Former Rangers and Scotland goalkeeper Andy Goram has passed away aged 58 after a short battle with cancer.

The ex-Gers shot stopper revealed in May that he had been given a terminal diagnosis of stage four oesophageal cancer and had less than six months to live.

"The thoughts of the directors, management, players and staff are today with Andy's family, and would ask that their privacy is respected at this sad time," Rangers said in a statement on Saturday.

Goram is fondly remembered for his seven-year spell at Ibrox between 1991 and 1998, when he was a five-time league champion, as well as winning three Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups.

He turned in a string of impressive performances in the first iteration of the Champions League, helping Rangers to a second-place group finish, a point off qualifying for the final.

Goram became something of a journeyman player following the end of his tenure in Glasgow, and became a Premier League winner in 2001 after a short loan spell with Manchester United.

At international level, he won 43 caps and was named in the squads for the Mexico 1986 and Italia 1990 World Cups, plus Euro 1992 and Euro 1996, when he was first-choice goalkeeper.

Goram was a member of the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, and was also named both the Scottish PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year in 1992-93 for his efforts in Rangers' treble-winning campaign.

Rangers say only the "mutual respect of both sets of fans" prevented more severe problems from occurring when the Europa League final was staged in Seville this month.

Eintracht Frankfurt were crowned champions when they beat the Glasgow giants 5-4 on penalties at Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan on May 18.

Representatives of Rangers, the Bundesliga club and Football Supporters Europe (FSE) met last Friday to debrief and discuss "several significant organisational issues" during the final.

Rangers on Monday stated that fans were not treated with the respect and dignity that they should have been.

"Supporters Europe (FSE) met to debrief and discuss several significant organisational issues during the recent UEFA Europa League final in Sevilla," a club statement said.

"These issues could easily have led to even more severe problems on the night and it was only thanks to the calmness and mutual respect of both sets of fans towards each other that there were not more severe injuries suffered. All three parties applaud the remarkable calmness of the two fan bases, given the situation they faced.

"Apart from the severe lack of food and – even more critically in the soaring temperatures – of water, there were several organisational problems around policing, body searches and beyond. Both clubs, as well as FSE, received a huge amount of complaints and witness statements from fans present in the stadium.

"All three parties will now work jointly to report back to UEFA and the local public authorities in Spain, and will make recommendations to ensure these problems can never occur again at a European final.

"Fans spend a lot of effort, time and money following their teams all over Europe and expect to be treated with respect and dignity while attending football games. This expectation was not met at all at the Europa League final in Sevilla."

UEFA have come in for criticism following chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France ahead of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool on Saturday.

Former Rangers and Scotland goalkeeper Andy Goram has been given six months to live after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Goram revealed in an interview with the Daily Record he has stage four oesophageal cancer.

The 58-year-old - who also had a loan spell with Manchester United in 2001 - has said he will "fight like I've never fought before."

"I'll be here as long as I possibly can," he said. "I'll fight like I've never fought before. The only difference is the time bomb ticking away.

"I thought I had severe indigestion. It was as though my gullet was blocked. After a few weeks, it got worse and nothing was getting through.

"Everything I ate or drank didn't get halfway to my stomach and I threw it back up. I couldn't get a face-to-face with my GP for two weeks, by which time I was in total agony. I'd also lost four stone in four weeks.

"I had a CT scan at Monklands, then was rushed to Wishaw General and told my next of kin should be with me. That is when the alarm bells started ringing. I realised I had cancer."

During a seven-year spell with Rangers, Goram won five league titles, three Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups.

He also made 43 appearances for Scotland, and was selected for the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, as well the Euro 1992 and 1996.

Goram said he has been told he has been given an estimation of six months to live, and has turned down chemotherapy.

"The specialist said if I take the chemotherapy, I've an average of nine months to go – an average," he said. "If I don't take the chemo, I have an average of six.

"Take chemotherapy and be in agony for the sake of an extra three months and zero quality of life? No thanks. Chemotherapy is off the menu."

