'A great club'' - PSV coach on facing Rangers 'fun', one-time Ibrox target, £35 in-demand star, ticket prices
Rangers will face PSV Eindhoven over a two-legged tie to determine which of the sides will make it to the Champions League group stage.
Last season’s Europa League finalists defeated Royale Union Saint-Gilloise 3-0 at Ibrox, overturning a 2-0 first-leg loss. It was the 11th time a Scottish side has comeback from at least a two-goal first-leg defeat to win a tie, as per SPL Stats - and the first time Rangers have done it. It ensured passage to the Champions League play-off qualifying round.
Having drawn 1-1 with Monaco in France, PSV needed extra-time to come through 4-3 on aggregate.
For Rangers, they will be looking to make the group stage of Europe’s premier competition for the first time since 2010/11 having failed at the third qualifying stage last season. For the Dutch giants, they’ve not been in the groups since the 2018/19 campaign.
PSV could easily have succumbed to Monaco, the visitors outscoring their hosts on xG with 2.89 to 1.12 and 30 shots to 11.
After what was a nervy night at a sold-out Philips Stadion, with midfielder Ibrahim Sangare, who recently signed a new deal, putting in a man-of-the-match performance, manager Ruud van Nistelrooy praised his team.
"The course of the match was clear," he said. “We couldn't get out of it in the second half. Then you have to get it from somewhere else. I saw again that we never give up. The character, the willpower, the mentality and unity are good.”
'A great club’
Van Nistelrooy will now look forward to a return to Ibrox. He played for Manchester United in a 1-0 win in 2003 and also a 4-1 loss with PSV in 1999 when he scored from the penalty spot.
He took charge of PSV this season after replacing Roger Schmidt, who moved to Benfica. The former United and Real Madrid striker had been managing the club's reserves before his appointment.
The Rangers tie will also act as a reunion with Giovanni van Bronckhorst, the pair were team-mates for the Netherlands.
“A great club,” he said. “First away and then at home. The atmosphere at Ibrox, where I've played myself, is great.
"Rangers have a good team, which reached the Europa League final last season. And it is now also a Dutch get-together. That will be fun."
Striker Luuk de Jong, a name likely familiar with many fans, following spells with Barcelona and Newcastle United, was the hero for PSV, netting the extra-time winner.
He said he is “already excited” about the prospect of facing Rangers.
PSV may do so without in-demand star Cody Gakpo. The 23-year-old academy product is wanted by Manchester United and is rated as worth £35million. A left winger, he has 45 goals in 138 appearances for the club.
The one-time €6m Rangers target
Rangers will face a player who could have possibly been wearing the blue in the forthcoming tie.
Joey Veerman was a one-time target for the club, heavily linked with a switch to Ibrox when he was keen to leave Dutch side Heerenveen. Yet, he is now at PSV having been so close to a move to Feyenoord and has impressed since joining in January.
He netted in both legs against Monaco and has eight goals from 28 appearances from midfield.
Jeroen Kapteijns, writing in De Telegraaf, said: “Veerman has started the season strongly and is a powerful weapon for PSV. It has been a great move by PSV to take over Veerman from SC Heerenveen in January for 6 million euros
"The coincidence factor also played a role here. Veerman was actually on his way to Feyenoord when PSV's director of football affairs John de Jong received the message from Davy Pröpper that he was tired of football and wanted to put away his football boots immediately. De Jong switched quickly and hijacked Veerman in front of Feyenoord to bring the midfield back up to standard.”
PSV finished second last season behind Ajax and have not won the league title since 2018.
In Europe they lost in the Conference League quarter-finals to Leicester City after dropping down from the Europa League.
Meanwhile, PSV have announced ticket prices for home fans for the return leg which takes place on August 24 in Eindhoven.
The cost of tickets range from €32.50 to €72.50.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.