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Rangers stun Dortmund as Barca and Napoli draw in Europa League


Paris (AFP) – 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.

In Dortmund, James Tavernier gave Rangers the lead with a 38th-minute penalty after a handball by Dan-Axel Zagadou from a corner.

Three minutes later, Dortmund again failed to cope with a Rangers corner. 

Joe Aribo nodded the ball to the far post where Alfredo Morelos was unmarked and scored from close range.

Four minutes after the break, Ryan Kent, who tormented Dortmund all night, dribbled down the left and found John Lundstram who scored with a powerful strike for the third Rangers goal in 11 minutes.

Two minutes later, Jude Bellingham replied for the home team with a rasping left-foot shot.

But two minutes after that, Rangers scored again as Zagadou, attempting to deprive Morelos of another tap in, deflected the ball into his own goal.

Pedro Guerreiro cut the deficit with eight minutes left with a ferocious long-range left-footer but Rangers survived without further scares.

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 three penalties awarded for handball by VAR in Thursday’s early Europa League games to level.

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

– Only friendlies –

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.

In Saint Petersburg, all the goals came in the first 38 minutes as Real Betis, hoping to reach the final in their home city, won 3-2 against Zenit.

Zenit, who have played only friendlies since their last Russian League game on December 12, looked rusty at the start.

Guido Rodriguez outleapt and outmuscled the home defence to head in a free kick after eight minutes.

Ten minutes after that, the Zenit defence backed off as Willian Jose advanced from the half way line before drilling in a shot fro the edge of the penalty area.

Artem Dzyuba and Malcolm brought Zenit level with goals three minutes apart, but the home team then presented Betis with the winner in the 41st minute.

Goalkeeper Mikhail Gorchakov’s weak pass to Yaroslav Rakitskyy put the defender under pressure and Aitor Ruibal pounced to steal the ball and slide a pass to Andres Guardado who curled the ball into the goal.

In Tiraspol, Braga dominated possession and had more goal attempts, but Sheriff won 2-0. 

In the 43rd minute, the home team had a goal ruled out for offside by VAR which also showed a handball by Andre Castro. 

Luxembourg midfielder Sebastien Thill converted. With Braga pressing, Sheriff sealed victory on the counter-attack in the 83rd minute with a goal by their Adama Traore.

In the Conference League, Rapid Vienna scored twice in the first 16 minutes and despite playing the last 25 minutes with 10 men, beat Vitesse Arnhem 2-1.

Danes Midtjylland won 1-0 at home to Greek side PAOK, PSV Eindhoven won at home by the same score against Maccabi Tel Aviv.  

Another Traore, Ibrahim, scored the first goal for Slavia Prague as they won 3-2 in Istanbul against Fenerbahce. 

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