Aaron Ramsey has the character to put his penalty miss in Rangers' Europa League final shoot-out defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt behind him, according to Wales boss Rob Page.

The on-loan Juventus midfielder, brought on in the second half of extra time, missed the only spot-kick as Frankfurt prevailed 5-4 in a game that finished level at 1-1 in Seville on Wednesday.

It marked the first time Rangers had tasted defeat on penalties in European competition since the 1999-2000 UEFA Cup when losing to Borussia Dortmund in the last 32.

Ramsey was visibly upset after Rafael Borre converted the decisive penalty for Frankfurt, who are the first German team to win the UEFA Cup or Europa League since Schalke in 1996-97.

But Page insists he has no worries about selecting the 31-year-old to take a penalty should Wales' upcoming World Cup qualifying play-off against either Scotland or Ukraine go the distance.

"I have no doubt whatsoever that if it comes to penalties that he will take one," Page said at a news conference on Thursday after naming his 27-man squad for that June 5 showdown in Cardiff.

Asked if he still has faith in Ramsey, Page said: "Absolutely, 100 per cent. It happens to the best in the world. Top players, they put themselves up.

"I am so proud of him for putting himself up [to take a penalty]. He is a world-class footballer. He had the courage and conviction to take a penalty. Top players recover from that, no problem."

Ramsey is part of Wales' latest squad, as is Gareth Bale, who will become a free agent when his Real Madrid contract expires in the coming weeks.

Bale's agent this week suggested a return to English football is the most likely option, with the forward aiming to keep fit ahead of November's World Cup should Wales qualify for the tournament for the first time in 64 years.

"I think everybody is probably thinking the same thing about his future," Page said. "It will depend on how results go with regards to what he does next season with a club.

"The only person who can answer that is Gareth. All I know is whenever he turns up for us he is first class. The full focus on himself is winning this game against Ukraine or Scotland, so he can worry about that after."

Bale has started just four games for Madrid in all competitions this season and has not been part of their matchday squad for any of their past five games because of a back problem.

The Wales skipper is back in training, however, and Page expects him to be part of Los Blancos' squad for next week's Champions League final against Liverpool in Paris.

"I think Gareth puts himself when he is fit to be available for Real Madrid like he does with us," Page said. "It is down to the manager then whether he wants to select him or not in the squad. 

"I think he is confident he will be involved and we will wait and see whether he is involved. We will then get him in camp as soon as we can."

In a pre-match news conference lacking much talk of the opposition, there was one question that stood out in that regard ahead of Rangers' Europa League final clash with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Gers captain James Tavernier was pointedly asked for his opinion on Eintracht wing-back Filip Kostic, given the pair are likely to see a lot of each other on the flank they'll share.

"Obviously I respect how he's been playing, he's a top player," Tavernier said. "But, I've just got to bring the best version of myself when the game starts and try to cause him all the problems, try to make him deal with me for the majority of the game. That's all I can really do."

Tavernier's response didn't offer any particularly great insight, but his mentality of wanting to cause Kostic as many problems was at least another identifier of how their duel could be such a key battle.

Of course, it's worth pointing out that Tavernier, a right-back, remarkably heads into Wednesday's game as the Europa League's top scorer on seven goals, and realistically – or, unrealistically – only a hat-trick from Eintracht's Daichi Kamada can prevent the Englishman from at least ending the season with a share of the competition's golden boot.

Further to that, he netted 19 times over the course of the 2020-21 season and could yet match that figure this term – he also has an impressive assists haul of 17.

If it needs reiterating, he's a huge contributor for Rangers in the final third.

So, given he's technically a right-back, there's obviously an element of Tavernier needing to be solid defensively on Wednesday, but some might suggest it's even more essential he's as sharp as ever going forward as that would not only give Rangers a credible threat on the right, but it would potentially keep Kostic occupied in a deeper position.

Granted, Eintracht's set-up with a back three should always ensure they have an extra man to cover for Kostic's runs forward, while the two attacking midfielders supporting Rafael Borre up top often occupy narrow, deeper berths in order to maximise the space out wide for their biggest threat.

