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Leverkusen down Rangers 1-0 to progress in UEFA Europa League

Moussa Diaby celebrates his goal to give Bayer Leverkusen the lead on the night

Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA |   Bayer Leverkusen cruised into the quarterfinal after beating Glasgow Rangers 1-0 (4-1 on aggregate) thanks to a second-half goal from Moussa Diaby in the Europa League round of 16 on Thursday.

The Rangers had a tough task ahead as they needed three goals without reply to win the tie on the road. However, it was the hosts who grabbed the reins from the kick off.

Kai Havertz alone had two chances in the early stages but lacked in precision as the German international rattled the woodwork in the 16th minute before he missed the target from a promising position six minutes later.

Leverkusen controlled possession and let the ball do the work whereas the visitors from Glasgow failed to get a single shot on target in the first 45 minutes.

After the restart, the “Werkself” eventually got rewarded for the dominant first half when a Charles Aranguiz through ball from their own territory allowed Diaby to drill the ball from the area into the roof of the net with six minutes gone in the second half.

Havertz remained in the thick of things but wasn’t able to make the most of his third chance with just Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor to beat moments later.

Leverkusen’s goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, who had nothing to do for most of the game, almost invited the visitors to restore parity but Hradecky’s moment of madness following an underestimated free kick remained without consequences as Edmond Tapsoba defused Alfredo Morelos’ header on target in the 71st minute.

Glasgow grew in confidence and Greg Stewart squandered a misplaced pass from Hradecky inside the box in the 83rd minute.

However, Leverkusen stood firm in the closing period and cruised into the quarterfinals where they will clash with Inter Milan in Dusseldorf on Monday.

“We are disappointed with the result. I don’t think we found our level or a performance to give it a good go tonight. The best side won the game and the best side has gone through over the course of the two legs,” Rangers head coach Steven Gerrard said.

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XINHUA

 

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