Dundee 0
Rangers 2
League (Premier League)

0 - 2

League (Premier League)
Sunday, December 28th, 2003
Dens Park
Attendance: 10,948
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Nuno Capucho (6)
Michael Ball (35)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Alex McLeish

Starting Eleven
1. Julian Speroni
16. Jonay Hernández
3. David Mackay
19. Lee Mair
18. Brent Sancho
2. Barry Smith
6. Lee Wilkie
26. Garry Brady
30. Mark Fotheringham
33. Bobby Linn
17. Nacho Novo
Stefan Klos .1
Fernando Ricksen .2
Craig Moore .3
Henning Berg .25
Michael Ball .18
Chris Burke .30
Robert Malcolm .12
Mikel Arteta .23
Peter Lovenkrands .26
Nuno Capucho .20
Shota Arveladze .7

35. John McCafferty
27. Callum MacDonald
34. Dougie Cameron
Scott Robertson
Duncan McLean
Allan McGregor .22
Maurice Ross .21
Egil Ostenstad .9
Christian Nerlinger .8

Duncan McLean for Brent Sancho (67)
Christian Nerlinger for Shota Arveladze (67)
Paolo Vanoli for Peter Lövenkrands (79)

Mark Fotheringham (87)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Dougie McDonald (Referee)
Andy Davis & Brian McGarry (Assistants)
Eddie Mack (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Rangers left Dens with a comfortable victory, but missed chances by the Dark Blues, as they staged a first half revival after a sparkling start from the champions, cost them dearly.

Youngster Scott Robertson was on the bench, it's the first time he's been this involved at top team level. Dave Mackay and Dougie Cameron were both in the squad despite family bereavements this week. Gavin Rae wasn't risked after failing to recover fully from his hamstring problem. Jim Duffy admitted that he might have been influenced in his selection by the danger of Gavin doing further damage "I'd have picked him if he'd been 100% fit though" said the boss. Rangers started brightly and Bob Malcolm tested Julian Speroni from 25 yards with a powerful drive in the opening two minutes.

Moments later, Peter Lovenkrands exchanged passes with Capucho and slipped the ball past Speroni but Dave Mackay got back to clear off the line.

But it took Rangers only six minutes to hit the front. Chris Burke was allowed time and space on the right and he picked out Capucho with an excellent cross for the Portuguese frontman to head past Speroni.

Dundee fought back to create several opportunities and Stefan Klos was called into action to keep his side in front three minutes later when he flew to his left to hold Barry Smith's long-range effort.

Klos kept Dundee out again after 20 minutes when Novo burst through on goal only to see the German parry his effort, with Bobby Linn unable to get on the end of the rebound.

Play ebbed and flowed and Speroni had to block a Lovenkrands shot as Rangers threatened on the counter.

The killer goal came in bizarre fashion after 35 minutes. Ball swung a free kick into the box from 40 yards out and as Lee Wilkie contested the high ball with Lovenkrands and Capucho, the ball eluded them and Speroni and dropped into the net. Lee Mair came close to reducing the deficit three minutes before the interval when the ball fell to him on the edge of the box, but his shot came off the outside of the post with Klos beaten.

Lovenkrands should have put Rangers further ahead within two minutes of the restart after being put clean through on goal by Arteta, but his shot came back off the post. Rangers remained on top as the second half wore on and Arteta curled a free kick into the side- netting just after the hour mark. Dundee refused to give up but Klos was largely untroubled and Garry Brady fired well over from the edge of the box.

Then, with 10 minutes remaining. Jonay Hernandez saw his free kick deflected wide.

Paolo Vanoli should have done better when Capucho found him unmarked in the box, but his effort was weak and Speroni was able to block the shot.

Whilst they had showed plenty of fight, for much of the afternoon the vital spark was missing from Jim Duffy's men's play

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at December 28th, 2003)

2003-04 All Time
Julian Speroni (GK)24 24 - 91 -
Jonay Hernández24 18 - 551
David Mackay22 22 - 832
Lee Mair23 231572
Brent Sancho26 8 - 8 -
Barry Smith29 2413343
Lee Wilkie23 2431146
Garry Brady27 21 - 541
Mark Fotheringham20 102102
Bobby Linn18 111111
Nacho Novo24 24156724
Duncan McLean (sub)20 3 - 3 -

League Table (as at December 28th, 2003)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Firstly can I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Dundee fans are used to being on a roller-coaster when following their side, but nothing can compare with events of the past twelve months.

From the highs of a Scottish Cup Final appearance and a top-six finish and being back on the European stage for the first time in 29-years, to the very real low of the club being placed in administration.

Hopefully, as another year is about to begin, our fortunes will start on the upward trend again and that we will come out of this low point all the stronger as a club.

Here I must pay tribute to the supporters whose backing has been absolutely marvellous before and since going into administration. Unfortunately, that battle, however, is not a short term one and we'll need you to keep fighting so thatnthe battle can be won.

Of course, it is on the field of play that we also must start winning so long without a win in the league.

It isn't that performances have been bad. Far from it they have been largely very good, but lapses have cost us dearly. The last two away games at Celtic and Aberdeen typify this.

At Parkhead, we caused their defence a lot of problems and scored twice but returned empty- handed.

Two more goals at Pittodrie, but again, one or two slack moments at the back cost us two points.

However, given that we have been so short of strikers, we have scored twice in both of these games and the players attitude given the difficult financial background has been first class.

However, we do really need to get back to winning ways in the league. Not that it will be easy given that our two festive fixtures are at home to Rangers and then Hearts.

Alex McLeish's side have had injury problems and haven't been playing at quite their best, but they have ground out results and will be desperate to keep the pressure on Celtic ahead of next week's Old Firm clash.

Recent meetings with Hearts have been pretty even and attractive keeping both sets of fans happy.

Despite our recent win over Craig Levein's side in the CIS Cup, Hearts are in my opinion still third force in Scottish football and will be all out to prove just that.

But whilst these are both very difficult matches, we will be going out to do our level best to get the three points from Rangers and Hearts.