Rangers booked their place in the Europa League group stage on Thursday night thanks to a last-minute goal from striker Alfredo Morelos to qualify for the second time in two seasons – but fans were not impressed with James Tavernier’s display.
Rangers came into the second leg at Ibrox after securing a 0-0 draw in Poland, and had to contend with a hostile away support that included pyrotechnics that stopped the game in the 75th minute – and ex-Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc with a megaphone.
But The Gers never looked like conceding. It has become a trait of Gerrard’s side – the defence has certainly tightened its bow since the beginning of the 2019-20 campaign, claiming a whopping eight clean sheets in 12 league and cup outings.
The combination of Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic was unbreakable, leaving Gerrard’s attackers to do the business. Cross after cross came in, but to no avail. In the 72nd minute, Gerrard replaced Scott Arfield with Jordan Jones.
The Northern Ireland international – who signed on a Bosman from Kilmarnock in the summer – supplied an inch-perfect cross for Morelos to head home and send Ibrox into raptures. Rangers find out their group stage opponents at midday on Friday.
But for Tavernier on a personal level, it would have been a frustaring night. The 27-year-old’s crossing, which is normally so effective, did not seem to do the trick against a sturdy Legia Warsaw defence. Perhaps just an off game, for a player so crucial to Rangers.
Rangers fans reacted on Twitter to his performance, particularly his first-half display and believe there is certainly room for improvement – ahead of Sunday’s first Old Firm derby of the Scottish Premiership campaign at Ibrox.
Al back Jackson up tbh. There’s nae denying he was honky tonk
— Tam Graham (@TamGraham54) August 29, 2019
Had a nuke of a first half
— Jordo ✋ (@jordy21389) August 29, 2019
Only ojo was worse but atleast tav never hid 🇬🇧🇭🇷
— Derek Bell (@73Derekb) August 29, 2019
Yeh ! Not on his best tonight 🙈
— SJ (@Juniper18) August 29, 2019
Rotten tonight but never hid
— Aye See Geoff (@SneidshowBob) August 29, 2019
James Tavernier has took a time machine back to 2016 for that first half utter dug meat
— Tommy 𓅓 (@Chrissy1872_) August 29, 2019