Steven Gerrard will take charge of his 50th European game as Rangers manager on Thursday night when the Light Blues welcome Ligue 1 side Lyon to Ibrox in the Europa League – and Gerrard’s trusted lieutenant Michael Beale has picked out his favourite game of the 49 so far.
Since first lining up against FC Shkupi in his maiden game as Rangers boss in July 2018, Gerrard has led Rangers to 25 wins, 16 draws and 8 defeats, recording an incredible 23 clean sheets and guiding the Gers to the last 16 of the Europa League in back-to-back seasons.
Beale has been a massive part of that and the former Chelsea and Liverpool coach has singled out his favourite of a lengthy list of games that includes some outstanding results and performances, both at home and away, in Europe.
“We played very well that night and should have won the game (in my opinion), It was a night that accelerated our team’s development by 20/30% as we grew in belief and confidence at this level against a really high-quality opponent.
“We underlined that just a few weeks later when we beat Porto in the return game at Ibrox 2-0. The most important games where the ones that got us qualification to the group stages each season against UFA, Legia Warsaw, Galatasaray and Alashkert both in terms of future growth opportunities and exposure it gave us as a group/club but also the finances it has generated for the club to continue to build.”
The draw away to Porto was an outstanding result and Alfredo Morelos’ goal in Portugal is one Rangers fans will remember for quite a while.
Beale’s influence on Gerrard and his coaching can’t be understated and the well-travelled coach deserves plenty of plaudits for the way the Ibrox management team have turned the Gers around since the nightmare of Progres Niederkorn under Pedro.
Thursday’s meeting with Lyon will probably be Rangers’ toughest European test so far under Gerrard and three points against the French side will turn a personal milestone into a fantastic night for the club.