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Rangers-OL: The day Karim Benzema silenced Ibrox Stadium

Published on 14 September 2021 at 6:00 PM
Rangers - OL : Le jour où Karim Benzema a renversé l’Ibrox Stadium
Tonight, in their first Europa League game, OL travel to Ibrox Stadium to face Glasgow Rangers. The two clubs have not met in an official match since December 2007 (their last friendly match was on July 16, 2020 at Groupama Stadium). On that day, Karim Benzema silenced Ibrox Stadium at the age of just 20 years old.

It was December 12, 2007, OL headed to Ibrox Stadium for the last match of the Champions League group stage. Glasgow Rangers had not lost at home for 11 games. Beaten in their first two matches in the competition (3-0 defeats against Barcelona and Rangers), our Lyonnais had to win against the Scots to qualify for the round of 16. Recently promoted to a starting role by Alain Perrin in attack Karim Benzema started what would be a fine performance in the 17th minute. On a long ball by Hatem Ben Arfa, the young French striker had a shot in Allan McGregor’s box. The 'keeper parried the ball to the feet of Sidney Govou, who finished with authority.  All but qualified, OL would push for more than an hour to definitively seal a place in the next round.

Five minutes from the end of this thrilling match, Karim Benzema, 20, brought relief to his teammates. Following a clearance from the Lyon defense, the number ten controlled the ball near the penalty area and managed to slip the ball between the legs of the opposing goalkeeper. Moments later, in the 88th minute, he would recover a ball in midfield. This was followed by a footrace of about twenty meters and a powerful effort from distance that ended with the ball finding Allan McGregor's net. OL had won 3-0 after an exciting match, putting an end to the Scots' invincibility at Ibrox Stadium in the process.

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