The Rangers Road to Glory in 1972

By farley1968
Last updated : 07 April 2007

It was of no great surprise when Rangers were paired with old foes Bayern Munich at the Semi-Final stage. The clubs had met twice before in the last few years in Europe, including the 1967 European Cup Winners Cup Final. On both occasions the German side had triumphed.

This was a great Bayern team with no less than six Internationals in their ranks. Although a young team, their players would soon become household names worldwide. They included Sepp Maier in goal, Schwarzenbeck, Beckenbauer, Breitner, Roth, Hoeness and the young Gerd Muller.

Jock Wallace was sent on a spying mission to Germany and saw Bayern defeat Cologne 3-0. He reported back that Bayern were an even better team than when they had defeated Rangers the previous season.

First Leg - 5th April 1972

Waddell played the same team as he had in the Torino matches and everyone expected the Light Blues to keep to their successful policy of keeping four men deep in defence. To everyone's surprise in the Grunwalder Stadion, Rangers took the game to Bayern. Every member of the defence took turns at moving forward to help the midfield and forwards, but Bayern were also dangerous and led 1-0 at half-time through a Breitner goal scored at the midway point of the half.

Three minutes into the second half Colin Stein hammered a ball across goal but Zobel deflected it past Maier into his own net. For the rest of the game Bayern pounded the Rangers goal, but by the closing stages Rangers where in command of the situation. Once again, a draw and a vital away goal were great reward for their efforts.

Second leg - 19th April 1972

Bayern flew into Glasgow the day before the game and planned to leave as soon as possible after the match, which suggested they had little confidence in the outcome.

Rangers were to be without Captain John Greig who was injured but he was replaced by the young Derek Parlane. He was given the job of marking Franz Roth which he did perfectly. 80,000 fans were tightly packed into Ibrox and they didn't have to wait long for any celebrations. After forty-five seconds, Sandy Jardine collected the ball and from outside the box, on the right he shot. Maier completely misjudged it and the ball flew past him into the net. The Ibrox crowd went wild - it was the perfect start. Bayern looked a beaten side even that early on. Soon afterwards Colin Stein rattled a header off the crossbar as Rangers tried to kill the tie. In the twenty-second minute a corner from the left by Willie Johnston was palmed away by Sepp Maier who was under pressure from Colin Stein. The ball fell to young Derek Parlane who from inside the box half-volleyed the ball past Maier. It was a fantastic strike by the young Ranger, which capped an excellent night for him as he stood in for the injured Greig.

The longer the game went on the more the German's morale sank. They began to fight amongst themselves and even the normally cool Beckenbauer looked flustered. Up front Muller posed little threat as he was marked out of the game by the superb Colin Jackson.

At 2-0 up, the tie was dead, but Rangers having learnt from their second-half mistakes against Sporting, played it coolly without doing anything rash.

The match finished 2-0. Rangers had beaten the mighty Bayern Munich of Germany for a place in their second European Final in six years and their third in total.

Video: Semi-Final highlights

Many supporters who were at Ibrox that night speak of never having heard the old ground so noisy as the songs of glory echoed out from the terraces and stands. When Jardine scored the first minute goal, the roar could be heard all along Paisley Road West as far as the Kinning Park Subway!

The fans were ecstatic and now only one match stood between them and a much coveted first European trophy.

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