Feyenoord started with Glenn Loovens in the centre of defence alongside Patrick Paauwe and the youngster impressed from the outset. Loovens showed class and composure in keeping the experienced Tore Andre Flo quiet and was to be given the ultimate accolade by opposing manager Alex McLeish when the Scot pulled Flo off midway through the second half.
Feyenoord were in control for huge chunks of the game, passing the ball around with great finesse on a pitch that soon turned into mush. The millionaires from Glasgow didn¹t seem to have any answer. No surprise then that Feyenoord it was that created the best opportunities in the first half. Besides a well struck free kick from Paauwe, the travelling fans were also cheered by penetrating work from Kalou on the right time and again, and Van Hooijdonk was just shy of some height, otherwise his header might have given Rangers¹ German goalie Klos more trouble than it did.
In the second half it was not the home side but again the visitors that took the game by the scruff of the neck. Feyenoord¹s work rate was phenomenal, and although they were not creating too much in the final third, they seemed to have the game well under control.
In such a physical game Shinji Ono looked to be struggling on the left, but when Van Marwijk brought on substitute Van Persie it was for the Ivorian Kalou and not the Japanese, with Van Persie going out left and Ono switching to the right.
Ono repaid Van Marwijk on 71 minutes with the opening goal. Feyenoord won the ball in the Rangers half and it eventually came to the Japanese international, who let fly from 25 metres and saw the ball take a deflection off Konterman before hitting the back of the net.
The subsequent Scottish pressure was not totally unexpected, but there appeared to be little to sweat about until Lovenkrands stormed into the box only to go down under a challenge from Loovens. The French official pointed to the spot and Barry Ferguson send Edwin Zoetebier the wrong way to give Rangers some hope going into the second leg.
Feyenoord were dealt another blow in stoppage time when Tomasson was booked for failing to retreat the full distance at a free kick in the middle of the park, which means the Dane will miss the return, but on this performance the Rotterdammers must nevertheless feel confident of getting the right result in the Kuip and progressing to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup.
GLASGOW RANGERS-FEYENOORD 1-1 (0-0)
0-1 Ono (71)
1-1 Ferguson (80 pen.)
Klos; Ricksen, Vidmar, Amoruso, Numan; Ferguson, Hughes (81 Latapy), Konterman; Lovenkrands, Flo, Caniggia.
Zoetebier; Emerton, Loovens, Paauwe, Rzasa; Kalou (Van Persie 57), Bosvelt, Van Wonderen, Ono; Tomasson, Van Hooijdonk
Referee: Poulat (Fra)
Yellow cards: Rzasa, Van Hooijdonk, Loovens, Van Persie, Tomasson (Feyenoord), Ricksen (Rangers)