Rangers v Motherwell
Ground: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
An advantage of Celtic and Rangers playing in the Europa League group stages is that it is now easier for me to plan visits to Premiership games while still going to lower league games on Saturdays. I’ve already been to Celtic, so this time I went to Glasgow and took the Subway to to Ibrox. I’ve previously tried to go there, but failed to get tickets. This time I managed to get a ticket in the away end, on invitation of a Motherwell fan. I’ve also visited the previous meeting between these 2 teams. That ended in a spectacular 3-3 draw, so I was hoping for another attractive game.
As is well known, Rangers re-started in League 2 back in 2012. Promotions in 2013, 2014 and 2016 got the club back to the top flight, also winning the Scottish Challenge cup and reaching the Scottish Cup final in 2016. They beat Celtic on penalties in the semi final before losing the final again Hibs. In their first season back in the Scottish Premiership, they finished third and qualified for the Europa League, but they lost in the first qualifying round to Progrès Niederkorn from Luxembourg. However, they finished 3rd again in 2018 and this time their Europa League campaign went considerably better. They managed to get through 4 qualifying rounds to qualify for the group stage, in which they currently have a decent chance of qualifying for the last 32.
Ibrox Stadium got opened in 1899, but in 1902 it suffered a disaster when a wooden stand collapsed, resulting in 25 deaths. After the disaster, the stadium got redeveloped and new safety regulations were put in place across the UK. In 1971, another disaster took place when 66 people died in a crush after an Old Firm derby. After this, the ground got redeveloped into a modern, safe, stadium. The modern stadium has an all-seater capacity of 50,817. The stadium in its current form opened in 1991, when the new Main Stand finished. The stadium kept its iconic facade and gates reading “Rangers Football Club”. Even though Rangers will never be my favourite club in Scotland (neither will Celtic), these features are very impressive and just the facade is already worth a visit to Ibrox. Also the stadium as a whole is impressive. A beautiful, iconic, stadium and I’m happy to have visited it.
The game itself was another goal fest, although it wasn’t exactly a close contest. Rangers took an early lead, Motherwell did equalise, but after a red card and a penalty, Rangers took the lead and ran out easy 7-1 winners. The Motherwell fans around me were understandably frustrated, with most leaving early. As the game was on 11th November, Remembrance Day events were going on in and around the ground. Overall it has been a good day out though, just a shame the game wasn’t more competitive.