Dundee 0
Rangers 2
League (Premier League)

0 - 2

League (Premier League)
Sunday, September 26th, 2004
Dens Park
Attendance: 9,404
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Nacho Novo (78)
Nacho Novo (80)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Alex McLeish

Starting Eleven
1. Derek Soutar
16. Jonay Hernández
17. Callum MacDonald
5. Bobby Mann
3. Brent Sancho
2. Barry Smith
11. Iain Anderson
14. Neil Barrett
8. Mark Fotheringham
7. Glen Atle Larsen
10. John Sutton
Stefan Klos .1
Zurab Khizanishvili .15
Jean Alain Boumsong .4
Marvin Andrews .5
Paolo Vanoli .16
Robert Malcolm .12
Fernando Ricksen .2
Chris Burke .17
Stephen Hughes .27
Shota Arveladze .7
Steven Thompson .19

13. Kelvin Jack
4. Tom Hutchinson
12. Garry Brady
24. Chris Hegarty
7. Glen Atle Larsen
Graeme Smith .30
Brian McLean .35
Robert Davidson .42
Ross McCormack .45
Nacho Novo .10
Peter Lovenkrands .26
Gregory Vignal .24

Garry Brady for Neil Barrett (85)
Gregory Vignal for Paolo Vanoli (46)
Peter Lovenkrands for Stephen Hughes (58)
Nacho Novo for Shota Arveladze (66)

Barry Smith (44)
Zurab Khizanishvili (23)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Stuart Dougal (Referee)
James Bee & Keith Sorbie (Assistants)
Jamie Downie (Fourth Official)

Match Report

The boos which rung around Dens Park as Nacho Novo emerged from the dug-out with 25 minutes of the Dundee v Rangers match remaining, and which were resurrected every time the little dynamo touched the ball undoubtedly made his first goals as a Rangers player all the sweeter. As he spoke to the press afterwards it was obvious that it was a welcome he'd neither expected nor enjoyed but Nacho is the kind of player who loves to leave terrace critics seething by hurting their teams.

He did it in Dundee's colours at Partick late last season after some vile abuse, and gestured to their support amid the boos to show them that they had just made him all the more determined to ruin their day, and while he had too much love for the support who idolised him last season to do the same at Dens, he made sure that they knew he was delighted to end his scoring drought at the stadium which was home for two years. He struck in quick fire fashion with goals in the 79th and 81st minutes to down a Dundee side who had matched Rangers for most of the match up to then.

Steven Robb missed out with a hamstring injury but Jonay Hernandez was back for the Dark Blues. There was no Steve Lovell through suspension, but Glen Larsen gained his full debut for the club and was heavily involved in a first half in which Dundee matched their big name opponents.

There was almost a dream moment for the tabloids in ten minutes when Sutton rose and laid the ball to Larsen who rapped his shot far too high. The tricky Norwegian was looking good and in seventeen minutes went on a mazy run which ended with Boumsong's challenge bringing down the striker, only for Mr Dougal waving play on.

Three minutes later, it was Rangers turn to come close, Thomson capitalised on a Sancho slip to race in from the left. but he elected to square the ball to Arveladze when a shot looked the better option, The Georgian failed with two close range attempts thanks to the efforts of Soutar and then Mann.

Zura Khizanishvilli had escaped much abuse on his first return as a player to Dens but he got pelters as lain Anderson got involved for the first time in 20 minutes, Ando looked likely to skin the Georgian international but had. the pins whipped from underneath him, resulting in a yellow card for Zura.

A minute later Ando wandered off the left and inside to fire a twenty-yarder wide of the target. On twenty six minutes Anderson was looking keen again as he danced past a couple of challenges and fired in a shot which might have gained a result against a lesser keeper than Klos.

Rangers were having a lot of possession though and they had a real spell of pressure, Boumsong fired in a curler that Soutar did well to hold. Dundee broke again with a great run from Sancho which took the defender 60 yards before he tumbled in the box - Mr Dougal was always likely to wave away the claim though and it was no surprise that he did.

