Sport: What the Rangers pundits said as Gio earns his glass of red, Tillman and Lawrence praised but mixed reviews for Sands

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It’s never dull at Ibrox Stadium on a European night and Rangers yet again delivered under the floodlights in Govan with a remarkable 3-0 win over Union Saint-Gilloise to move one step closer to the Champions League group stage. Giovanni van Bronckhorst will go up against former Holland team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy as he takes his Rangers side across the North Sea and back to his homeland for a shoot-out with PSV Eindhoven to join Europe’s elite.

As bad as the Light Blues were in the first leg in Belgium when they slumped to a 2-0 defeat, they were gutsy in the return with James Tavernier’s penalty, Antonio Colak’s header and a Malik Tillman goal earning them a win in front of a raucous Rangers crowd.

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Van Bronckhorst’s former team-mates Craig Moore and Neil McCann were both on club TV duty while another of the Gers gaffer’s old dressing room pals Kenny Miller was working for BBC radio along with ex-Ger Richard Foster. Here’s what the quartet had to say with American James Sands fortunate the referee realised his error in brandishing a second yellow card thanks to his assistant's intervention or Gers could have been in trouble.

Craig Moore

Rangers are going to go on and be so much better but it was a really professional job. They limited Union to not many chances although I’d like to have seen Rangers manage the game better towards the very end. We know how important goals are and the timing of the goals were crucial. The one just before half time, the penalty, was massive. And when the game got stuck a bit in the second half Colak getting another goal was brilliant because he worked every so hard and deserved his goal. And to get that winning goal to take Rangers through it was a professional performance. The new boys will know the expectation that comes with the football club. You’re expected to go and win football matches and this was another important step. For a very young player, Tillman could have easily disappeared but he hung in there and his goal was a fantastic jump. I’m not sure what their goalkeeper was doing but it was fantastic. It shows Tillman has great maturity. The most important thing at this stage is being in the next qualifying round. It was a fantastic result.

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  Forget McLaughlin: 22 y/o Rangers man let GvB down badly yesterday, he was a Rangers defender James Sands let Giovanni van Bronckhorst down on Tuesday night.The Gers struggled in the first leg of the qualifying match as Royale Union Saint-Gilloise strolled to a fairly comfortable win on the night.

Neil McCann

I don’t think they were at their best and there is a lot of work still to put in the team but the character is still there. It took a lot of guts and grit to grind that out. It’s good for the new boys like Colak and Tillman who have come to Rangers and feel like they’ve made an impact in such an important game because this was a massive game. Fair play to Giovanni, the boys and the support. The fans stayed with the team even though there were misplaced passes. Tom Lawrence was really effective in the second half and it sets them up with one step to the Champions League group stage. Giovanni will sit back in his manager’s chair and have a nice glass of red or beer and know that they weren’t at their best but it’s going well and they’re getting results and the new players are feeling part of it and it must be really satisfying. You could have looked at one or two negatives but the fans won’t care too much because it’s all about getting to the next round. James Sands was walking a tightrope and made three or four crucial tackles. If he got it wrong he was off the pitch. The referee almost brandished a red card but thankfully the assistant stepped in. There was a lot of risk in what he was doing but he should get a big pat in the back. I know he was taken off eventually and it should have happened earlier. He was right on the edge and he can be pleased with his performance.

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Kenny Miller

There was some sloppiness from Rangers. If it's a PSV or Monaco you may find yourself punished. Rangers have to take this energy into their league games now for me. Maybe this can be the catalyst Rangers need to get back to playing the style and type of football we've known for the past few years.

Richard Foster

When you put in a performance like they did last week in Europe and then… they didn’t struggle at the weekend, they dominated the game, but they weren’t at their fluid best and the tempo wasn’t anywhere near what we saw tonight. You want your players to react, to show you something. His players, to a man, did that tonight. Yes, there was looseness, there was slackness with certain players but we see McLaughlin make another important save. Sands was probably the only one who struggled throughout but others had bits and bobs. You just want to see a reaction and what we saw tonight compared to last week was night and day, it was like watching a different team. It was incredible. The manager said that because of the way it was last week, it had to be that tonight. But he knows they’ve got that in them, they just need to add a little bit more aggression, defensive aggression away from home. You’d hate for your away record to curtail any chance of getting to the Champions League group stage. They’re going to face a better side so they need to be able to go away from home and produce close to - and they did in Dortmund - this level tonight if they’re going to have chance.


Antonio Colak makes ludicrous Rangers snipers look silly but pre match fireworks fail to dim PSV spark - big match verdict .
The Croatia international netted his fourth goal in as many games after early season criticism as the Ibrox side head to Holland with a place in the Champions League group stage on the line. It’s not the win they were hoping for but, make no mistake, Gio van Bronckhorst’s team remain firmly in the fight for a Champions League return after 12 long years.

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