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Messi: Rangers Played 'Anti-Football'
The Guardian, October 24th, 2007 4:30PM
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Tuesday night's 0-0 draw with Barcelona at Ibrox was a moral victory for Glasgow Rangers, which defended bravely in the midst of large periods of domination by the Catalans to earn the result, but Barca star Leo Messi was than impressed with the tactics deployed by the Scots, accusing Walter Smith's men of playing "anti-football." The point keeps the two sides level at the top of Champions League Group E with seven points after three games.

"It's incredible, Rangers didn't want to play football," Messi said. "They practiced anti-football from the first minute and it's a shame we couldn't take victory because we created a good number of chances." He added: "I don't believe we will come across many teams who play this way ... I think that when they come to the Camp Nou everything is going to be very different."

Barca flexed its muscles several times during the match but was unable to breach the wall of men Rangers lined up behind the ball. In truth, the La Liga side created few meaningful chances, aside from a Ronaldinho a free kick in the first half and a missed open header from Thierry Henry midway through the second. "I was delighted that we managed to hold our levels of concentration for the full 90 minutes," Smith said. "In other games, we've created more chances to score a goal, but you have to remember we were playing the best side in the section."

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