Hughes and Burke came close for Rangers with wind assisted efforts just after the half hour but minutes later Dundee had a third penalty claim as MacDonald's cross appeared to strike a Rangers defender's hand, Larsen's follow up shot on the turn was easily held by Klos.

There were two potential stories for the 'red tops' and one of them came close to reality in 38 minutes as Sutton combined superbly with Larsen to put the latter in, Glen hit his shot early and it curled around Klos only to batter back off the post.

The Norwegian wasn't finished for the day though and he tumbled in the box under Andrews challenge minutes later, this time it looked a stonewaller, but again the referee was keen to keep play flowing. Half time arrived with no score and the Dundee support reasonably happy with the situation, but Mr Douglas was booed off after turning down four penalty claims, some more likely than others.

Rangers pushed forward in the early part of the second half but without much conviction and Dundee again struck woodwork on the hour, Anderson's cross evaded all but Neil Barrett sneaking in at the back to attempt a cut back which came off the outside of the upright.

Five minutes later a wonderful block by Barry Smith denied the energetic Ricksen and moments later Novo took to the field to the noisiest and nastiest welcome for an ex Dee seen in recent years. The Spaniard's first couple of touches came to nothing and one of them ended up with his mate Brent Sancho flattening 'Wee Nacho' but fourteen minutes after his arrival he was on the score sheet, Vignal's diagonal ball found Burke and he cut the ball back for Novo to finish with ease from close range.

A minute and a half later and Novo had two, Burke took the ball round Hernandez and slid it back to Novo 12 yards out, his angled shot deceived Soutar.

It was hard luck on a Dundee side who had given their all but the Dark Blues looked tired by now, especially the players who had starred in the first half, Larsen and Fotheringham had caused Rangers real problems but had faded badly.

Dundee came close late on as Sutton rammed a great shot inches wide but it had been an afternoon where Nacho Novo took full revenge for being booed by his former lovers - He had a great day out at Dens, and to be frank many could see it coming.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at September 26th, 2004)

2004-05 All Time
Derek Soutar (GK)23 8 - 9 -
Jonay Hernández25 71812
Callum MacDonald21 9 - 16 -
Bobby Mann30 9 - 9 -
Brent Sancho27 8 - 33 -
Barry Smith30 9 - 3574
Iain Anderson27 9116221
Neil Barrett22 6 - 191
Mark Fotheringham20 9 - 384
Glen Atle Larsen - 5151
John Sutton20 9292
Garry Brady (sub)28 91862

League Table (as at September 26th, 2004)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

We have just come off the back of two back-to- back fixtures against Livingston and it is always difficult facing the same team in such a short space of time.

Unfortunately, last weeks' SPL encounter was a very dour affair with little to excite the fans.

Perhaps the only pleasing aspect, apart from obviously picking up a point, was that after losing seven goals in the previous two games, was that the defence looked solid.

By contrast at the opposite end of the park, having scored four against Forfar and Hibs, we were out of sorts in an attacking sense.

However, Steven Robb scored a great individual goal to put us in the driving seat when we met Livi last Tuesday.

And for 91 minutes of the CIS Cup tie at Almondvale, we defended superbly, only to be punished for one mistake.

The ball was there to be cleared but they thought it could run through to the goalkeeper.

I am gutted for the players and we will be sore for a couple of days but we have to pick ourselves up again.

Of course, with Rangers being our visitors this afternoon, it means that we will have to be at our very best to take something from this game.

Rangers manager Alex McLeish has been under the media spotlight almost all season because of his side's relatively poor start to the season, but he knows that comes with the territory of being in charge of such a massive club.

No matter that, he still has a wealth of talent at his disposal and are still a very hard team to beat as they showed at Pittodrie in midweek where they competed so well against an Aberdeen side that has been going so well.

And that set the example for our players this afternoon, because we will have to more than match that determination against them and hope that when a chance comes along, we are that bit more clinical than in the two games against Livi.

Encounters with Rangers are always entertaining and whilst Rangers are expected to win, we'll be going all out to try and surprise those pundits which should ensure that this is another good game for the fans.