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Football: DICK'S BOYS ARE GIVEN A LESSON; RANGERS 1 ANDERLECHT 2 - Caniggia is only bright spot on a bad day for Rangers.

Byline: JOE McHUGH

BELGIAN champions Anderlecht handed out a Champions League lesson to off form Rangers yesterday in youth coach John Brown's Testimonial match at Ibrox.

Four days before their crunch tie against Maribor this was exactly the type of preparation Rangers could have done without as the Belgians cruised to a victory more comfortable than the 2-1 scoreline suggests.

From the moment that Besnik Hasi chipped in a twenty yard free kick there was only going to be one winner and it certainly wasn't to be Dick Advocaats reshaped side.

The transfers of Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Jorg Albertz and Tugay were always going to leave a hole in the Rangers engine room with Anderlecht dictating play from early on.

With Barry Ferguson and Ronald de Boer missing yesterday and crocked for the trip to Slovenia the omens don't look good for Rangers and their hastily arranged side.

Christian Nerlinger, Claudio Caniggia and Russell Latapy all made their Ibrox debuts but were unable to make the sort of impression that the departed trio made on the home fans.

Claudio Reyna and Nerlinger struggled to contain the Belgians in midfield while the Rangers defence did little for the nerves of goalkeeper Stefan Klos.

Anderlecht lost striker Hyeos Seol in the 13th minute but substitute Aruna Dindane made his mark creating the opening goal when Fernando Ricksen bundled into the striker's back.

Hasi carefully placed the ball before sending a brilliant shot over the wall and spinning past Klos into the net.

Klos was far from happy with the defending of his team mates and was forced to kick the ball clear three times during the first half.

Caniggia was the pick of the new boys but often ploughed a lone furrow, paired in attack with the far from fit Michael Mols.

Kenny Miller replaced Mols after 61 minutes with the Dutch striker looking an unlikely starter for Wednesday's trip.

World Cup star Caniggia looked keen and eager throughout and capped his debut with an impressive goal seven minutes into the second half.

The Argentine striker made a great run into the penalty area before applying the deftest of headers to a Ricksen cross to send the ball into the net past international keeper Filip de Wilde.

That was the only real cheer for Rangers on a day in which little went right for them

Caniggia's header brought them level for just four minutes before Glen de Boeck restored Anderlecht's lead- taking advantage of some appalling defending.

Bert Konterman had replaced Tony Vidmar at half time but played in midfield with Numan joining Lorenzo Amoruso and Craig Moore at the back. Allan Johnston also replaced Reyna as Advocaat rang the changes.

Anderlecht's second goal arrived from a corner kick in the 57th minute courtesy of the sort of defending that must make Advocaat despair with such a crucial game only four days away.

Alin Stoica's corner from the left was flicked on at the front post by Walter Baseggio with de Broeck steaming in at the back post to complete the job.

Eight minutes from the end youth coach Brown replaced Latapy but was unable to force an equaliser out of his temporary team mates before taking a lap of honour in front of the 25,200 fans.

RANGERS: Klos 6, Moore 5, Amoruso 5, Vidmar 5, Ricksen 6, Reyna 5, Latapy 5, Nerlinger 6, Numan 6, CANIGGIA 7, Mols 5: Subs: Brown, Miller, Johnston, Konterman, Christiansen, Kanchelskis, Dodds, Wilson

ANDERLECHT: de Wilde, Ilic, Vanderhaeghe, de Broeck, Baseggio, Stoica, Doll, Hasi, Crasson, Seol, Iachtchouk

CAPTION(S):

A HARD DAY AT THE OFFICE: Rangers can't find a way through against Belgian champions Anderlecht at Ibrox yesterday; FAN-K'S A LOT Rangers youth team coach John Brown takes his bow
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 22, 2001
Words:625
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