Europa League - Qualifying Play-offs
RangersRangers2GalatasarayGalatasaray1

Rangers 2-1 Galatasaray: Arfield & Tavernier earn Europa League group stage place

By Jordan ElgottBBC Scotland
Scott Arfield scored his first Europa League goal at Ibrox to put Rangers in front
Scott Arfield scored his first Europa League goal at Ibrox to put Rangers in front

Rangers reached the group stage of the Europa League for a third consecutive season with a fine win over Galatasaray at Ibrox.

Scott Arfield broke the deadlock early in the second half after being played in by Ianis Hagi, with James Tavernier heading in a second soon after.

The Turkish giants rarely threatened, but pulled a goal back late on through defender Marcao.

Rangers are expected to be in pot three in Friday's draw at 12:00 BST.

Steven Gerrard's side are now unbeaten in 11 matches in all competitions and have yet to lose in 19 Europa League qualifiers under the Englishman.

The way they started spoke of a side comfortable in continental competition.

Hagi had a chance to put Alfredo Morelos through on goal inside the opening two minutes, before a penalty appeal for handball was turned down from the resulting corner.

Connor Goldson's goalbound header was turned over the bar soon after.

Galatasaray had a penalty appeal of their own dismissed by referee Andris Treimanis on the half-hour, with Sofiane Feghouli claiming the ball had struck Goldson's hand in the box.

After the break, Rangers were again the quickest out the blocks and Morelos was handed a glorious chance after Ryan Kent's brilliant run and cross, but the Colombian headed straight at Fatih Ozturk.

Six minutes later, the hosts got the goal they were looking for. Morelos let Tavernier's pass run through to Hagi, and the Romanian played through Arfield to finish with the outside of his foot.

The Turkish side initially responded well and a crucial interception from Filip Helander was required to stop striker Radamel Falcao scoring a swift equaliser.

But that kicked Rangers back into life, and they doubled their lead seven minutes after scoring the first. Borna Barisic's cross from the left was met by fellow full-back Tavernier, who towered over everyone else to nod his side into a comfortable position.

Fatih Terim's side had another penalty appeal turned down after Younes Belhanda went down after contact with Arfield, but play was waved on.

Morelos missed a golden chance to put the game to bed before Galatasaray made it nervy when Brazilian defender Marcao headed in with four minutes remaining.

But Rangers held on for victory and another prolonged campaign in Europe.

Man of the match - James Tavernier

Rangers v Galatasaray
Steven Gerrard described James Tavernier's consistency as 'outrageous' after his excellent display

What we learned?

On paper, this was a tough game for Rangers. Galatasaray, despite finishing sixth in their domestic league last season, have a strong squad with plenty of recognisable names.

On the pitch, though, Rangers were the ones with the star players. Their defence were untroubled for the most part, their midfield won the battle, and Kent, Hagi and Morelos all looked dangerous every time they got the ball.

What looked like a tricky encounter was, in truth, relatively easy and Rangers only had themselves to blame that the game was not already over by the time Marcao scored.

What they said

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: "To a man the players were outstanding. We gave them a game-plan but they have to go out and carry it out. It was a bit nervy at the end, but I think we thoroughly deserved that victory."

What's next?

Next up for Rangers is the visit of Ross County in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday (15:00).

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 5Helander
  • 6Goldson
  • 31Barisic
  • 10Davis
  • 18Kamara
  • 37Arfield
  • 7HagiSubstituted forJackat 78'minutes
  • 20MorelosSubstituted forIttenat 87'minutes
  • 14Kent

Substitutes

  • 3Bassey
  • 8Jack
  • 9Defoe
  • 11Itten
  • 22Jones
  • 26Balogun
  • 33McLaughlin

Galatasaray

  • 99Ozturk
  • 3ElabdellaouiBooked at 29mins
  • 27Luyindama
  • 45do Nascimento Teixeira
  • 14Linnes
  • 4Antalyali
  • 89FeghouliSubstituted forDiagneat 73'minutes
  • 54Kilinc
  • 10BelhandaBooked at 65minsSubstituted forEteboat 66'minutes
  • 8BabelSubstituted forBayramat 65'minutes
  • 9Falcao

Substitutes

  • 13Etebo
  • 15Donk
  • 19Bayram
  • 23Tasdemir
  • 34Kocuk
  • 77Sekidika
  • 90Diagne
Referee:
Andris Treimanis

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamGalatasaray
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home2
Away1
Shots on Target
Home2
Away1
Corners
Home0
Away0
Fouls
Home0
Away0

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 1st October 2020

Top Stories