This evening, Rangers host Antwerp in a Europa League round of 32 second leg fixture. If this one is anything like the first leg we are in for a very interesting game.
The last leg was a fantastic game in which today’s hosts – Rangers – came away with a 4-3 win. The winner coming in the 89th minute. Despite having the advantage going into this game, Rangers certainly can’t take Antwerp lightly.
I think we are in for a very interesting game here with both sides in with a shot of making it into the round of 16 of the competition.
3″ An early chance for Rangers. Ryan Kent with the opportunity to increase Rangers lead. He hits it just wide of the mark but Rangers creating chances and looking dangerous early on.
8″ Kent has another chance on the edge of the box and forces a good save from Ortwin De Wolf in the Antwerp goal. Rangers creating plenty early on.
Kent only has one goal and one assist in the Europa League this season. Can he increase his tally today after looking bright early on?
10″ GOAL! Rangers 1 (5) – 0 (3) Antwerp – Alfredo Morelos
Rangers increase their press and force a mistake from the Antwerp backline. Kent found Morelos well and it was an easy finish as De Wolf was caught out of position.
This the first time Rangers have had a two-goal lead in this tie. It will help them out a lot going into the later stages of this one.
15″ Rangers pressing incredibly high today. Putting the Antwerp players under pressure. It has worked for them so far having created plenty of chances to shoot. Can’t see it changing as the game goes on.
17″ Rangers finding balls over the top a lot here also. It has been a tactic that they have used often in the Scottish Premiership and it seems to be something they will use again tonight. Morelos and Kent running onto the end of them.
20″ Antwerp are failing to play the same football they were in the previous leg – where they were in charge, in terms of possession, for a lot of the game. Especially in the first half – They will need to improve if they are to get back into the game and give Rangers some issues in the tie.
27″ Rangers absolutely dominating at this point. This more expected of them when compared to the last leg where they were far from their best. Chance after chance created by Rangers here and they are looking sharp. Plenty of goals to come I’m sure.
30″ First real chance for Antwerp here. A lovely ball in by Jordan Lukaku with Aurélio Buta volleying wide. A good effort for the away side but not troubling Allan McGregor in the slightest.
31″ GOAL! Rangers 1 (5) – 1 (4) Antwerp – Lior Refaelov
Lukaku drives the ball into the box well again and Refaelov comes in to tap the ball into the back of the net from the far post. McGregor will be frustrated with this one as it is really the first thing he has had to deal with all day.
Are Antwerp back into this contest?Embed from Getty Images
36″ With that yellow Leon Balogun will miss the next fixture – so long as Rangers make it through to the next round.
41″ Rangers have slowed down and not looked the same since conceding. Steven Gerrard will just want to pick his team up with plenty of time still left in this game.
44″ Antwerp give Rangers a huge warning. Lukaku looking brilliant on the left-hand side of the pitch. Questioning of whether Glen Kamara could get the ball in the first place but lucky as Lukaku’s shot hits the side netting.
45″ Morelos could be under a bit of stick here. Rangers seem through in on goal and Jérémy Pierre Gelin pulls up holding his hamstring. Rangers were in a good position and the Rangers players around him are a bit frustrated that they didn’t take the chance to score.Embed from Getty Images
HALF TIME! Rangers 1 (5) – 1 (4) Antwerp
We go into the break level. A good, lively start for Rangers paid off with Morelos finding the back of the net. Antwerp got more into the game towards the end of the half with Refaelov putting Antwerp back into the game.
Steven Gerrard will probably be frustrated that Rangers dropped off here towards the end of the half and will want them to get back to how they were early on in the game. Still probably need a goal or two to completely see off Antwerp.
Antwerp need to continue at the same rate they were playing at towards the end of the half. Lukaku looking dangerous for Antwerp and will look to create more chances for them.
We are in for an interesting second half with both sides guaranteed to go for it in this one.
Antwerp Substitution – Frank Boya replacing Jérémy Pierre Gelin following his injury in the first half.
SECOND HALF KICKS OFF!
