Rapid Wien 1-0 Rangers: Gers suffer a painful loss to bow out of Europa League
Rangers failed to reach the last-32 stage of the Europa League when they lost a virtual knockout game against Rapid Wien in Austria. Dejan Ljubicic scored the only goal of the game for the home side six minutes from time to settle the tie.
Steven Gerrard’s men needed to win this game by any margin, as a draw wouldn’t have been enough. Both teams struggled to really create many chances on a rough pitch, however, Conor Goldson hit the bar twice to epitomise the lack of luck the Gers were carrying in this match.
Then the home side goalkeeper Richard Strebinger saved from James Tavernier, before substitute Ljubicic slid in the winner. Rangers then threw men forward in search of the winning goal. Allan McGregor’s poor kick enabled the hosts to pick up possession and with an incisive pass, they cut through the visitors’ back line. Dejan Ljubicic then put the icing on the cake.
For Gerrard’s men, apart from Goldson hitting the bar and Tavernier having a pop at goal, they struggled to create chances. As a result, they got desperate as the clock was reaching the full time mark but couldn’t harness much.
This was their second defeat in 14 Europa League games in a campaign that started from the first qualifying round back in July. It was disappointment in the end for the Scottish club. It was their back line which got exposed again at the wrong time in the game. This time though, the mistake was started by the keeper.
Here’s how the Rangers fans reacted on twitter after the painful loss:
Some of the responses here are embarrassing, if you’d have told me at the beginning of the season that we’d even qualify for the groups I’d have laughed in your face, delighted with the progress that’s been made this season, long may it continue 🇬🇧
— Peter Langley (@PeterLangley1) December 13, 2018
Chin up lads. Group stages of the Europa League is a big achievement for a Club that didn’t exist a few years ago. 👏
— Tighearnán Ua Ruairc (@OneEyedORourke) December 13, 2018
We done well getting to the group’s, unlucky need to really pick up for the next few games before the winter break
— Saffron rhys (@rhyslwalker) December 13, 2018
Fun while it lasted, never expected to get anywhere near as far as this. Now time to focus on getting 55 in the bag
— Gavin Blain (@GBlain89) December 13, 2018
Unlucky Rangers, proud of how far we’ve came in such a short period of time, onwards and upwards 🇬🇧
— Mark Larmour (@marklarmour94) December 13, 2018