Sparta lost to Rangers
Sparta travelled to Glasgow in the 5th round of the group stage of Europa League. Both teams understood the importance of this game while having the same number of points in the table of group A. Therefore, this result would be very important for qualifying for the spring round of this competition. Rangers started the match better and created a few chances. Morelos did not miss his opportunity and opened the score. The same player also added the second goal after the big mistake in Sparta’s defense. Karabec, LK37 and Pulkrab had good chances to score in the last 15 minutes but unfortunately, they were not successful. Sparta will fight for the spring round of Europa Conference League in the last game against Brøndby.
Sparta won the first match against Rangers 1-0 almost two months ago. Coach Pavel Vrba made two changes in comparison to the weekend’s game against Slovácko. Dominik Holec replaced Florin Nita in Sparta’s goal and got the first chance in European cups this season. Lukáš Štetina was not present at the team squad for this match and LK37 was moved to his position and the new man in the starting eleven was Sáček. On the other side, Giovanni van Bronckhorst also changed two players after the loss on Sunday. Balogun and Arfield were replaced by Bassey and Hagi.
The first chance in the game came in the 6th minute when Aribo hit the crossbar after nice dribbling from Kent.
We saw another opportunity for the home team nine minutes later. Hagi made a good pass while falling and found Morelos who did not miss in a clear chance right in front of Holec, 1-0.
Aribo could add a second goal in the 23rd minute after a long pass from Hagi. His shot went tightly above the goal.
Sparta had a first opportunity for scoring two minutes later. Haraslín served a good ball to Minčev and McGregor made an important save.
The play was centred in between penalty boxes in the next minutes and there were no chances. Both defensive lines were working well and covering all actions. The first half finished 1-0.
Rangers started the second half actively. Kent sent a dangerous shot and tightly missed the right post in the 48th minute. Panák made a huge mistake a few seconds later and Morelos did not have a lot of problems scoring to the empty net, 2-0.
Holec performed a great save in the 50th minute when he left his goal and caught Kent’s chance.
Sparta’s goalkeeper was also careful in the 65th minute when Morelos had two shots.
Aribo’s attempt three minutes later went above the crossbar.
Sparta tried to do something with the result. Karabec and Hložek performed interesting actions, but they did not cause serious trouble for McGregor.
Karabec missed a huge chance in the 76th minute after a great long pass from Karlsson.
Sparta had two great opportunities in the 87th minute, but McGregor showed a master class and did not allow LK37 and Pulkrab a few seconds later to score. Both players had dangerous headers that were saved by the goalkeeper on the line. What a pity.
We did not see any other chances in this game. Rangers won 2-0.