Yet there's always the possibility of an overload in behind Kostic if the conditions are right, such is his attacking influence.

 

After all, the frequency at which Kostic delivers into the box is frankly astonishing. This season, he has been the executor of 519 crosses and corners, 140 more than any other player in the top five leagues – Trent Alexander-Arnold is second with 379.

Kostic's 78 successful crosses from open play is also a season-high. Of course, you would expect him to lead the way given he's attempted so many more than anyone else, but his 26.8 per cent accuracy (crosses/corners) is right in line with the average (among players with at least 100 attempted). That in itself is impressive given his greater frequency.

Another way of looking at it is, he is producing one accurate open-play cross every 45.4 minutes. While that may not sound incredible on the face of it, his 12.4 expected assists (xA) is the 10th highest among players in the top five leagues, highlighting just how much of a weapon he is in terms of his creative quality.

So, while he may be classed as a wing-back in terms of his position on a team line-up graphic, the Serbian is there for his attacking tendencies.

A cursory glance at his map of open-play chances created proves that point.

 

But Rangers must also be aware of the danger posed on the opposite flank.

Ansgar Knauff has been one of the stars of Eintracht's journey to the final, with the 20-year-old becoming something of a revelation in the past few months.

As recently as mid-January he was turning out for Borussia Dortmund's second team in the third tier. Then he joined Eintracht on loan and has since scored important Europa League goals against Barcelona and West Ham.

His impact on the road to Seville has been significant, with his brilliant athleticism, bravery and confidence on the ball making him a real asset on the right-hand side.

Before Knauff's arrival, Eintracht were rather lopsided, with their other options on the right far from convincing. Sure, Kostic remains their main outlet, but Knauff's emergence has provided them with another – albeit stylistically different – threat on the other side, giving them greater balance.

 

Across all competitions since his Eintracht debut in early February, only Kostic (5.6) and Jesper Lindstrom (2.6) have amassed better xA records than Knauff, who is also fifth to those two, Borre and Kamada in terms of xA and xG (expected goals) combined.

He may not be their deadliest weapon, but he's proven he can offer them a lot, and his team-high 61 dribble attempts in that period proves he's happy to make his markers work for their money.

Oliver Glasner's team is full of neat, technical players and is also blessed with fine work ethic, as it would need to be to play their high-pressing football.

But their width and desire to attack from the flanks is fundamental to how they play – while it may be easier said than done, limiting their effectiveness out wide would go a long way to ending Rangers' 50-year European trophy drought.

Eintracht Frankfurt coach Oliver Glasner assured Evan Ndicka had not suffered an injury that would keep him out of the Europa League final after the defender hobbled off on Saturday.

Frankfurt's focus turns towards Wednesday's showpiece against Rangers in Seville after their Bundesliga campaign concluded with a 2-2 draw against Mainz.

But there was momentary concern during the final match of the league season as Ndicka had to be substituted.

Ndicka, who has been linked to both Manchester United and Newcastle United, will have a key role to play if Frankfurt are to beat Rangers to the trophy.

And Glasner had positive news on the 22-year-old's condition afterwards, saying: "It's nothing bad – he has blisters on his feet. Everyone came out well."

The coach confirmed all his players were "fit" following the match – including, perhaps, midfielder Jesper Lindstrom, who has not played since the European semi-final first leg against West Ham due to a hamstring injury.

"He looks pretty good," Glasner said. "Everything is going according to plan."

However, he wants to see Lindstrom on the training pitch in the coming days if the Denmark international is to play any part in midweek.

"Only from the couch and from the massage table, it is not possible," Glasner added.

Ange Postecoglou revealed he had achieved a "dream" that had been his "lifelong obsession" after overseeing Celtic's Scottish Premiership title triumph.

Celtic needed only a point on Wednesday to clinch top spot ahead of rivals and reigning champions Rangers, and they got exactly that thanks to a 1-1 draw at Dundee United.

It completes a stunning turnaround under Postecoglou, who arrived at the start of this season after Celtic had finished the last campaign 25 points off the pace.

