Impressive 4-2 victors in the first leg away to Borussia Dortmund, Scottish champions Rangers have a third successive UEFA Europa League round of 16 berth in their sights as they host the second leg of this knockout round play-off at Ibrox.
• Rangers clinched a UEFA Europa League knockout phase berth with a game to spare, finishing runners-up to Lyon in Group A with eight points, one more than Sparta Praha. Dortmund’s sixth successive season in the UEFA Champions League group stage proved less successful than the previous three as they failed to make further progress, finishing third in Group C behind Ajax and Sporting CP on nine points, the same number as the Portuguese champions.
• Rangers produced one of their most famous European away wins – and just their fourth in 24 visits to Germany – as they became the first Scottish side to prevail in Dortmund, triumphing 4-2 in the first leg. Goals from James Tavernier (penalty), Alfredo Morelos and John Lundstram – the Englishman’s first in Europe – gave the visitors a 3-0 lead before the German Cup holders fought back, Jude Bellingham and Raphaël Guerreiro replying either side of a Dan-Axel Zagadou own goal that tightened Rangers’ stranglehold on the tie.
• Historically Rangers also hold the upper hand between the clubs, winning three of the eight matches before this tie to Dortmund’s one, all three of them in Glasgow, where they are unbeaten (D1). They scored twice in each of the four home matches, the most recent a 2-0 win in the third round first leg of the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup – though Dortmund won the return leg by the same score before prevailing 3-1 on penalties.
• Rangers have faced German opposition on 48 occasions with the record W17 D14 L17. They have won 13 of the 23 home fixtures (D6 L4), but have fallen to defeat in each of the last two, the most recent 1-3 against Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League round of 16 – a tie they lost 4-1 on aggregate. The Glasgow side’s record in two-legged ties against German teams is W8 L10.
• Dortmund’s seven previous away fixtures in Scotland – all in the last century – have yielded two wins, one draw and four defeats, three of the latter to Rangers. Their record in two-legged ties against Scottish opponents is W4 L2.
• Dortmund have happy memories of their first visit to Glasgow as it was there, at Hampden Park, that they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the 1966 European Cup Winners’ Cup final, thereby becoming the first German team to win a UEFA club competition. However, they made an immediate return to the city in the second round of the following season’s competition, losing 2-1 to Rangers – and then also on aggregate – as the Scottish side went on to reach the final, which they lost 1-0 to another German side, Bayern München, in Nuremberg.
• Undefeated champions of Scotland in 2020/21 as they claimed a record-extending 55th domestic league title, Rangers also played 13 matches in the UEFA Europa League, progressing from the second qualifying round to the round of 16, where their run was ended by Slavia Praha (1-1 a, 0-2 h).
• Rangers returned to the UEFA Champions League for the first time in a decade this term, but they lost both third qualifying round legs 2-1 to Malmö and therefore transferred to the UEFA Europa League play-offs, where they edged Alashkert 1-0 on aggregate to reach the group stage for the fourth successive season. Although they lost their opening two group games – against Lyon (0-2 h) and Sparta (0-1 a) – they remained unbeaten thereafter, taking four points off Brøndby (2-0 h, 1-1 a) and clinching second place with a 2-0 victory over Sparta at Ibrox on Matchday 5.
• This is Rangers’ fourth appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, and third in a row. In all three previous campaigns, the first in 2010/11, they won their round of 32 tie before going out in the round of 16, German side Leverkusen their conquerors two seasons ago.
• The Glasgow giants have lost just five of their last 30 European home matches (W19 D6), although three of those defeats have come in the last six – against Slavia, Malmö and Lyon. In the UEFA Europa League knockout phase their record at Ibrox is W2 D1 L3, their three eliminations all triggered by home defeats.
• Rangers have won all 19 previous UEFA ties in which they registered an away win in the first leg, although only two of the ten such ties in the past 30 years have been outside the qualifying phase – a UEFA Cup second-round success against Leverkusen in 1998/99 (2-1 a, 1-1 h) and last season’s UEFA Europa League round of 32 triumph against Antwerp (4-3 a, 5-2 h). The Scottish club’s only previous 4-2 victory in an away first leg was followed by a 3-1 home win against Midtjylland in the third qualifying round of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League.
