Sport Standard Liege 0-2 Rangers: Roofe raises the bar after Tavernier hits the spot
Steven Gerrard not focused on who are the Old Firm favourites
The perception has been of a pendulum swinging towards Ibrox. As misfortune mounted for Celtic, Steven Gerrard's Rangers are facing injuries of their own as the two sides prepare for battle.Punters began to pile money on an away win. Bookies responded accordingly. The odds on Steven Gerrard’s side repeating the success of their previous trip to Parkhead on December 29 last year have been trimmed.
Rangers continued their impressive form in this season's Europa League, with a James Tavernier penalty and a Kemar Roofe stunner securing a 2-0 win away at Standard Liege.
Having overcome Lincoln Red Imps, Willem II and Galatasaray in the qualifying rounds – and fresh off an Old Firm triumph over Celtic – Steven Gerrard's side battled their way to three points in difficult conditions at Stade Maurice Dufrasne.
Tavernier scored the opening goal of the Group D contest in the 19th minute, Rangers' captain converting from the spot for his ninth goal in 10 outings this season.
Thomas Buffel sounds Rangers alarm over Standard Liege’s magician Mehdi Carcela as Ibrox hero makes Euro prediction
The Belgian star had a solid spell in Glasgow and fancies his old team to beat his countrymen.The former Light Blues playmaker picked out the Belgian side’s twinkle-toed No.10 as the main threat to their chances on Thursday night.
The visitors relied on the crossbar to keep out a Jackson Muleka header before the break but were rarely troubled in a second half played out amid torrential rain, Roofe sealing a deserved victory when he spectacularly lobbed Arnaud Bodart from long range in stoppage time.
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Connor Goldson had been the unlikely hero against Celtic, scoring twice in a 2-0 win at the home of their rivals, and the defender once again played a pivotal role with his aerial prowess.
It was his downward header from a corner that struck Nicolas Gavory on the arm, allowing the in-form Tavernier to tuck away the opportunity from 12 yards out.
Bodart was unable to keep the attempt out despite guessing the right way, though he did twice deny Alfredo Morelos early in the second half to keep the deficit down to one.
However, the goalkeeper was finally beaten again in the second added minute. Ex-Anderlecht forward Roofe pinched possession and, spotting the opportunity, lofted the ball over the out-of-position Boudart from inside Rangers' half.
How the Rangers players rated in Europa League win over Lech Poznan .
Rangers hosted the Polish league runners-up at Ibrox for matchday two of the UEFA Europa League group stage this evening and © Rangers - player ratings It was a wet and windy night on the south side of Glasgow, but still the home side did enough to get a win – though it wasn’t their usual performance. © Needlessly conceded corner in first half. Watched a lot go wide of his goal but not a comfortable ni... Rangers were fairly average across the park and came onto a game, but Poznan caused them problems and didn’t allow the usual style of play to be imposed.