The BBC have defied their recent spot of pro-Celtic bias by giving Rangers a very fair and even optimistic match report, which is contrary to how some of us grumpy fans are viewing it!
Thomas Duncan, reporting for Pacific Quay, was extremely constructive, and suggested that visitors Napoli took control when James Sands took an early bath, and he’s not wrong to say that.
But at this level, making those errors gets punished more viciously, and that’s what the BBC were getting at.
But the fact they emphasised Rangers going ‘toe to toe’ with Napoli was a change from the old tone of being critical.
Let’s face it, the side was short on quality compared to our Italian guests – we lacked conviction in the final third, and while we matched them for effort (distance run was similar for both sides in the first half) we were unable to do so for their quality.
It’s telling indeed that, as Kevin says, Napoli struggled v Serie A minnows Spezia, but against Rangers, while slow starters, eventually their quality told.
But it is an interesting change to see the Beeb urging notes of optimism.
They are right in saying this was a distinct improvement over recent performances – but that’s the very least Rangers fans demand.
They are also right in saying Sands’ red changed the game in Napoli’s favour – but that’s the mistakes you make at this level which get punished more clinically. We lost two players in Russia v UFA in the UEL but still won the tie – at this level in the UCL we had no chance.
It’s a harsh return to the UCL, but what did we actually expect?