'Ibrox a spectacular atmosphere' - Spanish press react to Rangers' draw with Villarreal

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The Spanish press have praised the resilience of Rangers and the atmosphere of Ibrox in the aftermath of Villarreal's 0-0 draw with Steven Gerrard's side.

National sports newspaper Marca likened Rangers defence to a brick wall, following the sending off of Daniel Candeias.

Villarreal dominated for large spells, but Rangers were worthy of the draw according to most Spanish titles (Photo: Getty)

Villarreal dominated for large spells, but Rangers were worthy of the draw according to most Spanish titles (Photo: Getty)

They wrote: "Pum, pum, pum against a wall.The yellows had possession, control for most of the match, but Glasgow Rangers endured and scratched a point that leaves the four teams of Group G in two points.

"Villarreal showed that he had gone to Glasgow to take possession of the ball and, at times, made it clear that his quality was superior.

Ibrox's "spectacular atmosphere" played a part in keeping the "dominant" Yellow submarine from scoring past an outstanding Allan McGregor.

They wrote: "Steven Gerrard's team, partly thanks to an Ibrox Stadium that creates a spectacular atmosphere each time his team plays there, threatened Andrés Fernández on the counter attack.

"Equality was maximum. Everyone with their weapons. One to hammer, all heart and courage. Another with foil, thin and elusive."

Alvaro Gonzalez: 'It's a privilege to play at Ibrox'

Barcelona-based title Sport also likened Rangers' performance to bricks and mortar, but criticised Villarreal for their lack of quality up front.

"The team of Javi Calleja was not able to knock down the Scottish wall of a Rangers who even had chances to end up winning," they said. "Villarreal left something to be desired due to its numerical superiority. They tried it in every way but could do more. It seemed that Calleja's players lacked a little more to meet a victory that was necessary to certify their place in the next round."

Central defender Alvaro Gonzalez was also full of praise for Ibrox's cauldron-like atmosphere in the build up to the game, but will likely be disappointed by his side's failure to pick up three points.

Ahead of the crunch fixture, he said: "It's a privilege to play at Ibrox and we want to win here to get to the next round and be able to say to our grandchildren that we beat Rangers at their stadium."

Javier Calleja: 'If we had scored in the first half, it would have been a very different match'

Villarreal's manager, Javier Calleja, meanwhile claimed his side were dominant, but unable to deal with Rangers' "direct" approach.

The former Villarreal, Malaga and Osasuna player said: "We searched for a win, but it wasn't to be. We deserved more. When you miss chances like that, you end up regretting it. We dominated the game from the start to the finish and we were able to control their direct style. We did nearly everything to win, but we didn't and we leave with a bittersweet feeling.

"We could have opened the scoring in the first half with various clear chances in front of goal. We weren't able to make the most of them and that penalised us."

"In the second half, they shut up shop because they were playing with one player left and it was difficult for us to get past them. If we had scored in the first half, it would have been a very different match."

The official match report from Villarreal suggested that the Yellow Submarine should be content with the draw, describing the result as a hard-earned point.

They wrote: "Villarreal picked up a hard-earned point on their visit to Ibrox Stadium tonight in Glasgow which takes them that bit closer to their goal of qualifying for the Round of 32 of the UEFA Europa League. The Yellows had more chances than Rangers, but were out of luck in front of goal.

"The Submarine looked to play the ball around quickly while up against high pressure from the Scottish outfit.

"With a man up, Villarreal became much more dominant at Ibrox. That said, clear goal scoring chances were few and far between. The Rangers defence sat back and made sure the ball did not get through to McGregor’s goal.

Marca: 'Villarreal will never walk alone'

Ahead of the fixture, Marca focused on Villarreal's fond relationship with Rangers' bitter rivals Celtic.

Journalist Dario Puig wrote the following on the rivalry: "Villarreal will never walk alone ... in one half of Glasgow. The fans of the Yellow Submarine are twinned with that of Celtic ... the eternal rival of the Scottish League fruit of a friendship that was born in 2004 when Villarreal and Celtic played a quarterfinals of what was then called the UEFA Cup.

"They left such a good aftertaste between fans of both squads that powerful links were created.

"Therefore, today Villarreal will not be alone. The Calleja team will have the support of its loyal fans who usually travel to this type of matches but will have the social mass of the other team in the city.

Speaking of Rangers' Europa League campaign so far, Puig said: "The team has not lost in that competition ... but has not hit the table to say: 'Here I am'. They have allowed themselves to be carried away and now they must press to save the problems that may arise on the last day."