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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Heroic Ex-Palace keeper Butland saves Rangers' faces at PSV Eindhoven

By Alessandro Schiavone at Philips Stadion, Eindhoven



Rangers were trashed in Eindhoven despite a flurry of world-class saves by Crystal Palace flop Jack Butland. 


The former England goalkeeper avoided what would have been a historic humiliation in Holland making no fewer than…four spectacular saves to keep the score at 5-1.


One, two, three, four…Rangers could have been on the end of a 9-1 fiasco in the Netherlands if it wasn’t for the 30-year old. He may not have saved Rangers' skin but definitely their faces. There have been many four-goal trashings in history... but not many 9-1's. Had he been as bad as his teammates we would have talked about this game for decades to come.


That said, taking Rangers' overall dreadful performance at Philips Stadion and last year’s six Champions League group stage defeats into account it’s probably a blessing in disguise that former QPR boss Michael Beale’s flops feature in the Europa League instead. A competition they came within a whisker of winning two years ago against Eintracht Frankfurt only for the Germans to show bigger cojones on penalties. 



So where did it all go wrong yesterday and how did it come to this for Butland and company? 


After two missed chances by Luuk De Jong and Ismael Saibari being denied by Butland’s left foot in the opening stages, the Moroccan went on to score a brace. First he guided a header past the former Eagles goalkeeper, then repeated the trick when making the most of a squared De Jong ball across goal. All he needed to do was tap the ball into a gaping goal. Kindergarten stuff. 2-0. Stalwart Tavernier reduced the deficit but it didn’t last long as former Newcastle striker De Jong flicked a header into the back of the net to re-establish a 2-0 advantage.  

Later on Veerman killed the game stone dead with a well-taken low effort into the far corner before an unfortuitous own-goal by Goldson rounded off a memorable result for the hosts and one to forget for the Scots.

When all is said and done, there was absolutely nothing Butland could have done to keep any of the five goals out. Yet he deserves credit for avoiding one of the worst defeats in Glasgow history when he first palmed Saibari’s low-drilled effort away before pulling off a heroic one-handed save to thwart Brentford target Johan Bakayoko and Guus Till, again with his boot. 


The difference between the two sides was certainly Saibari, who looked like a bona fide star and almost single-handedly downed the visitors. If yesterday wasn’t the apotheosis of his young career then what else is? Yet Butland was just as good as PSV's man of the match and is owed an apology by his underperforming teammates. They let him down big time. Without him, Glasgow would have pitched their tent in a famous quicksand.

PSV Eindhoven 


1 Benitez- 3 Teze- 22 Schouten- 18 Boscagli- 8 Dest- 34 Salbari- 6 Sangare- 23 Veerman- 11 Bakayoko- 9 De Jong-7 Lang 




1 Butland-2 Tavernier- 6 Goldson- 5 Souttar- 31 Barisic- 4 Lundstram-43 Raskin-15 Cifuentes- 13 Cantwell- 17 Matondo- 9 Dessers  


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