The Bhoys recovered from early setbacks, though, and were deserving champions with a game to spare.

"It's been a hell of a season," Postecoglou told BBC Sport. "Our starting point was a fair way back, and the way this group of players and staff has risen to the challenge – I couldn't be more proud.

"It's fairly overwhelming. It's taken every ounce of me to get us where we are, and when you get to the finish line, you just want to collapse.

"We've been focused all season, not getting distracted by anything. The players were really good at dealing with what was in front of them – and that's not easy to do.

"The dream was always to manage a famous club and try to make an impact. When something is almost a lifelong obsession and you finally get there, it's hard to put into words.

"It almost feels like two seasons in one. We've jammed in a rebuilding season and a season to win. We had a lot of work to do, and with the support of everyone at the club, we got there."

John Lundstram's late strike saw Rangers through to the Europa League final as they roared back at Ibrox to beat RB Leipzig 3-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, first-half goals from James Tavernier and Glen Kamara turned the tie in favour of Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side.

Leipzig, who were seeking their first European final appearance, levelled on aggregate when Christopher Nkunku neatly volleyed home in the 70th minute.

However, Lundstram popped up 10 minutes from time to snatch a dramatic winner for the hosts, who will play Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville on May 18.

Aiming to become only the fifth side to overturn a first-leg semi-final defeat and progress to the Europa League showpiece, Rangers levelled the tie in the 18th minute.

Kamara released Ryan Kent down the flank and the winger drilled the ball across the face of goal, with Tavernier applying the finishing touch at the far post.

The hosts turned the tie on its head just six minutes later, with Scott Wright teeing up Kamara, who brilliantly stroked the ball into the far corner from 20 yards.

Joe Aribo squandered a glorious opportunity to make it 3-0 on the night soon after, failing to turn home from six yards after Tavernier cushioned Borna Barisic's deep cross into his path.

Leipzig grew into the contest during the second half and levelled the tie with 19 minutes remaining. Moments after Allan McGregor did brilliantly to deny Konrad Laimer, Nkunku drifted to the near post to volley home from Angelino's centre.

Yet Rangers sealed their progress to Seville after a winner 10 minutes from time, Lundstram reacting quickest to finish after Kent's deep cross was headed off the line by Josko Gvardiol.

Celtic remain on course to win the Scottish Premiership despite Fashion Sakala earning Rangers a 1-1 draw in Sunday's Old Firm derby at Celtic Park.

Ange Postecoglou's side went into the fourth league meeting of the season between the two Glasgow giants six points ahead of their arch rivals.

That advantage looked like being extended to nine when Jota put Celtic ahead in the 21st minute.

However, Celtic failed to make the most of the superiority they largely enjoyed thereafter, and Sakala claimed a share of the spoils with his 67th-minute leveller.

Ryan Kent led a bright start for Rangers that soon dissipated as Daizen Maeda's low left-wing cross was deftly turned home by Jota.

Celtic continued in the ascendancy and Maeda should have made it 2-0 three minutes before half-time with a close-range header, Jota almost returning the favour with a cross to the far post after Rangers lost possession in their own half.

Maeda blazed over another excellent chance 10 minutes after the restart and his profligacy was punished in fine fashion.

Neat build-up play from Rangers saw Kent tee up Sakala, whose low drive had too much pace for Joe Hart and sneaked inside the near post.

Rangers came agonisingly close to completing the turnaround, Hart producing a stunning save to deny Scott Arfield from close range before Sakala hit the post, Celtic clinging on to maintain a likely decisive edge in the title race.

Manchester United are preparing for a complete overhaul of the playing group in the upcoming transfer window as incoming manager Erik ten Hag begins to build things his way.

Ten Hag, who is arriving from Ajax, has reportedly already seen enough of a number of regular contributors at United, and they will make way for players he believes can get the club back to their former glory.

Forward, midfielders and defenders are all on the chopping block, with very few positions expected to be safe heading into 2022-23.

