Europa League - Group G
FC Porto1Rangers1

Porto 1-1 Rangers: Steven Gerrard's side earn Europa League point

Allan McGregor
Allan McGregor made a stunning double save to preserve a point for Rangers

Rangers survived a late onslaught in Portugal to earn a deserved Europa League draw with Porto.

Allan McGregor was the hero at the death with a stunning double save to ensure Steven Gerrard's men finish matchday three in second spot.

Luis Diaz put the hosts in front after 36 minutes, but Alfredo Morelos scored his 10th goal in 11 Europa League games to level before the break.

The sides - who are level on points - meet again at Ibrox on 7 November.

Both trail group leaders Young Boys by two points in Group G after they beat Feyenoord in Switzerland.

Morelos' maturity drives Rangers' Euro charge

To say that Morelos' influence on Rangers is important is up there with claiming Brexit is a tad complicated. Yet, the prolonged influence of the Colombian on the continent this season may well be the key to keeping at least Rangers in Europe beyond Christmas.

His strike in Portugal was his 10th of the season in the Europa League, and may yet prove to be one of the most crucial as Rangers inch closer towards the knockout stages.

Borna Barisic's arcing, inch-perfect cross found Morelos unmarked at the back post on a quick breakaway. The beleaguered Porto defence had no time to react before the ball was crashed high into the net.

In truth that goal, which cancelled out Diaz's opener eight minutes earlier, could easily have contributed to a hat-trick on the night.

Moments before his equaliser, he nodded a James Tavernier corner off the bar, while a sensational point-blank save from Agustin Marchesin denied a strong header from the striker eight minutes after the break.

However, it was not all plain sailing for Gerrard's team. A rocky start in front of a half-empty Estadio do Dragao hinted at a difficult night ahead for the Scottish Premiership side.

Backed by 4,000 fans, most of whom housed in the rafters of this colossal arena, Rangers initially started brightly. Ryan Kent, one of four reinstated into the starting XI, marauded forward on the break, but his counter did not yield a shot on target. Tavernier's wild volley was just as far away.

Instead, it was the hosts, off the back of a 2-0 defeat away to Feyenoord, who threatened the most early on.

As Rangers huffed and puffed in front of goal, Porto threatened to blow their opponents away. Alex Telles floated a free-kick just over. Ze Luis struck the post in an early move. Just three minutes later, the third strike was more decisive.

Ryan Jack, who extended his Rangers contract on Tuesday, did his side's cause no good as his errant pass out from the back was intercepted. Diaz stood him up and, with room to shoot, arrowed an inch-perfect shot that flashed across McGregor and high into the net.

It is to the credit of Gerrard's men that they did not buckle. Nor did they offer any encouragement as Morelos quickly led the charge with his leveller.

In truth, there was little threat to McGregor's goal after the break until the last five minutes as the second half was played out with only the odd flash at either end. Moussa Marega and then Francisco Soares both were thwarted as the 37-year-old former Scotland goalkeeper defied his years.

In the end, a point was thoroughly deserved by a Rangers side that continues to make strides in Europe under Gerrard. Claim victory at Ibrox in a fortnight, and already the prospect of a prolonged stay in Europe seems well within their grasp.

Alfredo Morelos

Man of the match - Steven Davis

BBC Scotland's Keir Murray in Porto

Bringing the veteran Northern Irishman back to Ibrox from Southampton has proved to be a wise move. The 34-year-old made good use of his vast international experience to control the pace of Rangers' play but offered so much more.

He ventured forward rarely, his best work taking place in front of the back four. He cut out dangerous balls in to the centre of Rangers' defence, harried his opponents to deny them time to look up, pinged balls out to his left for Barisic to attack and was the fulcrum of his team's impressive short passing movements which retained possession and moved Rangers up the pitch. All in all, a classy display.

Match stats

  • Rangers are unbeaten in their last three games against Porto (W1 D2), since a 1-0 defeat in November 1983 in the Cup Winners Cup
  • Porto have only lost one of their nine Europa League group stage games (W6 D2)
  • Luis Diaz scored with his first shot on target of this season's Europa League
  • Including qualifiers, Morelos has been directly involved in eight of Rangers' last nine Europa League goals, scoring five and assisting three
  • Two of the three goals Rangers have conceded in this season's competition have come from outside of the box.

