Sport 5 talking points as Alfredo Morelos bags Rangers double to continue brilliant Europa League scoring run
Steven Gerrard sends Alfredo Morelos Rangers status warning as he tells striker what must come next
The Light Blues boss warned the striker he’ll have to stay and help bring major silverware before earning Ibrox immortality.But the Light Blues boss warned Morelos he’ll have to stay and help bring major silverware to Ibrox before he can put in the same bracket as McCoist.
Rangers avoided a shock in Gibraltar with a 5-0 win over Lincoln Red Imps to set up athird qualifying round showdown with Willem II.
's side were barely troubled and eased through thanks to goals from James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Jermain Defoe and an impressive double from sub .
It was a night of minimum scares but the first chance came the way of the hosts as Celtic tormentor Lee Casciaro jumped high to get ahead of Tavernier but his headed effort was well over Allan McGregor's bar.
Alfredo Morelos can't be compared to Rangers hero Ally McCoist until he scores against Celtic - Hotline
Fraser Wilson takes your calls after another frantic evening of European action.Whether the goals came against cannon fodder or not, the Colombian striker is now just one strike shy of Ally McCoist’s European record at Ibrox.
continued to probe and Cedric Itten was cursing his luck when he was unable to get a definitive touch on Borna Barisic's wicked in-swinging delivery from the edge of the box.
An even better chance presented itself in the 18th minute but Kemar Roofe's shot from close range was bravely turned away by Kyle Goldwin who suffered a sore one in the process.
But Rangers were ahead two minutes later when Tavernier curled high into the roof of the net from 25 yards out to leave him one shy of 50 in light blue.
Chances were at a premium but Scott Arfield did go close as he drilled a low effort and that was the precursor to Goldson's emphatic header into the top corner as he finished off Barisic's brilliant cross.
Rangers kept motoring in the second half and Goldwin produced an exceptional save to deny Greg Stewart. Half-time sub Morelos was screaming for a cut back but the former Aberdeen was well within his rights to have a go.
Jermain Defoe makes Alfredo Morelos plea as Rangers star urges Ally McCoist 'fairness'
The Englishman knows what it's liked to be compared to club legends and he feels it's unfair on Morelos.And he admits he used to wish for people to stop comparing him to Ian Wright when he was bursting onto the scene with West Ham back in the 1990s.
Red Imps never stopped trying and Roy Chipolina should have cut his side's arrears with a gilt-edged chance from close range.
The big moment came after George Edmundson inexplicably ducked out of a clearing header and it caused carnage inside the Rangers box.
But normal service was quickly resumed as Morelos tapped home from close distance after a clever header back into the danger area from Stewart.
Morelos had another effort on target in the final 10 minutes but Goldwin was on hand to take the sting out the shot before gathering quickly.
Returning Jermain Defoe then found the back of the net to make it 4-0 with a clever finish in the box as the 37-year-old showed he's fully recovered from his recent hamstring complaint.
Rangers weren't finished and Morelos produced a brilliant dinked finish to add to his side's lead in the 88th minute.
Tougher games lie in store with Sunday's crucial Premiership clash with Hibs set to provide more of a test than a visit to Gibralter.
Hibernian 2-2 Rangers: Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers take draw
Rangers conceded for the first time in their eighth match of the Scottish Premiership season before Christian Doidge headed a late leveller after goals from Alfredo Morelos and Scott Arfield but they were denied victory by a Christian Doidge header.Gerrard's men go back to the top of the table by a point but, having played a game more than Celtic, will worry they have handed the title initiative to Neil Lennon's champions.Hibs have now gone nine games without a win against Rangers but do hold on to third spot.
5 talking points
Prep work comes in handy
Football without fans is a tough watch but there's a strong case that silence is golden for Gerrard's well drilled side. Patience is a key aspect of their philosophy and that allows them to to grind their opponent into submission with their pressing style. Rangers have made the most of matchday tranquility and notched their eighth clean sheet of the season as they made light work of limited opposition. They are also no strangers to a plastic pitch and the pace was noticeably quicker in the second half than it was in last month's 0-0 bore draw with Livingston.
Itten it off
The big striker is still finding his feet but one thing he must improve is the timing of his runs if he is to continue as the lead forward. Teammate Morelos can be guilty of going too early but the Swiss international was careless on several occasions and would have been rewarded if he had just demonstrated a bit more patience. The 22-year-old deserves time to settle but there's a palpable sense he's over thinking it at present and Rangers are yet to see the best of the £2.7m striker.
Exactly what Rangers boss Steven Gerrard said to spark SFA action as his Alfredo Morelos line leads to charge
The Ibrox club have vowed to strongly defend the manager at a hearing in October.The Ibrox club issued a swift statement condemning the decision to charge their manager over post-match comments following the win over Dundee United.
Alf all smiles
Morelos is an open book with his mannerisms a dead giveaway on how the Rangers talisman is feeling. The signs were promising as he showed no ill-effects after Ryan Edwards' shocker at the weekend when he chased down Bernando Lopes after his introduction at the interval. The man who was the Europa League top scorer last season appeared motivated and deservedly nabbed a goal for himself. He was full of smiles as he shared a love heart celebration with a nearby cameraman. He then shared an emotional hug with close pal Defoe after finding the back of the net. His cheeky finish highlighted a player who is fit and firing. That's 20 goals in this tournament over the past three seasons, not too shabby at all.
Gerrard will be cursing his side's injury luck as he watched his marquee summer signing trudge off in the first half. Roofe is still finding his feet at his new club but there's been loads to like about his early contributions to his new club. He started the game as the No.10, finding pockets of space as linked up well with Cedric Itten in attack but he cut a dejected figure as he was replaced by Nathan Patterson. Roofe's one-year stay with Anderlecht was blighted by injury and Rangers haven't had their problems to seek this season with Ryan Jack, Leon Balogun, Brandon Barker and Joe Aribo all currently crocked.
Willem II 0-4 Rangers: Kent stars in Europa League qualifier win
Inspired by the excellent Ryan Kent, who scored and had two assists, a play-off against Galatasaray in Glasgow next week was comfortably secured by Rangers. They now stand just 90 minutes away from a third successive season in the Europa League group stage. Aside from prestige, the £2.5million of UEFA prize money on offer for qualification would be very welcome as Scottish football faces up to the absence of fans in grounds for the foreseeable future.Kent won the penalty that was converted by James Tavernier before netting himself prior to the break.
Not Ed of the class
There's no shame in being down the central defensive pecking order at Ibrox at present but Edmunson's lapse in judgement that nearly ended their clean sheet run is a prime example why Filip Helander and Balogun are ahead of him in the race to partner Goldson. The 23-year-old is full of heart and endeavour but is prone to errors that could ultimately prove costly.
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Steven Gerrard drops Alfredo Morelos Rangers transfer KO hint as boss points to 'attitude' change .
The striker was the subject of a bid from Lille earlier in the window.The 24-year-old was the subject of a bid from Lille earlier in the window and it was reported that he'd agreed terms with the French side.