45″ GOAL! Rangers 2 (6) – 1 (4) Antwerp – Nathan Patterson
What a start! Patterson comes off the bench and makes an instant impact getting his first goal for Rangers. Morelos finds Patterson running in behind and he finishes into the far corner superbly.
Patterson has come under a bit of scrutiny recently after he broke Coronavirus guidelines. Many argued his Rangers career might be over. Now he repays the faith that Gerrard has put in him with a goal.
50″ First five minutes of the half and Rangers are looking like they brought the early first-half form back. Patterson looks like a fantastic substitution for Rangers. They will look to keep it up. Maybe score some more goals.
55″ GOAL! Rangers 3 (7) – 1 (4) – Ryan Kent
What a goal! Rangers on the counter-attack and playing beautiful football. Morelos with an astonishing bit of play to get round his man. He looks up and picks out Kent at the near post.
57″ GOAL! Rangers 3 (7) – 2 (5) – Didier Lamkel Zé
Antwerp getting in and Zé getting the ball around McGregor. Goldson went down hurt giving him the opportunity to have a go. Zé finishes well after the ball seemed to run away from him. Straight back in it.
67″ Last few minutes have been quite quiet in this one. Not many chances created. I assume both sides will look to make changes soon enough in an attempt to increase the lead (Rangers) or get back into the tie (Antwerp).
70″ A couple of fouls being made here. Both sides seem to be playing roughly now. Antwerp mostly I assume due to frustration at being behind. Plenty of yellow cards being shown by the referee.
71″ Martin Hongla the next person to see yellow for Antwerp. With this card being shown he will miss the next game if Antwerp manage to turn the tide of the game.
75″ Double substitution for Antwerp as they look to get back into the game. Pieter Gerkens and Jordan Lukaku coming off for Felipe Avenatti and Nana Opoku Ampomah.
78″ PENALTY! Rangers win yet another penalty for the season. Morelos turned well and goes down after being clipped. This gives them a chance to surely claim their place in the next leg.
78″ GOAL! Rangers 4 (8) – 2 (5) Antwerp – Borna Barisic
Barisic steps up to take the penalty – despite missing on the weekend – and finishes brilliantly. A hat-trick of penalties for Barisic in the tie and surely Rangers are through now. Unless an Antwerp miracle can take place they will be outcome the end of the game.Embed from Getty Images
82″ Substitution for Antwerp also. Martin Hongla coming off for Koji Miyoshi.
Kent and Morelos both off the pitch now. For me the best two players on the pitch tonight. Both players having unbelievable impacts on the game. Adding goals and assists to their records. The perfect partnership tonight.
Morelos especially putting in a stellar performance up front and proving himself as a key part of the Rangers set up.
89″ As the game comes to a close it is apparent that both sides have accepted this result. Both sides have come forward a couple of times since the last goal but not really creating anything major. I’m sure they will be happy to leave it at this.
90+1″ PENALTY! Rangers win another penalty. Scott Wright this time winning the penalty. What was I saying about the sides being happy with the result?
90+2″ GOAL! Rangers 5 (9) – 2 (5) Antwerp – Cedric Itten
Itten takes the penalty this time instead of Barisic but the same result in the end – a goal.Embed from Getty Images
FULL TIME! Rangers 5 (9) – 2 (5) Antwerp!
Rangers go through to the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League.
Another fantastic game between these two – with plenty of goals. The tie overall has been unbelievable. Rangers coming out on top again here and were certainly the better team in this game. Goals from Morelos, Patterson, Kent, Barisic and Itten getting the better of Refaelov and Zé’s goals.
Steven Gerrard’s side go into tomorrows draw for the round of 16. He will be more than happy with his side’s performance today. A bit frustrated to have conceded two but to be so emphatic and score so many goals it is a true success. Rangers getting to the round of 16 for the second time in two years – can they progress further this year?
Antwerp will be frustrated to have not done better tonight. They were still in the game after the first leg but were not the same side in today’s game. Got two goals to scare Rangers but certainly wasn’t enough in the long run. Score so many goals against another team and they are probably through so maybe a bit unlucky to go out in the end.
The round of 16 draw takes place tomorrow at midday.Embed from Getty Images
To see my post on the previous leg click here.
To read about all sports click here.