Opinion

Rangers 2-2 Borussia Dortmund (6-4 Agg): Player ratings as Gers secure famous aggregate win

Krishan Davis
James Tavernier was the hero
James Tavernier was the hero / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Rangers secured a famous aggregate victory to knock favourites Borussia Dortmund out of the Europa League on a dramatic night at Ibrox on Thursday.

Dortmund came from behind to reduce the aggregate deficit in a breathless first half, with 18-year-old midfielder Jude Bellingham the protagonist.

The England international struck the post inside four minutes from three yards out when the ball arrived at his feet unexpectedly, before snapping a shot narrowly wide of Allan McGregor's goal from the edge of the box.

Although the visitors had dominated the ball, Rangers were gifted the opportunity to extend their aggregate lead out of nowhere when Julian Brandt naively dangled a leg and tripped Ryan Kent just inside the box. James Tavernier made no mistake from the spot, thumping the ball into the roof of the net. Ibrox was literally bouncing.

More good work from Bellingham provided Brandt with the opportunity to make amends immediately, but the German's powerful drive was palmed away by McGregor.

Dortmund were level just after the half-hour mark, however. Connor Goldson made a hash of a simple clearance by hitting the ball against Bellingham, and the influential midfielder ran through on goal to coolly slot home.

Rangers responded in another rare foray forward, but Scott Arfield could only shoot straight at the goalkeeper and Alfredo Morelos' goal-bound blast from the rebound was brilliantly blocked by Mats Hummels.

Straight down the other end, Donyell Malen forced a fine save from McGregor as his influence in the game grew. It was the Dutchman who put Dortmund into the lead on the night shortly before half-time, deftly turning the ball into the bottom corner from Bellingham's cute flick.

The Netherlands international could have levelled the aggregate score before the break, but he could only drag his shot wide after creating space inside the penalty area.

Rangers did not sit back and rest on their laurels in the second half, taking the game to their illustrious hosts and reaping the rewards. Morelos fired a half-chance straight at the goalkeeper, but a minute later, Kalvin Bassey's cross somehow travelled all the way to the back post and Tavernier was on hand to smash home his second and the equaliser.

The closest Dortmund came to retaking the lead on the night came shortly after the hour mark when Marco Reus rounded McGregor, but he conspired to lose his footing and hit the side-netting.

Rangers thought they were in dreamland with a little over 20 minutes to go when Morelos robbed last man Emre Can of possession and ran through on goal before rolling it to Kent for a tap-in, but after being told to check the pitch-side monitor by VAR, the referee very harshly decided to bring play back for a foul.

It made no odds in the end, though, as Rangers held on for a famous aggregate victory.


Rangers player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

James Tavernier
Tavernier fires home the penalty / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Allan McGregor (GK) - 5/10 - Good strong hand to deny Brandt's firm strike. Not a lot he could do about the goals.

James Tavernier (RB) - 8/10 - Excellent penalty, into the roof of the net. Popped up again to equalise in the second half, showing excellent composure to smash it in at the back post.

Connor Goldson (CB) - 4/10 - Horrid error that put the ball on a plate for Bellingham's equaliser. Hesitant defending for the second, too.

Calvin Bassey (CB) - 7/10 - Showed good strength but was static as Dortmund took the lead. Moved to left-back in the second half and showed dazzling feet before assisting the second.

Borna Barisic (LB) - 6/10 - Had done well against Thomas Meunier but was forced off injured at half-time.

2. Midfielders

Joe Aribo, Jude Bellingham
Aribo battles with Bellingham / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Scott Arfield (RM) - 5/10 - Really should have scored or at least squared to Kent when through on goal. Lost seven of his ten duels. Subbed.

Ryan Jack (CM) - 6/10 - Not able to dominate the midfield like he did last week, with Bellingham on top of his game.

John Lundstram (CM) - 5/10 - Booked for a professional foul. Charged with doing the dirty work and was OK at it.

Joe Aribo (AM) - 7/10 - Relieved pressure with his strength and ability on the ball. Battled hard and won plenty of duels.

Ryan Kent (LM) - 7/10 - His quick feet lured Brandt into the foul for the penalty. Always an outlet for Rangers, ran so hard.

3. Forward

James Tavernier, Alfredo Morelos
Morelos celebrates with Tavernier / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Alfredo Morelos (ST) - 6/10 - Thought he'd scored but denied by Hummels' block. Some good hold-up play to relieve pressure. Very harshly denied an assist after the referee consulted the pitch-side monitor.

4. Substitutes

Leon Balogun (CB) - 5/10 - Solid enough.

Glen Kamara (CM) - 6/10 - Put in an important defensive shift.


Borussia Dortmund player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

FBL-EUR-C3-RANGERS-DORTMUND
Hummels and Meunier watch on as Aribo clears / ANDY BUCHANAN/GettyImages

Gregor Kobel (GK) - 5/10 - No chance with the penalty or Tavernier's second. Made himself big to stop Arfield.

Thomas Meunier (RB) - 6/10 - Struggled against Kent but his cross caused chaos in the lead-up to Dortmund's second. Subbed at half-time with a knock.

Emre Can (CB) - 6/10 - Passed and carried the ball out well. So fortunate not to be punished after giving the ball away to Morelos. Was never a foul on him.

Mats Hummels (CB) - 5/10 - A little loose in possession at te heart of the defence. Made an excellent last-ditch challenge late on.

Nico Schulz (LB) - 7/10 - Dortmund's best defensive player. Did well at the back and provided an outlet going forward.

6. Midfielders

FBL-EUR-C3-RANGERS-DORTMUND
Bellingham was excellent / ANDY BUCHANAN/GettyImages

Mahmoud Dahoud (CM) - 5/10 - Passed well as ever but lost a number of duels and was a little passive.

Jude Bellingham (CM) - 8/10 - Should have scored in the opening exchanges but hit the post from very close range. Calm finish to level and cheeky assist to give Dortmund the lead on the night. Involved in everything good going forward.

Julian Brandt (AM) - 4/10 - Really silly foul to concede the penalty. Almost made amends immediately but his drive was well saved. Subbed.

7. Forwards

FBL-EUR-C3-RANGERS-DORTMUND
Malen was Dortmund's best attacker / ANDY BUCHANAN/GettyImages


Thorgan Hazard (LF) - 5/10 - Not able to cause Rangers too many problems. Subbed.

Donyell Malen (ST) - 7/10 - Looked bright and dangerous from the off, drawing a top save from McGregor before flicking home his side's second. Faded and eventually subbed.

Marco Reus (RF) - 5/10 - Floated about dangerously but struggled to exert his usual influence. Forced off injured late on.

8. Substitutes

Marius Wolf (RWB) - 6/10 - Posed a threat going forward, forcing a save and crossing well.

Reinier (ST) - 5/10

Youssoufa Moukoko (ST) - 5/10

Steffen Tigges (ST) - N/A

Axel Witsel (CM) - N/A


facebooktwitterreddit