the interval.
By that stage, a James Tavernier penalty and a Morelos tap-in had sent Rangers on course for victory. Axel-Zagadou’s miserable evening continued when VAR correctly penalised him for handball. Tavernier, as is customary, did the rest from 12 yards. It was the Rangers captain’s corner, flicked on by Joe Aribo, that Morelos bashed home.
The pick of Rangers’ goals belonged to John Lundstram. The midfielder bent a shot out of Kobel’s reach from 22 yards after Kent laid the ball back into his path. At 3-0, Rangers were in dreamland. Bellingham, one of precious few Dortmund players who emerged with credit, duly had his say.
Undeterred, Morelos survived a VAR check before celebrating a fourth. Zagadou was again involved, having deflected the ball on its way into the net. Dortmund had now, extraordinarily, conceded nine goals in two home outings. It could have been 10, Aribo’s shot instead flying narrowly wide.
The only problem for Rangers at this stage was that more than half an hour remained. Indeed, Dortmund claimed an element of salvation with a long-range Guerreiro effort. This affords the Germans second leg hope. Based on this evidence, however, they cannot have much; the home support’s disgust towards their team was plain at full time. Haste ye back, Erling. - Guardian