Line-ups

FC Porto

  • 32Marchesín
  • 17JM Corona
  • 3PepeBooked at 82mins
  • 5Marcano
  • 13TellesBooked at 76mins
  • 25OtávioSubstituted forAlmeida Costaat 60'minutesBooked at 69mins
  • 16Uribe
  • 22Danilo
  • 7DíazSubstituted forNakajimaat 63'minutes
  • 11Marega
  • 20Mendes AndradeSubstituted forFrancisco Soaresat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Almeida Costa
  • 10Nakajima
  • 18Manafá Jancó
  • 19Mbemba
  • 29Francisco Soares
  • 31Meireles Costa
  • 49Soares Silva

Rangers

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 5HelanderBooked at 78mins
  • 31BarisicBooked at 14mins
  • 8JackBooked at 30minsSubstituted forArfieldat 83'minutes
  • 10Davis
  • 18Kamara
  • 21BarkerSubstituted forOjoat 84'minutes
  • 20Morelos
  • 14KentSubstituted forAriboat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Defoe
  • 11Ojo
  • 13Foderingham
  • 15Flanagan
  • 17Aribo
  • 19Katic
  • 37Arfield
Referee:
Nikola Dabanovic
Attendance:
31,307

Match Stats

Home TeamFC PortoAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home10
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home14
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, FC Porto 1, Rangers 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, FC Porto 1, Rangers 1.

Corner, FC Porto. Conceded by Filip Helander.

Joe Aribo (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Corona (FC Porto).

Allan McGregor (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tiquinho Soares (FC Porto).

Attempt missed. Tiquinho Soares (FC Porto) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Mateus Uribe (FC Porto) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tiquinho Soares.

Attempt saved. Tiquinho Soares (FC Porto) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Shoya Nakajima with a cross.

Attempt missed. Borna Barisic (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner from a direct free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Sheyi Ojo replaces Brandon Barker.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Scott Arfield replaces Ryan Jack.

Booking

Pepe (FC Porto) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Pepe (FC Porto).

Attempt missed. Iván Marcano (FC Porto) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Alex Telles with a cross following a corner.

Corner, FC Porto. Conceded by Filip Helander.

Booking

Filip Helander (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Moussa Marega (FC Porto) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Filip Helander (Rangers).

Foul by Tiquinho Soares (FC Porto).

Filip Helander (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, FC Porto. Tiquinho Soares replaces Zé Luís.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Joe Aribo replaces Ryan Kent.

Booking

Alex Telles (FC Porto) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Alex Telles (FC Porto).

Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Ryan Jack (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by James Tavernier following a set piece situation.

Foul by Iván Marcano (FC Porto).

Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Booking

Bruno Costa (FC Porto) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Bruno Costa (FC Porto).

Glen Kamara (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Danilo Pereira (FC Porto) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Brandon Barker (Rangers).

Hand ball by Bruno Costa (FC Porto).

Attempt blocked. Shoya Nakajima (FC Porto) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alex Telles with a cross.

Borna Barisic (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Moussa Marega (FC Porto).

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sevilla33007079
2FK Qarabag31116604
3F91 Dudelange3102510-53
4Apoel Nicosia301257-21

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Copenhagen31203215
2Dynamo Kiev31202115
3Malmö FF31113304
4Lugano301213-21

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Basel32108267
2Getafe32013216
3FK Krasnodar310237-43
4Trabzonspor301225-31

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1PSV Eindhoven32107347
2Sporting32015416
3LASK31112204
4Rosenborg300316-50

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic32105237
2CFR Cluj32013306
3Lazio310245-13
4Rennes301224-21

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal330010289
2Frankfurt320134-16
3Standard Liege310236-33
4Vitória Guimarães300326-40

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Young Boys32015326
2Rangers31113304
3FC Porto311134-14
4Feyenoord310223-13

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Espanyol32104137
2Ludogorets32018266
3Ferencvárosi TC311124-24
4CSKA Moscow300318-70

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolfsburg31206425
2KAA Gent31206515
3Oleksandria302135-22
4Saint-Étienne302145-12

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Roma31206245
2Istanbul Basaksehir311125-34
3RZ Pellets WAC31115234
4B Mgladbach302126-42

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sporting Braga32105327
2Wolves32013216
3Slovan Bratislava31117614
4Besiktas300337-40

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man Utd32102027
2AZ Alkmaar31208265
3Partizan Belgrade31114404
4FC Astana300319-80
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