HomeFeatured ArticlesRangers Secure Play-Off Spot, PSV Eindhoven Up Next

Rangers Secure Play-Off Spot, PSV Eindhoven Up Next

Rangers Navigate Sweltering Night in Geneva to Set Up a Clash with PSV

A Nervy Night in Switzerland

Rangers faced a challenging night against Servette in Geneva, where they battled both their opponents and the scorching weather conditions. With the final whistle came a sigh of relief: Rangers secured their place in the Champions League play-off against PSV Eindhoven, courtesy of their 2-1 lead from the Ibrox and a crucial header by captain James Tavernier in the second leg.

“We made a really slow start, we needed to dig in. At half-time we had to have some strong words as it wasn’t what we were looking for,” Rangers manager Michael Beale reflected. Yet, as many would agree, it’s not just about the start; it’s the finish that matters.

First-Half Struggles, But Rangers Rise to the Challenge

Servette quickly erased Rangers’ edge from the first leg, with Dereck Kutesa delivering a top-drawer finish. The first half was quite a trial for the Scots, with Servette coming to life on counter-attacks and Rangers’ Danilo missing a golden opportunity, somehow misfiring from close range after a brilliant feed by Jose Cifuentes.

But the halftime provided Rangers the breather they desperately needed. Re-energised, they hit back with Tavernier finding the net via a precise cross from Borna Barisic. Their momentum grew, limiting Servette’s forays forward. Substitute Cyriel Dessers, however, will rue his missed opportunities, which could have sealed the deal earlier.

Man of the Match: Nicolas Raskin

Throughout the 90 minutes, it was Nicolas Raskin who consistently impressed. His dynamism in the heart of the midfield ensured Rangers remained on the front foot, especially in the crucial latter stages of the game.

Lessons Learned and The Road Ahead

While Rangers will relish their victory, it’s evident that more cohesion is needed, especially up front. Danilo, the Brazilian ace brought in this summer for a considerable sum, struggled to integrate. It’s a gap that Beale and his staff will need to address, particularly as they gear up to face PSV Eindhoven. The Dutch side, having impressively dispatched Sturm Graz 7-2 on aggregate, will present a formidable challenge.

Yet, there are positives aplenty. The commitment to attack was evident in Switzerland, a sentiment echoed by Beale’s pre-match comments. And while they had their backs against the wall in the first half, Rangers’ ability to regroup and dominate post-interval showcases the spirit within this squad.

But before the high-profile Champions League play-off, Rangers will turn their attention domestically, kicking off their League Cup journey at home against Greenock Morton. Then, they’ll set their sights on PSV at the Ibrox. The road to the group stages of the Champions League promises to be thrilling.

Match Stats At A Glance:

Possession: Servette (46%) – Rangers (54%)

Total Shots: Servette (12) – Rangers (14)

On Target: Servette (5) – Rangers (4)

Corners: Servette (9) – Rangers (3)

Fouls: Servette (10) – Rangers (11)

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