Dundee 2
Rangers 2
League (Premier League)

2 - 2

League (Premier League)
Sunday, May 4th, 2003
Dens Park
Attendance: 9,195
3:00 PM Kick-off

Fabian Caballero 
Fabian Caballero 
Lee Wilkie (o.g.) (1)
Mikel Arteta (pen ) (85)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Dick Advocaat

Starting Eleven
12. Julian Speroni
16. Jonay Hernández
13. Zurab Khizanishvili
3. David Mackay
2. Barry Smith
6. Lee Wilkie
5. Beto Carranza
10. Giorgi Nemsadze
8. Gavin Rae
7. Fabian Caballero
25. Steve Lovell
Stefan Klos .1
Kevin Muscat .17
Craig Moore .3
Arthur Numan .5
Fernando Ricksen .2
Robert Malcolm .12
Barry Ferguson .6
Mikel Arteta .22
Ronald de Boer .14
Michael Mols .10
Peter Lovenkrands .26

1. Jamie Langfield
19. Lee Mair
18. Mark Burchill
15. Steven Milne
17. Nacho Novo
Allan McGregor .22
Bert Konterman .15
Stephen Hughes .27
Claudio Caniggia .7
Shota Arveladze .24

Mark Burchill for Steve Lovell
Steven Milne for Beto Carranza
Lee Mair for Giorgi Nemsadze
Shota Arveladze for Ronald de Boer (67)
Claudio Caniggia for Peter Lövenkrands (67)
Stephen Hughes for Kevin Muscat (81)

None. Kevin Muscat (37)
Bob Malcolm (74)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

John Rowbotham (Referee)
Andy Davis & Brian McDuffie (Assistants)
Brian Winter (Fourth Official)

Match Report

"Rangers will be gutted that I'm not playing in the cup final, I was their most potent attacking threat out there today" - That's what Lee Wilkie told us after a daft day for the big central defender denied Dundee three points from a fabulous game.

Lee's comments were very definitely tongue in cheek, but those who were at Dens and the Dees around the world watching on TV will have new belief that Dundee can lift the cup. They caused Rangers problems throughout this game and after taking the lead were comfortably holding the league leaders at bay until a daft couple of minutes brought penalties number two and three for the Glasgow giants.

Wilkie's mad afternoon started as early as thirty-seven seconds when an Arthur Numan cross clipped his boot on the way past Julian Speroni for the worst possible start.

Dundee roared back and the game was end to end from that moment on. In eight minutes Gavin Rae brought a fine save from Stefan Klos when he fired in an angled eighteen yarder. Rangers hit back and Numan's persistence took him clear, but Speroni was out well to block his low flick in ten minutes.

Arteta was next to try his luck with a 25-yarder that went narrowly wide.

There was some fine football being played by both sides and Beto Carranza was showing a work rate hitherto unseen from the little man by the Dens punters, and in 18 minutes he played his part, along with Lovell in robbing Numan of the ball deep in the Rangers half. They fed Rae, who then found Caballero with seemingly no space to hurt the 'Gers defence, but the Argentinean jinked and fired in a shot from 20 yards which gave Klos no chance.

It wouldn't be a match against the Old Firm without a penalty claim or five and the first came in twenty one minutes as Ricksen went down under Rae's challenge. Mr Rowbotham was having none of it though and indicated a goal kick for Dundee.

Eight minutes later Dens went wild as Khizanishvili intercepted a ball inside his own box and fired a pass to Caballero just inside the Rangers half.

The Ibrox team's central defence appeared half asleep as Fabian raced forward and rasped a terrific shot towards the top corner, Kios got most of his hands to the effort but couldn't keep it out.

"When the Dees go up to lift the Scottish Cup we'll be there" came in waves from the home support, but as the interval approached Rangers tried to turn the screw.

In thirty nine minutes a clever free kick saw Ferguson lob in a cross which found Ricksen's head six yards out. only for the Dutchman to put his effort high into the disgusted visiting support. They came closer a moment later as De Boer made a clever run and fired in a low cross which Zura Khizanishvili got to moments before Mols, but as the game moved into injury time the second penalty claim arrived with McLeish's men rightly getting a spot kick as Mols tumbled under Wilkie's challenge. Barry Ferguson has been deadly from the spot this season but he got too much height on this effort and it rattled clear off the underside of the bar.

Stevie Lovell went into the referee's notepad within two minutes of the restart for a late tackle on Muscat, and in fifty one minutes Rangers came close to equalising. An angled Ricksen free kick forced Speroni to palm the effort over the bar and from the resultant comer Arteta fired in a netbound shot only for Nemsadze to get his head in the way to save the day.

On the hour Dundee came close when a comer from the right was cleared to Jonay Hernandez but the Venezuelan's effort was narrowly wide of the target.

