Sunday 4, June 2023

‘It’s not a friendly’

Rangers stunned Borussia Dortmund 4-2 in the Europa League on Thursday while Barcelona had to come from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Napoli in their play-off first leg tie.

"It is a great night but only a great night," said Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

"We are not through to the next round, which is what we want. We know we have to have a good performance next week."

Napoli gained a 1-1 draw in Barcelona.

The visitors, challenging for the Serie A title, opened the scoring in the Nou Camp against a home team that is scrambling just to finish in the top four in La Liga.

Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski ran onto his own rebound to slam the ball home after 29 minutes.

Barcelona increasingly dominated possession but needed one of four penalties awarded for handball by VAR in the Europa League on Thursday to level.

Adama Traore's cross hit Juan Jesus on the arm after 59 minutes.

Ferran Torres converted the penalty with confidence for his first goal at Camp Nou for Barcelona but his cool deserted him as he hit two good chances over the bar as Barcelona dominated the closing stages.

"We played very good soccer," said Barca coach Xavi.

"But of course, it's not a friendly, it's the Europa League. The result is insufficient, but I am very happy with the performance."

Real Betis, who won 3-2 at Zenit Saint Petersburg, and Sevilla, who beat visiting Dinamo Zagreb 3-1, both stayed on course for the final in their home city.

Ivan Rakitic gave Sevilla the lead from the spot.

The next three goals came in four minutes just before half time.