Rangers have reached the final 32 of the Europa League for the second successive season and supervisor Steven Gerrard’s European stats proceed to impress.
It was his twenty second European win in his third marketing campaign as supervisor – equalling the mark set by Ibrox predecessor Dick Advocaat and one wanting Walter Smith’s tally.
Right here, BBC Scotland appears at how the previous England captain has propelled himself into the realms of the membership’s most profitable European managers.
Huge outcomes towards large names
Gerrard’s most notable successes have come towards Portuguese opposition.
Braga and Porto final season, and Benfica this time period, couldn’t get the higher of Rangers, although the Ibrox facet twice misplaced two-goal leads to attract residence and away with the latter this time period.
Feyenoord have been crushed at Ibrox final yr earlier than Rangers claimed a attract Rotterdam towards the Dutch. And this season, the Scots gained residence and away towards Belgians Normal Liege and Lech Poznan of Poland.
“To be at this stage now and beating groups reveals the massive steps we’ve taken as a bunch,” Gerrard mentioned after Thursday’s 2-0 win over Poznan.
“The problem now’s can we preserve constructing on it? That is the perfect I’ve felt by way of our squad energy and I do have faith within the 24 or 25 gamers that we’ve acquired.”
Consistency of performances and outcomes
Previous to 2019, the membership had not gained two residence video games in a bunch stage marketing campaign in both the Champions or Europa League. However that stat ended final season and was emulated this time spherical.
This season was additionally Rangers’ first unbeaten group marketing campaign in both competitors since 1992-93.
Rangers have misplaced three group video games in three years underneath Gerrard and gained or drawn each one in every of their qualifying matches since 2018.
Dealing with the stress of qualifying
In complete, Gerrard’s Rangers have come by means of 11 qualifying ties over the previous three seasons, together with eight two-legged ties and three one-off video games on this season’s Covid-19 affected competitors.
These attracts and wins little question increase the supervisor’s total stats in Europe, and the likes of Walter Smith, Dick Advocaat, Graeme Souness and Alex McLeish had fewer qualifying rounds to cope with.
However given Rangers have been knocked out by Luxembourg’s Progres Niederkorn the yr earlier than Gerrard arrived, navigating these matches weren’t a given.
And Gerrard’s group haven’t been embarrassed in Europe. Of their 5 defeats over the previous three years, 4 have been away from residence by a single purpose, with the 3-1 residence loss to Bayer Leverkusen the one exception.
“I feel it’s a enormous achievement to win the group and it’s totally deserved,” the supervisor added.
“Happening our performances over the six video games, we should be within the primary place and with a bit extra expertise we might have gained the six video games.”
‘A extremely intimidating facet to play’ – evaluation
Former Scotland midfielder Michael Stewart on Sportsound
With a efficiency that wasn’t scintillating, they nonetheless comfortably beat Lech Poznan, scored two targets and saved a clear sheet. You’ll be able to’t ask an excessive amount of extra. They’re so environment friendly and medical and it is a fantastic trait to have.
Former Rangers winger Neil McCann on Sportsound
They’re making a worry issue now. They seem to be a actually intimidating facet to play in how they operate. They do not change. They are saying, ‘proper, that is how we play, you know the way we play, are you able to cope with it?’ And to this point, they’ve not been in a position to be stopped.