Luuk De Jong smashing the away door at Ibrox last night shows just what getting to the group stage means to PSV Eindhoven, and how much this Dutch giant hates Rangers now.
We admit it, hands up, we expected to get completely gubbed last night, and despite their possession and superior technical quality, PSV were absolutely atrocious up front and could offer little threat on Jack Butland’s goal.
And when Abdallah Sima’s hilariously-brilliant goal screamed in just before half time, it was one of the most ‘undeserved’ goals we’ve seen for some time – and it tipped De Jong over the edge.
From what we gather, the away captain was so incensed by his team’s inability to score, himself included, and the home side’s ‘mugging’ of a goal, that he lost the plot entirely and kicked the away door so hard it came off its hinges.
This shows so many things. Firstly, that de Jong wasn’t kidding about how desperate he is to get to the Champions League. Secondly, if you don’t take your chances you don’t win football matches.
Rangers really only had about two major shots on goal – both of them went in and they earned us a draw.
That’s the difference at this level – PSV were wasteful – they got into so many good positions but offered a lack of killer pass, final ball, or generally, shot on target. De Jong himself was absolutely dire, just managing that one big moment of beating Souttar for their second equaliser.
What eliminated Rangers last season from the competition proper was a complete lack of cutting edge, no incision, and a non-existent defence.
Last night every single one of those was in abundance – we took our chances, we took them well, our defence was robust, and it limited PSV to very little entirely.
Instead it was PSV with the frail defence (they’re missing half their backline as well) and blunt attack, a total absence of sharp incision up front – Butland was barely tested.
It’s well and good hogging the ball and showing off in midfield, but if you can’t do it up front, it’s moot.