Rangers were barely causing the Dundee back line concern and it was no surprise when Alex McLeish introduced Arveladze and Caniggia for Lovenkrands and De Boer in 66 minutes. It was interesting to note that it was the Dundee support that chanted a welcome to the Argentinean legend as he took his place on the left of the visiting attack.

The substitutes soon proved more of a handful than those they had replaced. and in 73 minutes Ricksen had another chance only to be denied by a superb Wilkie block.

Lovell's booking had been followed by some of the Rangers players trying to get him into further trouble, although not Craig Moore who had sportingly led the striker away from a potential flare up, but he was sensibly substituted in 75 minutes along with Beto Carranza who had put in a smashing performance on his return to the starting eleven. Mark Burchill and Steven Milne were the men who replaced that pairing.

Ricksen again had an opportunity with ten minutes remaining and this time it was Khizanishvili who got in a great tackle as the Dutchman dithered with the goal at his mercy.

Dundee had been comfortable in the second half mainly by inviting Rangers forward and hitting on the break where possible, it was ironic therefore that they got mugged by their own tactics in 83 minutes.

Ricksen broke up a Dundee attack and punted a hopeful ball forward in the general direction of Arveladze. Lee Wilkie was covering though and he'd been immaculate throughout the second half, but he wasbabout to have another silly moment.

As Speroni came to collect, Arveladze tried to race around Wilkie and the big defender eased him away with a shoulder charge, which was more robust than a referee would allow. Mr Rowbotham predictably pointed to the spot. It was a needless mistake, but Wilkie was about to get out of jail courtesy of Barry Ferguson again.

There was some discussion amongst the Rangers' players before the spot kick was attempted, but Ferguson was for having another go, and to the glee of the fans behind Julian Speroni's goal he made a hash of it again. His effort at least hit the target this time but was never going to beat a keeper with Julian's record at saving penalties. Barry Smith smashed the loose ball behind for a corner and Dundee could relax for a moment.

Just a moment though, as the corner from the right incredibly led to another penalty, this time for handball against Dave Mackay who clearly connected, although it did look as if Robert Malcolm's shove might have been the reason for his hand coming up to meet the ball.

This time Mikel Arteta wasn't letting Ferguson anywhere near the ball and he gave Speroni no chance with a well struck spot kick.

After being so comfortable for so long it wouldn't have been unexpected, or unprecedented, had Dundee crumbled to a defeat but a Hughes effort from 25 yards well held by Speroni was the only real effort in the remaining minutes.

It's unusual to see both teams applauded by their fans as they leave the field but the Rangers support recognised that this was a vital point gained in the end, and the Dundee support rose to salute the performance of their team which gives much hope for a far more important meeting (as far as Dundee are concerned) of the clubs at the end of the month.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at May 4th, 2003)

2002-03 All Time
Julian Speroni (GK)23 42 - 63 -
Jonay Hernández24 331331
Zurab Khizanishvili21 22 - 48 -
David Mackay22 401582
Barry Smith29 39 - 3061
Lee Wilkie23 392873
Beto Carranza30 2 - 594
Giorgi Nemsadze30 282805
Gavin Rae25 40522423
Fabian Caballero25 4099625
Steve Lovell22 32133213
Lee Mair (sub)22 30 - 30 -
Mark Burchill (sub)22 113113
Steven Milne (sub)22 3069217

League Table (as at May 4th, 2003)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Today's game against Rangers is a very important one, though perhaps more so for the visitors as they strive for the championship, than ourselves.

Their disappointment in last week's Old Firm game against Celtic will only mean that they are totally motivated, as they cannot afford any further slip-ups.

Having said that, that is the kind of game we want to be involved in, because had Rangers won last week there was a danger that they might have taken their foot off the pedal.

However, what we need in the run up to the final is to face sides that are fully committed and Alex McLeish's side most certainly fit that bill.

Many, of course, will no doubt see this game as a pointer to the cup final, but I don't share that view.

The two games have two entirely different scenarios, although inevitably my players will be looking to impress against Rangers this afternoon, hoping to influence me when it comes to deciding on the side that will face Rangers again at the end of May.

Before then, however, and starting this afternoon we do have four league games and it was disappointing that we lost our unbeaten record to Kilmarnock last week in the first game after the split.

The run couldn't go on forever but it was disappointing to lose, especially at home.

Without being anywhere near our best, I thought we were pretty much in control.

We were not as sharp up front as we could have been, and that was probably crucial, but I don't believe we played too badly, and you need to give some credit to Kilmarnock.

They were well organised and played very well in defence but, on possession of the ball, I feel we were the better side and certainly didn't deserve to lose.

Hopefully, as we take on Rangers today, the fluency that was absent last week will return to help make this a highlynentertaining encounter.