Nacho Novo hero in Rangers’ top-5 results vs Italian sides before Napoli tie

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Rangers face Napoli on Wednesday after being banned from UEFA’s Champions League one-day competition, so what are the Gers’ best results against Italian sides in European competition?

The Ibrox club has had its fair share of European glory nights against Italian teams in the past. None other than Nacho Novo sent Walter Smith’s team to the final of the UEFA Cup in 2008. Even the best results are not the end of the relationships.

Rangers had faced more German (49), Spanish (26) and French (25) teams than Italian teams (23) before hosting Napoli this weekend. However the Glasgow natives have only won six meetings with the Italian outfit this season, with five draws and almost 12 defeats.

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Giovanni van Bronckhorst hopes he can mastermind Rangers’ seventh win against an Italian side in Europe this weekend. The Gers welcome Napoli to Ibrox on Wednesday, September 14, after UEFA suspended the second leg of Group A of the 2022/23 season for 24 hours.

According to BBC Sport, the ban has been delayed ‘due to severe constraints on police resources and administrative issues’ following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. UEFA also confirmed that fans will not be allowed to travel or for the return leg to Naples on October 26.

Napoli arrive in Glasgow looking for a second Group A win of the season after beating Liverpool 4-1. Although the Gers are yet to drop after losing 4-0 in Amsterdam to Ajax. So, with that in mind, what are Rangers’ best European results against Italian sides?

Rangers beat all-time Italian champions Inter Milan in the 1964/65 European Cup

Rangers met Inter Milan in the quarter-finals of the European Cup in 1964/65 after beating Red Star Belgrade and Rapid Vienna. The Nerazzurri won the UEFA title last season, in what was their first campaign in the competition after winning Serie A in ’62/63.

The San Siro side were an all-conquering team at the time and went on to win another Scudetto in 1964/65 and again in ’65/66. They also combined their Serie A ’64/65 title with the European Cup, but only after holding on to eliminate Rangers 3-2 on aggregate.

Inter Milan went into a huge 3-1 advantage after the first match in February 1965 in front of their home. However the Gers refused to budge and, under Scot Symon, delivered an Ibrox display to win 1-0, ensuring the Nerazzurri’s all-powerful visit to Glasgow.

Rangers beat Torino in 1971/72 on their way to winning a European Championship

Rangers went on to win the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1971/72, beating an Italian team in Torino in the quarter-finals of the European competition. The Gers traveled to the country on the road to face Dinamo Moscow at Barcelona’s Camp Nou, the scene of a 3-2 final victory.

Their journey began with a first-round win over Stade Rennais, followed by victories over Sporting Lisbon, Torino and German champions Bayern Munich. Rangers’ third match against Il Toro resulted in a 1-0 win at Ibrox ahead of them, after they drew 1-1 in their away trip to Turin.

Defeat was the only thing Rangers attempted in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1971/72, after losing 4-3 to Sporting Lisbon away from home after trailing 3-2 in the first choice. They also beat Bayern Munich 2-0 at Ibrox after a 1-1 draw at Bavaria to reach the final.

Rangers eliminated Juventus from the 1978/79 European Cup in the first round

Rangers eliminated Italian giants Juventus from the 1978/79 European Cup after they drew the Turin natives in the first round. But the Gers’ campaign began after the Bianconeri won 1-0, responding by beating their visitors 2-0 at Ibrox in September 1978.

The win set Rangers up for a second leg with PSV Eindhoven which ended 0-0 at Ibrox, before winning 3-2 in the Netherlands. But the Glasgow native’s path came to an early end in the quarter-finals, as FC Koln advanced 2-1 on aggregate after a 1-1 Ibrox draw.

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Parma failed to prevent Rangers from entering the 1999/2000 Champions League

Parma did not stop Rangers from reaching the Champions League group stage in 1999/2000, as the Gers made it through both qualifying rounds. The Ibrox natives drew the Italian side for the last game that season following a 7-1 aggregate thrashing of Finnish outfit FC Haka.

Things got off to a flying start for Rangers, as they secured a 2-0 win over Parma at Ibrox to get a leg up in the group stage. But a 1-0 defeat two weeks later in August 1999 put an end to the Glasgow giants’ scare, before UEFA pulled the Premier League side out of a tough group stage.

Valencia, Bayern Munich and PSV Eindhoven combine to ensure that Rangers will not enter the 2K season with Champions League football but a tie for the UEFA Cup in third place. The only two meetings between the Gers and PSV were won as Der FCB held to a 1-1 draw at Ibrox.

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Nacho Novo’s heroics capped Rangers’ delight against Italian side Fiorentina

Novo gave Rangers one of their best nights in European competition in May 2008, when Gers beat Italian side Fiorentina to reach the Cup final UEFA. The teams drew 0-0 at Ibrox, and it all went into extra time without a second penalty.

Fiorentina dominated most of the reverse encounter, but Sasa Papac kept the score level after Mario Alberto Santana’s effort was cleared on the line. Adrian Mutu and Christian Vieri also came close for the Viola, who also played the last 10 minutes with another man.

Daniel Cousin reduced Smith’s side to 10-men with 10 minutes of added time to play after a headbutt on Fabio Liverani led to the substitute’s second yellow card. The foreigner will not be enough for Fiorentina to prevent the semi-final on penalties, however.

Rangers captain Barry Ferguson made a mistake in his line-up when Sebastien Frey saved his spot-kick. However he was spared his embarrassment when Vieri blazed his effort over the bar – giving Novo the chance to step up to send Rangers into the final with Zenit St Petersburg where they lost.

In other news, ‘Everybody’s Saying It’: Man United ace feels he was treated badly by Arsenal man.

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