Dundee 0
Rangers 2
League (Premier League)

0 - 2

League (Premier League)
Sunday, March 13th, 2005
Dens Park
Attendance: 9,876
2:00 PM Kick-off

None. Marvin Andrews (82)
Fernando Ricksen (84)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Alex McLeish

Starting Eleven
1. Derek Soutar
25. Joel Kitamirike
17. Callum MacDonald
5. Bobby Mann
2. Barry Smith
6. Lee Wilkie
14. Neil Barrett
12. Garry Brady
26. Fabian Caballero
9. Steve Lovell
16. Tam McManus
Ronald Waterreus .25
Maurice Ross .21
Marvin Andrews .5
Sotirios Kyrgiakos .16
Michael Ball .18
Fernando Ricksen .2
Robert Malcolm .12
Gregory Vignal .24
Barry Ferguson .6
Nacho Novo .10
Dado Prso .9

24. Francois Dubourdeau
3. Brent Sancho
21. Aaron Conway
22. Scott Robertson
19. Alexandre Cerdeira
10. John Sutton
Graeme Smith .30
Alex Rae .8
Chris Burke .17
Hamed Namouchi .31
Ross McCormack .45
Thomas Buffel .4
Steven Thompson .19

Scott Robertson for Tam McManus (74)
John Sutton for Neil Barrett (86)
Aaron Conway for Steve Lovell (90)
Thomas Buffel for Robert Malcolm (60)
Steven Thompson for Marvin Andrews (89)
Ross McCormack for Nacho Novo (90)

None. Dado Prso (32)
Sotirios Kyrgiakos (36)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Iain Brines (Referee)
Ricky Mooney & Derek Clark (Assistants)
Crawford Allan (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Dundee may have gone down to two late goals against Rangers, but this was a vastly improved performance by the Dark Blues after the shambles of the home defeat by Livingston.

Jim Duffy had preached the need for 'passion and commitment ahead of this game and he got it by the bucket load, for eighty minutes they fully matched their league chasing opponents and for the first time shackled the threat of former Dee Nacho Novo.

The little Spaniard had twice this season been the catalyst for Rangers to defeat Dundee, but while he was the most dangerous opponent, before the opening goal, he rarely got into positions where he might hurt a Dark Blue rearguard in which Wilkie and Mann were excellent.

Duffy had to pick a side without Steven Robb, who'd missed training since Thursday due to illness, and Mark Fotheringham who missed out with a hamstring problem. Joel Kitimirake came in for his home debut with Calum Macdonald moving to left back, while Garry Brady came into midfield and Tam McManus replaced John Sutton who dropped to the bench.

Although Dundee had three strikers on the park, it was only really Fabian Caballero who was playing up front, McManus and Lovell slotting into the wide midfield positions with a brief to get forward whenever they could.

Brady was given a man-marking role on Barry Ferguson and did his job superbly well, limiting the Scotland captain to a peripheral role in proceedings.

Dado Prso had been outstanding. when Dundee lost at Ibrox back in December, but here was given little opportunity to shine early on by a well- organised defence.

His frustration showed at times, and he was booked for diving, having previously got away with an equally theatrical tumble.

Referee lan Brines showed there that he had a strong grip on proceedings and he controlled the contest fairly throughout.

Rangers predictably had the bulk of first half possession, but apart from two runs through the centre of the defence by Vignal and Novo, both of which saw the ball overrun, they caused little anxiety.

Their crossing from the wings was notably poor in the windy conditions with several efforts finding their way into the Bobby Cox seats to the amusement and delight of the fans seated in that area.

Dundee's problem was that, in countering the threat of Novo's pace, they couldn't get enough bodies forward often enough to create real chances.

However, Neil Barrett was inches away from making contact as he threw himself at Calum Macdonald's cross, but that was the only real scoring threat offered by Jim Duffy's men.

Bobby Mann came to Dens with a reputation as a free kick expert and after seemingly being ignored in that role, he finally got his chance seconds before the interval after Caballero was clattered from behind.

The former Caley man stepped up and fired his effort towards the target, but failed to catch it properly and it bounced up harmlessly into Watterreus' hands.

The second half started with a chance for Dundee as Lovell's cross from the right found the head of Caballero, but the Argentinean's effort was directed too high.

Six minutes after the break came the moment the home fans had dreaded as former favourite Novo had a clear-cut chance six yards out, after finding himself in space as Ross' cross came in from the right, but he sclaffed his effort straight into the hands of keeper Soutar.

Kyrgiakos made Soutar work harder with a header that seemed goal-bound, but the keeper dived to his left to save. Next to try his luck was Novo, but he pulled his 20- yarder well wide to the delight of those who had spent last season admiring the little man's skills.

At the other end, Dundee came close as Brady went on a fine run before cutting the ball back to Barrett, who was robbed by Andrews as he took too much time in pulling the trigger.

Sub' Buffel made Soutar work again as he fired in a wind-assisted volley, but the goalie was more than equal to the task - tipping over.

That save only delayed the opener though as Rangers quickly forced another corner on the left, and from Ricksen's delivery, Andrews found space to glance a header past Soutar with just eight minutes left.

Dundee tried to up the pace to get an equaliser, but Rangers too stepped up a gear, and with Prso suddenly looking a top class player, they were two up just a couple of minutes after the opener.

He went on a run that took him deep into the box before squaring for Ricksen to fire a low drive into the corner of the net from ten yards.

Lee Wilkie was thrown forward for the remaining minutes, but although Dundee managed to put pressure on the visitors back four, the Glasgow giants weren't about to make any mistakes, and they ran the clock down to maintain their challenge at the top and leave Dundee still heavily embroiled in the relegation dog-fight.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at March 13th, 2005)

2004-05 All Time
Derek Soutar (GK)23 31 - 32 -
Joel Kitamirike - 2 - 2 -
Callum MacDonald21 26 - 33 -
Bobby Mann31 23 - 23 -
Barry Smith31 32 - 3804
Lee Wilkie24 10 - 1296
Neil Barrett23 242373
Garry Brady28 211982
Fabian Caballero27 20113326
Steve Lovell24 28129033
Tam McManus24 6262
Scott Robertson (sub)19 6 - 6 -
Aaron Conway (sub)19 2 - 2 -
John Sutton (sub)21 297297

League Table (as at March 13th, 2005)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

My thoughts concerning how disgusted I was at least week's performance in going down to Livingston are well known.

Therefore, I see no point in going over old ground, particularly as we have to now focus on the very important series of games that lie ahead of us.

And we couldn't have had a much tougher start than today's visit by Rangers.

Alex McLeish's side has played some excellent football this season and last week's blip against Inverness Caley Thistle will only make them more anxious to atone.

Given the tightness of this season's title race, every little error made by the Old Firm is magnified out of all proportion.

However, who eventually comes out on top is not my concern, because I am fully focused on the battle that we have on our hands at the foot of the table.

There is no doubt that our players will have to be totally committed if they are to create the headlines this afternoon and take something from the game.

But as they showed against Celtic earlier in the season, they are capable of that, but given the pressure that there is on both sides to win this afternoon, it will take a similar display to the one that enabled us to take a point off Celtic, if not an even a better one to take something from today's match.

Once again, I would like to thank all our fans for their continued support and in the fight for survival that lies ahead, all of us both on and off the field must stick together to get sufficient points to ensure that we have another SPL campaign to which we can look forward to next term..

Finally, we all received some very sad news this week with the death of Andrew Marshall who was a major shareholder and great supporter of Dundee Football Club over the years.

I got to know him well and would like to take this opportunity of paying my condolences to his family over their sad loss.