Jeremain Lens strikes for PSV to put Rangers out of the picture

Rangers were left to rue the referee's failure to award them a penalty and send off PSV Eindhoven's Atiba Hutchinson as their Europa League campaign ended in controversy.

Jeremain Lens strikes for PSV to put Rangers out of the picture This defeat also means the Dutch team will be Walter Smith's last European opponent before his retirement in the summer.

Hutchinson was fortunate not to concede a penalty when he handled the ball on his own goalline on the hour. Given the offence, the midfielder would have been dismissed had the referee or one of his goalline assistants seen it.

"It was a clear-cut penalty," said Smith. "I don't know how many officials we had out there but they all missed it. It would have changed the game." Smith also believed his team were denied "a clear penalty" for a foul on Madjid Bougherra.

As it transpired, the early contribution of Jeremain Lens proved crucial. The attacker slid home the game's only goal after a pinpoint cross from the impressive Balazs Dzsudzsak.

Rangers' priorities were demonstrated by their line-up. The Ibrox team play Celtic on Sunday in the League Cup final and, with that in mind, El-Hadji Diouf, Steven Naismith and Allan McGregor were left among the substitutes. Injuries picked up by Kyle Lafferty and Kyle Bartley here will, therefore, annoy Smith.

Among the crowd was Craig Whyte, which may be significant. Whyte remains hopeful of completing a takeover of Rangers; that process has proved protracted but should come to a head, one way or another, soon.

On the field Rangers improved after the break following the introduction of Naismith. It was his header which came back off the PSV crossbar, with Hutchinson's handball arriving in the mêlée which followed.

Powered by article was written by Ewan Murray at Ibrox, for The Guardian on Thursday 17th March 2011 23.50 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

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