• Third in the Bundesliga behind Bayern München and Leipzig in 2020/21, and winners of the German Cup for the fifth time with a 4-1 defeat of Leipzig in the final, Dortmund also reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, where they were eliminated after two 2-1 defeats by Manchester City.
• This season, under new head coach Marco Rose, BVB won their first two group games in the UEFA Champions League – 2-1 at Beşiktaş and 1-0 at home to Sporting – but lost the next three – 0-4 away and 1-3 at home to Ajax, 1-3 in Lisbon – to miss out on a top-two spot, though they bowed out with a 5-0 home win against the Turkish side.
• Dortmund have appeared in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase in two previous campaigns, reaching the quarter-finals in 2015/16, when they beat Porto and Tottenham before losing a thriller against Liverpool (1-1 h, 3-4 a), and the round of 16 last time out in 2017/18, when a round of 32 victory over Atalanta preceded a defeat by Salzburg (1-2 h, 0-0 a).
• The German club have won just one of their last nine European away games in the spring, losing six. However, their only defeat on the road in five UEFA Europa League knockout phase matches was that 4-3 defeat at Anfield six years ago (W2 D2).
• Dortmund have lost all seven of the UEFA competition ties in which they were defeated in the first leg at home, most recently in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League round of 16 by Salzburg (1-2 h, 0-0 a). Their first five first-leg home defeats were all by a margin of two goals, including the 1992/93 UEFA Cup final which they lost against Juventus (1-3 h, 0-3 a), though they have never previously gone down by a 2-4 scoreline.
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Amad Diallo (Manchester United, loan), Aaron Ramsey (Juventus, loan), James Sands (New York City, loan)
Out: Juninho Bacuna (Birmingham City), Ianis Hagi, Filip Helander, Nathan Patterson (Everton)
Out: Ansgar Knauff (Eintracht Frankfurt, loan), Tobias Raschl (Greuther Fürth)
Links and trivia
• Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna is the son of former Rangers midfielder Claudio Reyna, who named his son after former team-mate and current Gers manager Van Bronckhorst.
• Reyna is a United States international team-mate of Rangers’ new loan signing James Sands. Both players came off the bench in the first leg.
• Rangers loanee Aaron Ramsey headed in the only goal as Arsenal won 1-0 at Dortmund on Matchday 4 of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League. In all the Wales international started five UEFA Champions League group games for the Gunners against BVB, winning three and losing two.
• Dortmund boss Rose was in charge of the Salzburg side that defeated Rangers’ arch-rivals Celtic twice (3-1 h, 2-1 a) in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Rangers’ Nigerian international defender Leon Balogun was born in Berlin and has represented five German clubs – Hannover (2008–10), Werder Bremen (2010–12), Fortuna Düsseldorf (2012–14), Darmstadt (2014/15) and Mainz (2015–18).
• Ryan Kent spent the first half of 2017/18 on loan at Freiburg, making six Bundesliga appearances.
• Borna Barišić (Rangers) and Marin Pongračić (Dortmund) are both current Croatian internationals.
• Morelos’s goal in the first leg was his 31st in all rounds of the UEFA Europa League, qualifying included, putting him joint third in the all-time scoring list for the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Cup combined – level with Radamel Falcao and Aritz Aduriz and behind only Henrik Larsson (40) and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (34).
• Rangers are one of five reigning national champions in the UEFA Europa League knockout round play-offs, while Dortmund are one of four current domestic cup winners in the field.
• Rangers’ record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W3 L1:
1-3 v Borussia Dortmund, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup third round
4-3 v Paris Saint-Germain, 2001/02 UEFA Cup third round
4-2 v Marítimo, 2004/05 UEFA Cup first round
4-2 v Fiorentina, 2007/08 UEFA Cup semi-final
• Dortmund’s record in UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L2:
6-5 v Auxerre, 1992/93 UEFA Cup semi-final
3-1 v Rangers, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup third round
2-4 v Club Brugge, 2003/04 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
3-4 v Udinese, 2008/09 UEFA Cup first round
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