 

TOP STORY – TEN HAG TO SWING THE AXE AT UNITED

The Sun is reporting United "could sell" Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Alex Telles at the next opportunity.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports claims United's needs include a new centre-back, two central midfielders, a winger and a striker in what could shape up as a complete rebuild.

One player who will reportedly get a chance to prove his worth at Old Trafford once he returns from loan is Donny van de Beek, who played for Ten Hag at Ajax.

West Ham's Declan Rice is also high on the Dutchman's wishlist, per The Guardian, while the Telegraph claims Benfica striker Darwin Nunez is a key target.

 

ROUND-UP

– Sky Sports Germany is reporting RB Leipzig have no interest in parting ways with Christopher Nkunku next season, despite interest from United and Arsenal.

– According to Goal, Milan are keen to sign Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, who spent two seasons at Inter before rejoining Chelsea this season.

Real Madrid are monitoring Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, per AS.

Manchester City and Newcastle United are both interested in 18-year-old Rangers academy midfielder Alex Lowry, according to Football Insider.

– Todofichajes reports that Christian Eriksen has agreed to return to Tottenham when his contract with Brentford expires at the end of this season.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou confirmed that a member of his coaching staff was hit by a missile during the Old Firm derby.

The Hoops came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory at Ibrox and extended their lead over their rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership to six points with just six games remaining.

Aaron Ramsey had given Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side the lead early on, only for Tomas Rogic and Cameron Carter-Vickers to strike back for Celtic before the break.

However, the match was marred by glass bottles being thrown onto the pitch, with the game being delayed early in the second half when parts of a broken bottle were found in the Celtic penalty area.

In a separate incident, a member of Celtic's staff was also struck by an object thrown from the crowd. 

"Yeah, he was [hit by a missile], on the way in. I think he is okay. He had a couple of stitches," Postecoglou told reporters when asked if the staff member had indeed been struck by a missile.

"It is disappointing because this is a game that gets beamed around the world and it stands on its own.

"You had two teams going at it in first and second spot and you don't need a couple of idiots spoiling it."

Cameron Carter-Vickers celebrated a "massive" victory for Celtic as his goal ultimately proved the winner in Sunday's derby clash with Rangers.

Celtic took the Old Firm bragging rights back across Glasgow as they secured a 2-1 win at Ibrox.

Rangers' start could hardly have been better, with Aaron Ramsey scoring inside the opening three minutes, yet Tomas Rogic swiftly hit back for the visitors.

That was the first time since December 2002 that both teams had scored inside the opening 10 minutes of an Old Firm derby, and the first half ended in similarly frantic fashion when Carter-Vickers lashed in after a goalmouth scramble.

Celtic ultimately held on without too much trouble, despite glass bottles being thrown onto the pitch at half-time, as Ange Postecoglou's team moved six points clear of their city rivals at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

"A massive win for us, not many games left so every three points are massively important," defender Carter-Vickers told Sky Sports.

"All season we've shown that character. Sometimes it is difficult coming to a stadium like this, and it takes a bit of time to adjust.

"It was difficult to concede in the first five minutes, but after that we played well.

"My goal was probably a bit lucky. It was difficult, they were pushing men forward, and we had to defend as a unit. I thought we stood up to it well today."

Postecoglou echoed Carter-Vickers' sentiment, telling BBC Scotland: "It was an enormous effort. It was a proper derby.

"We didn't get off to the greatest of starts and the crowd was up and for us and this group of players to turn it around in that fashion, and the resilience this group have shown. 

"I'm super proud of the players. Everyone knows this isn't an easy place to come to, they're a good side and they're undefeated here this year and knowing the consequences and the significance of three points to the league today it was always going to be a battle for us.

"There were going to be times we had to roll our sleeves up. But like I said after not getting off to the greatest of starts, to go and win the game is a testament to the character of the players."

That was only a second domestic defeat Rangers have suffered under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, but both of them have been in derby games.

Celtic took a big stride towards regaining the Scottish Premiership title as Cameron Carter-Vickers' strike secured a 2-1 Old Firm derby win over Rangers at Ibrox.

