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Lyons 0 Rangers 3: Beasley on song to help Rangers become kings of Lyons

Rangers made it two wins out of two in Group E of the Champions League with a magnificent display in France last night. Lee McCulloch, Daniel Cousin and DaMarcus Beasley scored for the Scottish side.

Rangers endured severe pressure early on; Lyons' Brazilian free-kick specialist Juninho's third-minute piledriver was blocked byBrahim Hemdani and a dribble by Milan Baros forced a last-ditch tackle from David Weir.

There was little room for manoeuvre in midfield but Rangers were making best headway on the right flank, where Alan Hutton was charging forward. It was from one of his raids that they opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. The right-back forced a corner and McCulloch headed Bea-sley's cross home from near the penalty spot.

Moments later Juninho's free-kick, from 35 yards, just cleared the bar. The Brazilian's next one, in the 32nd minute, forced Allan McGregor to palm the ball out. Sébastien Squillaci followed up but prodded wide. Juninho was running the show, his swerving 30-yard shot just dipping over in the 36th minute and a curling free-kick on the stroke of half-time hitting the bar.

Within three minutes of the restart, however, Cousin doubled Rangers' lead. The striker received the ball just inside the area, to the right of goal, turned his marker and crashed a powerful shot in at Rémy Vercoutre's near post. Moments later Cousin, with a 40-yard cross-field ball, found Beasley charging through the middle and the American calmly slotted the ball to the left of Vercoutre.

The Lyons manager, Alain Perrin, brought on Hatem Ben Arfa and Kader Keita for Mathieu Bodmer and Baros. Kim Kallstrom's shot went wide, but Juninho was still plugging away. On 70 minutes, he hit the post with a left-foot shot from 20 yards. Rangers were non-existent as an attacking force, but Lyons could not score even a consolation goal, Anderson heading against the woodwork – the third time Lyons had done so in the game.

Goals: McCulloch (22) 0-1; Cousin (48) 0-2; Beasley (53) 0-3.

Lyons (4-5-1): Vercoutre; Reveillere (Clerc, 81), Squillaci, Anderson, Grosso; Bodmer (Ben Arfa, 60), Juninho, Kallstrom, Govou, Baros (Keita, 60); Benzema. Substitutes not used: Roux (gk), Belhadj, Fabio Santos, Toulalan.

Rangers (4-5-1): McGregor; Hutton, Weir, Cuellar, Papac; Beasley (Adam, 89), Ferguson, Hemdani, Thomson, McCulloch (Novo, 80); Cousin (Whitaker, 66). Substitutes not used: Carroll (gk), Boyd, Naismith, Faye.

Referee: T Ovrebo (Norway).

Booked: Lyons Squillaci, Reveillere; Rangers Weir, Ferguson, Thomson.

Man of the match: Beasley.

Attendance: 38,076.

Results: Barcelona 3 Lyons 0; Rangers 2 VfB Stuttgart 1; Lyons 0 Rangers 3; VfB Stuttgart 0 Barcelona 2.

Remaining fixtures: 23 Oct: Rangers v Barcelona; VfB Stuttgart v Lyons. 7 Nov: Barcelona v Rangers; Lyons v VfB Stuttgart. 27 Nov: VfB Stuttgart v Rangers; Lyons v Barcelona. 12 Dec: Barcelona v VfB Stuttgart; Rangers v Lyons.

Belfast Telegraph


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