Motherwell 1 Rangers 2

Last updated : 30 July 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Dado Prso's late goal ensured Rangers boss Paul Le Guen got off to a winning start as his side deservedly beat Motherwell at Fir Park.

In fact both sides were opening the season with a debutant manager as Maurice
Malpas was in charge of the Steelmen for the first time following Terry Butcher's summer departure to Sydney FC.

Their summers couldn't have been more contrasting though with Le Guen bringing in nine new players while Malpas had only signed one.

It was therefore no surprise when Rangers hit the home side with an early barrage which could have seen the game won inside the opening ten minutes.

The Motherwell rearguard were without the injured Brian McLean and the early Rangers pressure was too much for the re-shuffled defence.

Thomas Buffel could have grabbed a hat-trick in the first seven minutes but he lacked composure and never tested Graeme Smith in the home goal. The opening goal did come in the eighth minute though when Libor Sionko beat the 'Well offside trap and, even though his initial effort was blocked by Smith, the ball bounced back off the Czech and dribbled over the line.

The remainder of the first half saw Motherwell on the back foot and Rangers squandered more chances with Buffel and Sionko at fault. At the other end Motherwell had little to show for their efforts.

Within four minutes of the re-start Charlie Adam almost doubled the Gers' lead when his shot crashed back off the crossbar. However, Motherwell punished the visitors for their poor finishing when they equalised two minutes later.

Ross McCormack crossed for Phil O'Donnell, whose initial effort brought a stunning save from Lionel Letizi. However, the midfielder was able to hook the rebound into the roof of the net to make it 1-1.

Parity was only maintained for 14 minutes however as Rangers scored the winner when Prso bulleted a header high into the top corner after latching on to a near-post Adam header.

There were a few scares for Rangers in the closing stages but they held on for the three points and almost scored a third when Prso's shot was turned on to the post by Smith.