Aaron Ramsey gave the Gers a dream start by opening the scoring just three minutes in, but Tomas Rogic equalised only four minutes later to silence the vast majority of a raucous capacity crowd on Sunday.

After weathering an early storm, Celtic were the better side and Carter-Vickers put them in front late in the first half.

Rangers were unable to respond in a second half that was delayed due to broken glass being thrown onto the pitch as Celtic moved six points clear of their fierce Glasgow rivals, with Ange Postecoglou's side also having a superior goal difference with six games to play.

Defending champions Rangers were rewarded for making a blistering start when Calvin Bassey sent Ryan Kent racing clear down the left and the winger's cross was swept in by the onrushing Ramsey.

Celtic briefly looked like they did not know what had hit them, but they were quickly level, Rogic turning in from close range after Allan McGregor palmed Reo Hatate's shot into his path following a brilliant run from Callum McGregor.

The Hoops thought Daizen Maeda had been upended by McGregor in the box late in the first half, but Carter-Vickers deservedly drilled them into the lead with his left foot as the Gers failed to deal with a free-kick from the left.

Joe Hart returned after the break to discover broken bottles in his penalty area, but Celtic looked untroubled once the game restarted after a delay of only a few minutes for a clean-up operation.

Hart did produce a fine save from Fashion Sakala and a superb reflex stop from McGregor prevented Liel Abada from extending Celtic's lead, but goals from Rogic and Carter-Vickers were enough to secure three precious points for the visitors.

Rangers have pulled out of a proposed friendly with Celtic that was due to take place in Australia in November.

It had been announced that the champions of Scotland would play in a four-team tournament, titled the "Sydney Super Cup", against their Old Firm rivals as well as A-League duo Sydney FC and Sydney Wanderers.

The game between Rangers and Celtic would have been the first Old Firm derby to take place overseas.

However, Rangers have now confirmed they will not be taking part in the tournament.

A statement released by the club on Thursday read: "Rangers can confirm the club will not be participating in the Sydney Super Cup in November 2022.

"After it became clear the tournament organisers were unwilling to fulfil their commitments to Rangers, we have, with immediate effect, terminated the club's agreement with the organisers."

Rangers fans had voiced their displeasure at the proposal, interrupting the recent 2-1 win at Dundee on several occasions by throwing tennis balls and toilet paper onto the pitch.

Erling Haaland will not return for Borussia Dortmund this weekend, with Marco Rose calling on the other attackers to start pulling their weight. 

Dortmund have been without Haaland for their past three matches after the striker sustained a muscular injury in the 3-2 win over Hoffenheim on January 22. 

In his absence, BVB suffered heavy 5-2 and 4-2 losses to Bayer Leverkusen and Rangers respectively either side of a 3-0 win at Union Berlin. 

Rose revealed Haaland would not be ready to feature against the coach's former club Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Sunday. 

He laid down the gauntlet to the other attackers in the team, despite Dortmund having scored 57 goals - of which Haaland has contributed 16 - after 22 games this season. The only time they have managed more at the same point in a Bundesliga campaign was when they had 63 in 2019-20. 

"Erling is not ready for the game. He has participated in parts of training, but he is not yet fully operational," Rose told a news conference on Saturday. 

"Others have to step into the breach. It's not about wanting to sugarcoat anything. 

"We're now introducing Donny [Donyell] Malen to the Bundesliga and Dortmund. He's felt like he's taken one-to-two steps back in the last two games. Before that, I publicly praised him for his development here. 

"If Erling isn't there, others have to pull on the chains and prepare the gates. I have to say this, too; we won 3-0 in Berlin a few days ago. We kept a clean sheet after a long time." 

Gladbach will be aiming to make it three straight Bundesliga wins over Dortmund for the first time since 1981, but they have only triumphed once away to BVB in their past 16 attempts in all competitions. 

BVB will be without defender Manuel Akanji due to a muscle tear sustained in the defeat to Rangers, while Marius Wolf is a doubt and Thomas Meunier will not play. 

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