GOAL! Braga 1-2 Wolves (Doherty 34)
A lovely goal by the Irishman!
GOAL! Feyenoord 1-0 Rangers (Helander og 33)
Feyenoord’s domination reaps its reward, albeit with unwitting assistance from Rangers. First,a header by Barasic was too weak to count as a clearance, then Toornstra’s shot from 20 yards skimmed off Helander’s knee and into the net!
GOAL! Basakeshir 0-1 Roma (Veretout 30). The Italians take the lead through a penalty. If this were to be the final score, they would be right back in qualification contention. If the Turks can turn it around, they will go through.
28 min: Doherty does well down the right again for Wolves, but the keeper rushes out to claim his cross. But Wolves are doing even better down the left, where Jonny and Jota are making regular gains. Jota has just cracked a low shot wide of the far post after another sharp move.
GOAL! AZ Alkmaar 0-2 Partizan (Soumah 27) The Dutch side could seal qualification today, but not by playing the way they are at the moment.
23 min: Sinisterra skies the ball over the bar from 10 yards after Feyenoord open up Rangers down the right. Meanwhile, William Hargreaves has a grievance with my Nuno/Arsenal comment in the preamble. “There can’t be that many bigger and better run clubs than Arsenal, can there, over the last quarter century, for example? Okay, there’s the big two in Spain, one each in France, Italy and Germany, and two or three in England, debatably, but to suggest this wouldn’t be an exciting move up from Spurs seems a little dry? I’ve heard commentators describe their squad as the third best in the PL, they’re one of the most profitable (possibility of investment), and with that wealth of young talent coming on, I’d have thought a chap of Nuno’s capability and ambition would be chomping at the bit.” Firstly, Arsenal do not have the third best squad in the Premier League. Secondly, it’s the next 2-5 years – not the last 25 years – you need to be looking at. How well run are Arsenal now? Nuno could do better.
GOAL! Alkmaar 0-1 Partizan (Asano 16). The Serbs have to win this to remain in contention for qualification.
17 min: McGregor makes a terrific save to deny Sinisterra. Moments later, Feyenoord threaten again, with a shot by Larsson deflected wide at the near post.
Jimenez’s goal reminds me that one of the best headed goals I’ve ever seen was scored by a Mexcian. Remember this from Jared Borgetti at the 2002 World Cup?
GOAL! Braga 1-1 Wolves (Jimenez 13)
A lovely goal! Moutinho fed Jonny, who delivered a sumptuous cross to the back post. Jimenez arrived and angled an expert header in at the far post.
10 min: Doherty and Traoré combine nicely down the right until the latter slightly overruns the ball, giving the left-back an opportunity to step in and dispossesses him.
GOAL! Young Boys 1-0 Porto (Fassnacht 6). That will be enough to put the Swiss through in Rangers’ group if the score stays the same.
GOAL! Braga 1-0 Wolevs (A Horta 6)
The hosts take the lead with first shot of the match! But it was all thanks to a diabolical deflection off Ruben Neves. The young of the Horta brothers tried his luck from nearly 25 yards and Rui Patricio would have claimed it easily if not for the nick off Neves’ foot.
4 min: Rangers are having to play a containment game at the minute, as Feyenoord pop the ball around brightly in search of an opening.
3 min: Wolves have made a confident start in Braga, passing the ball around progressively. But Jota has just brought a promising move to an undignified end by donking a cross straight to the nearest defender.
Over at Feyenoord, meanwhile, the stadium is packed and very noisy. You’d suggest the atmosphere would be intimidating if you didn’t know Rangers are somewhat experienced in dealing with intensely hostile away environments.
The players of Braga and Wolves have entered the pitch, which almost looks like a paddyfield. Yep, it’s raining in Portugal like it’s never going to stop. Maybe that’s why there’s a very low turnout in the stands.
The other results from the earlier kickoffs:
Trabzonspor 0-1 Getafe. The Turks were already eliminated, the Spaniards’ fate will be decided on the last group day.
Krasnodor 1-0 Basel. Basel are already through. Krasnodor and Getafe will contest the group’s other qualifying spot.
Result: Astana 2-1 Manchester United
United gave debuts to seven players as they fielded their youngest ever team for a European club game. They could offer that learning experience because they had already booked their passage to the next round.
Scott Murray is covering Astana v Manchester United v Astana here, with the score 2-1 with 15 minutes to go. The only other goal in the early games so far has come in Turkey, where Trabzonspor are trailing 1-0 to Getafe.
Feyenoord v Rangers teams
Feyenoord: Marsman; Geertruida, Botteghin, Senesi, Malaca; Toomstra, Fer, Kokcu; Berghuis, Sinisterra, Larsson
Rangers: Mcgregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic; Jack, Davis, Kamara; Ojo, Morelos, Kent
Braga v Wolves teams:
Braga: Eduardo; Esgaio, Vianna, Wallace, Sequeira; A Horta, Fransergio, Palhinha, R Horta; Paulinho, Galeno
Wolves: Rui Patricio; Dendoncker, Coady, Saïss; Doherty, Neves, Moutinho, Otto; Traoré, Jimenez, Jota
Hello. The Europa League group stages is reaching a climax and British clubs are well positioned. In the next hour Rangers and Wolves will be kicking off against their respective opponents knowing that victories could secure their place in the next round. A win or draw would definitely do the job for Wolves, who hope that Nuno Espirito Santo’s return to Portugal does not coincide with his last match as Wolves manager before Arsenal come calling. He would certainly be a good choice for Arsenal but would Arsenal be a good choice for him? He’s got a good thing going at Wolves, a club on the up and up. My free advice would be to continue building there and then if there comes a time when he fancies a move, bigger and better run clubs than Arsenal will be happy to have him. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves – which is something Nuno always warns against – and the matter to hand is to beat Braga, who are a very decent side and already won at Molineux earlier in the group.
Meanwhile, Rangers could advance if they win at Feyenoord (and Porto fail to beat Young Boys), who are a different outfit to the one they beat 1-0 at Ibrox earlier in the competition. Since then Jaap Stam has been given the boot and Feyenoord have hired none other than the former Rangers hero Dick Advocaat as their new manager. But Advocaat has lots of injury problems going into this game so Steven Gerrard will feel a win is within reach. Even a draw would be enough if Young Boys get the better of Porto.
Later, Arsenal and Celtic will be in action, too. In all, 17 teams could clinch a place in the last 32 today. Here’s a list – if you don’t like where your team is mentioned, take it up with the alphabet:
APOEL, AZ Alkmaar, Arsenal, Braga, CFR Cluj, Copenhagen, Dynamo Kyiv, Gent, İstanbul Başakşehir, LASK, Ludogorets, Mönchengladbach, Rangers, Sporting CP, Wolfsburg, Wolves, Young Boys