Rangers reach Champions League after monumental PSV showing

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Rangers reach Champions League after monumental PSV showing

Rangers have beaten PSV to quality for the Champions League group stages for the first time since 2010 in an emotional night in Eindhoven.

The Gers put in a phenomenal, disciplined performance to a man and were well worth the 1-0 victory, the goal coming courtesy of Antonio Colak amid numerous striker subplots.

The Croatian forward netted a double against Rangers last season with Malmo to send the club out of the Champions League whilst all the talk pre-match was about Alfredo Morelos.

But whilst the Colombian sits at home, it is Colak who was there to tap the ball into an empty net after the impressive Malik Tilman pounced on PSV defender Andre Ramalho in the Dutch club’s box.

The strike midway through the second half proved to be a decisive one for Rangers and knocked the stuffing out of PSV Eindhoven who never showed the belief from this point to get back in the game.

Rangers good value for PSV victory

Rangers had the best of the first half and impressed in a solid 35-minute display which had the club coming close through John Lundstram and also testing the keeper through Ryan Kent.

There was an assuredness and determination about this Rangers showing, the Ibrox side seemingly motivated by cocky pre-match comments from within the PSV camp and the behaviour of the Dutch club’s fans heading into the game.

Supporters let fireworks off outside the Rangers hotel through the night and also delayed the Ibrox club getting into the stadium pre-match, the Gers having their request for a delay to kick off turned down and Giovanni van Bronckhorst describing the scenes as the worst he’s seen in football.

PSV Eindhoven did carry threat; Luuk de Jong forced Jon McLaughlin, another impressive performer on the night, into a first half save whilst Cody Gakpo really should’ve had the Dutch side ahead before half time but scooped the ball over the bar.

Rangers were also handed a boost after half-time in that PSV captain de Jong, a physical, goalscoring presence up front, came back out to sit on the bench with his leg bandaged having been subbed for Xavi Simons.

Photo by Raymond Smit/NESImages/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Rangers were steely and focused throughout, and perhaps could’ve been ahead themselves not long after the restart as Tom Lawrence sent a curling effort off the underside of the bar.

 Jon McLaughlin was then tested again later in the half after Rangers had taken the lead through Tillman but truth be told, PSV began to look like a beaten team from this point.

Rangers were monumental to a man here with James Sands – a player who is improving by the game – putting in a Man of the Match performance.

But the likes of Connor Goldson, who has come in for criticism as of late, was commanding in the air in his own box with John Lundstram, Malik Tillman and of course Antonio Colak deserving of special mention.

Rangers players make history with Champions League qualification

This is a monumental moment in the history of Rangers Football Club with qualification for the Champions League for many the final destination to complete the so-called journey.

From the bottom of Scottish football Rangers have risen to the top of the game and with this Group Stage qualification the entire feeling around the club will change.

Rangers’ immense work in Europe has offered the club’s Premiership rivals greater opportunities in Europe and heading into the game there was a real pressure on us to deliver here for the prestige of the competition over the Europa League.

The reported £40m that goes to the victor will also go a long way to adding quality to the squad this summer with Rangers perhaps still a few players short of their full complement.

Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

But for now this is about enjoying the moment for Rangers fans, the club’s support salivating at the thought of some of the biggest names in world football returning to Ibrox.

I must admit, like many I had nerves and doubts heading into this match but this stands as a quite simply huge moment that can both kickstart our campaign and transform the club.

Well done to Giovanni van Bronckhorst, the Rangers players and staff, and to the club’s support, who’ve never once wavered in their commitment to Rangers even in the club’s darkest hour.

The Champions League is coming back to Ibrox.

Meanwhile, the childhood dreams of legions of bluenoses is set to be realised after the club announce their latest partnership.