Having ended Rangers’ winning home run in Europe in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off, PSV Eindhoven will look to finish the job in the Netherlands as they aim to end a three-season absence from the group stage.
In an entertaining first game in Glasgow on August 16, Ibrahim Sangaré struck first for the visitors in the 37th minute only for Antonio Čolak to reply within three minutes. Tom Lawrence’s long-range free-kick restored the Rangers lead (70) but 12 minutes from time Armando Obispo’s header earned PSV a draw that brought Rangers’ four-match European winning streak at Ibrox to an end.
UEFA Europa League runners-up in 2021/22, Rangers are now bidding to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in 12 seasons – although PSV also enjoyed a lengthy European campaign last season.
Both teams suffered UEFA Champions League qualifying elimination in 2021/22. The Scottish side went on to play 17 UEFA Europa League fixtures only to fall at the last to Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties in the Seville final, while PSV were unable to make it past the UEFA Europa League group stage but did go on to reach the quarter -finals of the new UEFA Europa Conference League.
PSV and Rangers both entered this season’s UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round, edging through after dramatic second legs against Monaco of France and Belgian side Union St Gilloise respectively.
This is the sides’ eighth contest with Rangers having won three of the previous seven – although PSV did record their first victory in the most recent before this season, Jeremain Lens scoring the only goal of the clubs’ 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 16 and 14 minutes into the second leg in Glasgow.
Rangers’ Steven Davis played in both matches with Allan McGregor an unused substitute.
Rangers have now won three of their five European Cup games against PSV, prevailing 3-2 in Eindhoven in the 1978/79 second round second leg to win the tie by the same scoreline before wins away (1-0) and at home (4 -1) in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League first group stage.
The most recent of PSV’s 16 UEFA Champions League group campaigns came in 2018/19, when they finished fourth in their section having collected only two points from their six games.
The Eindhoven club have twice lost in qualifying since then, including in 2021/22 when they got past Galatasaray (5-1 h, 2-1 a) in the second qualifying round and Midtjylland (3-0 h, 1-0 a) in the third only to lose to Benfica in the play-offs (1-2 a, 0-0 h).
PSV featured in all three UEFA club competitions in 2021/22, moving across to the UEFA Europa League where they finished third in Group B behind Monaco and Real Sociedad having picked up eight points. That took them into the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League, which brought victories against Maccabi Tel-Aviv (1-0 h, 1-1 a) and Copenhagen (4-4 h, 4-0 a) before a quarter-final elimination at the hands of Leicester City (0-0 a, 1-2 h).
Second to Ajax in the Eredivisie for the second season in a row in 2021/22, PSV kicked off this European campaign in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, edging past Monaco in a tight tie (1-1 a, 3-2 h aet).
Last season’s loss to Benfica made PSV’s record in the UEFA Champions League play-offs W1 L2, the sole success coming against BATE Borisov in 2018/19 (3-2 a, 3-0 h).
PSV have managed only three wins in their last eight European home fixtures (D3 L2).
Aside from their seven games with Rangers, PSV’s only other fixtures against a Scottish club ended in an aggregate defeat by Dundee United in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup first round (1-1 a, 0-2 h).
PSV have won 15 of the 20 UEFA competition ties in which they have gone into the second home leg with the scores level, with this the third successive tie in which they have drawn the away first game following last season’s UEFA Europa Conference League elimination by Leicester and victory against Monaco at the start of 2022/23. They have won one and lost one of the two ties in which the away first leg finished 2-2, going out to Barcelona in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup quarter-finals (2-3 h) but beating LOSC Lille in the 2010/ 11 UEFA Europa League round of 32 (3-1 h).
PSV’s record in six UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W3 L3:
6-5 v Benfica, 1987/88 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final
6-7 years National, 1988 European/South American Cup
4-5 v Feyenoord, 2001/02 UEFA Cup quarter-final
4-2 v Lyon, 2004/05 UEFA Champions League round of 16
6-5 v Tottenham, 2007/08 UEFA Europa League round of 16
7-8 v Atlético de Madrid, 2015/16 UEFA Champions League round of 16
Rangers have made ten appearances in the UEFA Champions League group stage but have not featured since 2010/11 when, as in eight of their nine other campaigns, they were unable to reach the knockout rounds – the exception coming in 2005/06 when they got to the round of 16.
In that 2010/11 campaign, Rangers finished third in their section on six points, a 1-0 home win against Bursaspor, the club’s only victory in their last 16 group stage fixtures (D6 L9).
The Glasgow club have twice lost in the third qualifying round since that last group appearance 11 years ago, both against Malmö, in 2011/12 (0-1 h, 1-1 a) and 2021/22 (1-2 a, 1 -2 h).
Last season the Gers went on to finish second in their UEFA Europa League section behind Lyon on eight points, subsequently beating Borussia Dortmund (4-2 a, 2-2 h), Crvena zvezda (3-0 h, 1-2 a) , Braga (0-1 a, 3-1 h aet) and Leipzig (0-1 a, 3-1 h) to reach their first European final since the 2008 UEFA Cup. Even then, however, Rangers came up short at the last, losing 5-4 on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt after a 1-1 draw in Seville.
The Ibrox club produced another stirring home performance in their first European tie this season, overturning a 2-0 first-leg loss at Belgian side St Gilloise with a 3-0 victory in Glasgow.
Runners-up in the Scottish Premiership to Celtic in 2021/22, this is Rangers’ first UEFA Champions League play-off; their record at this stage of the UEFA Europa League is W4 L1 with victories in the last four.
Rangers have lost their last four European away games, failing to score in the last three. A 4-2 win at Dortmund in last season’s UEFA Europa League knockout play-offs first leg is their only victory in 11 away matches in continental competition (D4 L6).
The Gers were 4-0 winners in their last game against Dutch opponents before the first leg, a single-leg away meeting with Willem II in the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round. Their overall record against Eredivisie teams is now W7 D6 L7; in the Netherlands it is W4 D2 L4.
Rangers’ aggregate record when drawing at home in the first leg in UEFA competition is W7 L9, including that 1978/79 tie against PSV (0-0 h, 3-2 a) and victories against Panathinaikos, Sporting CP and Fiorentina on the way to the 2008 UEFA Cup final. This is only the second time their home first leg has finished 2-2 – they lost the previous tie on away goals to Villarreal (1-1 a) in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League round of 16.
Rangers’ record in five UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W3 L2:
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
4-5 v Eintracht Frankfurt, 2021/22 UEFA Europa League final
Links and trivia
Ruud van Nistelrooy, who replaced Roger Schmidt as PSV coach in the summer, scored the Dutch club’s goal from the penalty spot in their 4-1 loss at Rangers on 20 October 1999 – a match in which current Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst played for the Scottish club.
Van Bronckhorst and Van Nistelrooy were Netherlands teammates between 1998 and 2010.
Van Nistelrooy was also in the Manchester United side that won 1-0 at Ibrox in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage, the Dutchman scoring twice in a subsequent 3-0 win at Old Trafford.
Van Bronckhorst was assistant to Fred Rutten, now on Van Nistelrooy’s coaching staff at PSV, at Feyenoord in 2014/15 before succeeding Rutten as head coach the following season. André Ooijer, who also played for the national side alongside Van Bronckhorst, is another member of PSV’s coaching team.
Ki-Jana Hoever of PSV and Rangers’ Ryan Kent were at Liverpool together from May to September 2019.
Richard Ledezma & James Sands, Malik Tillman (United States)