Giovanni van Bronckhorst slams ‘botched’ Rangers after shock loss to Union Saint-Gilloise

Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst slams his ‘sloppy’ side after their shock loss to Union Saint-Gilloise… and insists they need to ‘change that big time’ to make the group stages of the champions league

  • Union Saint-Gilloise easily triumphed over Rangers in the first leg in Belgium
  • Goals in each half from Teddy Teuma and a penalty from Dante Vanzeir sealed victory
  • Van Bronckhorst said the listless side were lucky to escape with a two-goal deficit
  • He knows they have to be much better if they want to turn the tide at home

Giovanni van Bronckhorst slammed his ‘sloppy’ Rangers players for a shock defeat to Union Saint-Gilloise – and warned them a huge improvement was needed in the second leg if they were to avoid a League withdrawal champions.

The Belgian side easily triumphed over last season’s Europa League finalists with goals in both halves from Teddy Teuma and a controversial penalty from Dante Vanzeir.

Connor Goldson’s kick for a handball was awarded after a VAR check and was extremely hard on the Ibrox defender who was also booked.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst slammed his ‘sloppy’ Rangers players for shock loss to Union Saint-Gilloise

But Van Bronckhorst admitted his listless side were lucky to escape with a two-goal deficit and know they need to be much better if they are to turn the tide at home next Tuesday.

The Rangers boss said: “I’m very disappointed. There’s so much at stake this month as we try to qualify for the Champions League and that performance was below par.

“We were sloppy, we lost too many balls, we lost duels and slowly Union got better and better.

“We didn’t react well after (the first goal) and we were never really in the game.

The Belgian side got ahead of last season's Europa League finalists thanks to Teddy Teuma

The Belgian side got ahead of last season’s Europa League finalists thanks to Teddy Teuma

“We made a lot of mistakes and we’re a little lucky it’s only 2-0, although I was surprised the referee gave a penalty.

“We are still in the tie. We are capable of closing the 2-0 gap at Ibrox on Tuesday but we have to focus on our performance. If we have the same performance as today, we have no chance next week.

The ball was deflected from Goldson’s hand at close range, with the defender knowing little.

Awarding the penalty was at odds with the law which exempts handball if an arm is already outstretched when there is no expectation that the ball will come at a player from a team mate.

A controversial penalty from Dante Vanzeir - awarded after a VAR check - then sealed the victory

A controversial penalty from Dante Vanzeir – awarded after a VAR check – then sealed the victory

“When you have so much at stake for all clubs in the competition, you want the right decision,” said Van Bronckhorst.

“He (Goldson) couldn’t do anything else with the deflection and the handball, but the penalty was given and they scored. But the most important thing for me is that we reflect on our own game.

“We have to change it on Tuesday. We have to change it in depth and the performance must be better.

He is hoping to get winger Ryan Kent back to fitness but has confirmed John Souttar is being checked for an unspecified injury which has kept him out of Belgium.

The Dutchman also warned his team that a huge improvement was needed in the second leg

The Dutchman also warned his team that a huge improvement was needed in the second leg

In the end, the manager was lost to his side’s poor performance.

He said: “We played the system like we always do and a lot of players on the pitch played in the Europa League final. But we looked like we weren’t comfortable with the ball and that surprised me. We can be much more effective in our game when we have the ball and we have to show it next week.

“Defensively at times we didn’t look strong, wasting too many balls unlike what we normally do.

“But I’m confident that if we change those things, we’ll have a much better performance next week.”

In the end, the manager was lost to his team's poor performance in Belgium

In the end, the manager was lost to his team’s poor performance in Belgium

“My first feeling is that we gave away the game today. The score should never have been 2-0.

“If we had performed at the levels we normally achieve, I’m sure the score would have been different.

“We have to analyze the performance and improve. It is necessary for Saturday (at home against Kilmarnock) and for the return match on Tuesday.

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