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Champions League Recap: Strong Dest Debut in PSV Draw

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Sergiño Dest’s quick introduction to the PSV starting lineup saw the American impress in the team’s otherwise mixed draw in Glasgow, while Sam Vines helped Antwerp near the group stage, and Erik Palmer-Brown missed out for Panathanakios due to a last-minute injury

Rangers 2 – 2 PSV

Barely a day after joining the Dutch club, Sergiño Dest earned the start for Peter Bosz, putting in a strong 81-minute shift at left back in PSV’s road draw at Rangers in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier.

Overall, PSV dominated the flow of play and were by far the better team, however their hosts were opportunistic when given an opening, leaving the tie on a knife’s edge heading into next week’s second leg in Eindhoven.

Dest saw the most traffic of all PSV players during his time on the field, having a whopping 90 ball contacts, completing 91% of his 56 passing attempts, successfully completing five out of eight dribbles against opposing players, hitting eight passes into the final-third, making seven recoveries, winning eight out of 11 duels and drawing one foul.

Generally, he kept up constant pressure on the left with his advanced play, and showed that he will be a force for his new team.

Ricardo Pepi and Malik Tillman were on the bench for PSV, but were not called into action.

Despite PSV holding the lion’s share of possession, it was Rangers who went into the half with the lead, after PSV midfielder Ibrahimim Sangaré coughed up the ball inside of his own penalty area.

Cyriel Dessers recovered possession for Rangers and shifted to the left of the area, before picking out Abdallah Sima on the top edge for a perfectly-placed, looping shot to the upper right corner for the lead.

Sangaré made up for his error just past the hour for the equalizer, with Dest involved in the immediate build-up. The American slid a pass long the left touchline to Olivier Boscagli, who fired a long cross to the far edge of the area. Johan Bakayoko tapped it back towards the middle, where Ismael Saibari held off the defender attempting to clear, allowing Sangaré to strike his powerful shot to the right side of goal.

With 16 minutes remaining in regulation, PSV was pushing forward to look for the go-ahead goal, but were caught off-guard by a sudden Rangers counter. Dessers received the ball in the empty space on Rangers’ attacking right flank, and sent a perfectly-weighted cross to the far side, where Rabbi Matondo was storming in for the low finish to the right corner.

The lead lasted all of four minutes, as PSV captain and talisman Luuk de Jong rose above the crowd in the area to head in Bakayoko’s corner to secure the 2-2 first-leg draw.

PSV’s league game over the weekend has been postponed, giving them a full week to recover and prepare for the second leg, which will occur next Wednesday at home. Any winning score will be enough to place them in the group stage, while a Rangers win would see them settle for the Europa League.

Royal Antwerp 1 – 0 AEK Athens

Sam Vines was an early substitute off the bench for Royal Antwerp on Tuesday, helping the team preserve their narrow lead over AEK following a red card, to give them a slim advantage heading into the second leg.

Antwerp did the necessary damage in the opening phase, scoring the only goal of the game just past the quarter-hour mark. Mandela Keita did most of the work to maintain possession on the right flank, giving his teammates time to get into position. Several passes later, Arthur Vermeeren freed Vincent Janssen into the right side of the area, where his low finish to the lower far corner evaded AEK keeper Georgios Athanasiadis for the lead.

The hosts were dealt a major blow in the 51st minute, after right back Jelle Bataille was shown a straight red for a reckless, studs-up tackle, forcing the team to defend their one-goal lead with only ten men for the final 40-plus minutes.

Vines entered in the 56th minute for attacker Jacob Ondrejka, taking up the left side of the defense for the remainder. He did what was needed, preventing any major danger on his side, while winning his only tackle, four out of five duels, drawing a pair of fouls and making one recovery.

Much to their relief, the final whistle confirmed the win for ten-man Antwerp after six minutes of added time, leaving them 90 minutes away from their first-ever appearance in the Champions League group stage.

Vines could be in for the start when The Great Old attempt to hang onto their slim advantage in the return leg in the Greek Capital next Wednesday. Similar to their northern Dutch-speaking neighbors, Belgian Pro League officials have opted to postpone weekend league games for teams in European qualification, giving Vines and his teammates a full week to prepare.


Erik Palmer-Brown was a late injury scratch for Panathanaikos in their Champions League play-off at Braga, with a late goal to cut their deficit to 2-1 giving them a slim hope of winning the tie at home next Tuesday.


David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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