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Written by Martin Graham | May 21 2022
Glasgow Rangers coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst has praised veteran manager Aaron Ramsey for taking the blame for a penalty in his UEFA Europa League final loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Joe Aribo put the team ahead in the 57th minute but after 12 minutes a defensive error allowed Frankfurt to draw. The match continued in extra time and then penalties, and Ramsey, on loan to Rangers from Juventus, lost the penalty kick to give the victory to Frankfurt.
Van Bronckhorst rushed to defend Ramsey, who brought him in three minutes to the end of extra time in preparation for a possible penalty shootout, to the media.
The Dutch coach said: “We prepared well for the penalty shootout. Borna (Parisic) had to go out and it was one of the first penalties. We had players who wanted to take a penalty and some of them didn’t and our list was ready and we had to adjust it because of the substitutions.
“It’s never nice to lose, everyone is injured and disappointed. Aaron, of course, was disappointed but he took responsibility for taking the penalty.
“You can do it or miss it and unfortunately for us it didn’t work out but you want players who shoot penalties and are also ready and comfortable.”
Rangers players express their disappointment with the loss
Rangers midfielder John Lundstram was emotional at the final whistle and told the media that he and his teammates had left every fan of the club, apologizing for the loss.
Lundstram, who may have been lucky not to see the red card after Sebastian Ruud’s high-footed error early on, which left the Frankfurt midfielder bloodied, said when asked about his thoughts after the match: “I don’t think both teams are doing great. It could have been. To play better – it’s hard to perform on a big stage like this.
“It is tense for everyone. I am just so disappointed to let everyone down. Rangers fans traveled here and gave us three quarters of the field. It is heartbreaking.”
Midfielder Stephen Davis, the only surviving member of the squad to have played and lost their last European final 14 years ago, indicated that another European final could be another long drought. “It’s a huge disappointment. It’s hard to think right away,” he said. “The boys have been great, but it hurts tonight.
“Unfortunately we were on the wrong side of [the penalties]. When you get to the final it hurts if you don’t get the trophy. But I couldn’t be more proud of the boys, the staff and the fans. We left everything on the field. It will be painful. We know how difficult it is to get to this stage again.”
Captain James Tavernier, who converted Rangers’ first penalty and scored in the penalty shootout, said the dressing room would wrap itself up ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Cup final. “I am so disappointed. It hurts but I am proud of every one of them who came forward and took one.”
“We went toe-to-toe with them, I’m disappointed we took the lead. Their goalkeeper made a fantastic save with Kent at the end. I’m proud of everyone involved in Rangers. We have to use that fuel to push us forward. We want to go back to the finals and play a huge game on Saturday.” We’re a knit dressing room, and we’ll stick around for each other.”