Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos fired the Gers to a 1-0 win over Lech Poznan in the Europa League and level Ally McCoist as the club’s all-time record goalscorer in Europe with 21 goals – as the Light Blues recorded their fourteenth clean sheet in seventeen games.

 Gers boss Steven Gerrard sprung a surprise or two with his starting XI, leaving Alfredo Morelos on the bench alongside Ryan Jack and Filip Helander while handing starts to Kemar Roofe, Steven Davis and Leon Balogun.

It was a slightly tepid start from both sides before Rangers started to take control of the came and look to carve out some chances to open the scoring – Ianis Hagi passing up the best of the early opportunities when Roofe spun free from his man, picked out the Romanian but Hagi couldn’t direct his shot on target.

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After his heroics in the last Europa League game against Standard, Gers fans thought Roofe was going to burst the net when he got a header badly wrong before opting for the spectacular and missing rather than leaving the ball for the oncoming Kent.

There was an uncharacteristic wobble from Allan McGregor when Goldson elected to return his pass from a goal-kick with McGregor inexplicably putting the ball out for a corner.

Poznan didn’t look to have a huge amount to offer in the game but the Gers seemed to be a bit out of sorts and were lacking the urgency and ruthlessness they’ve shown in recent games.

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With just minutes to go until the break, Steven Davis came close to breaking the deadlock after a really clever pass from Hagi found the veteran in acres of space but he couldn’t connect properly and scuffed his shot into the ground before firing the rebound high into the Broomloan Road stand.

As his side trudged off at the break, Gerrard will have been left pondering how his side were still level despite never really excelling, with the Gers looking more like their usual selves closer to half time.

There was an early scare after the restart for the Gers when Poznan had their best chance of the game as a dangerous ball flashed across goal with McGregor looking beaten.

The Light Blues were out under added pressure with Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun both picking up yellow cards within the first five minutes of the restart as Poznan looked to snatch a lead.

As the hour mark approached, it became clear Rangers needed to add some fresh legs and introduce some of his substitutes – and the Gers boss must have been of a similar mind with Alfredo Morelos brought on in place of Kemar Roofe.

 

Rangers looked really skittish in the final third and seemed to struggle to string any more than a few passes forward before the move would frustratingly break down.

Scott Arfield and Glen Kamara would do excellent work in the middle of the park winning the ball and moving it on quickly but Hagi and Kent, in particular, making a number of silly mistakes.

Five minutes after coming off the bench, Morelos done what he does best and headed the Gers into the lead; getting onto the end of an excellent cross from Barisic to draw level with Ally McCoist on 21 European goals.

In the wake of the goal, Gerrard made his second change of the night, bringing Joe Aribo on for Hagi.

Morelos’ introduction suddenly had Rangers looking more like their usual selves, moving the ball around well and making Lech work to find a way back into the game.

With another three points in sight, Rangers looked to see the game out with Gerrard again turning to his bench and bringing Ryan Jack and Brandon Barker on for the final ten minutes, Scott Arfield and Ryan Kent making way.

Arfield’s drive and energy in midfield was again vital for the Gers and the Canadian has made himself a key man for the Light Blues over the last few weeks.

Despite a late spell of possession, Lech couldn’t find a away to grab an equaliser and draw themselves level, allowing Rangers to join Benfica on six points ahead of next week’s clash in Lisbon.

Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic, Davis, Kamara, Arfield, Hagi, Kent, Roofe

Subs: McLaughlin, Bassey, Helander, Jack, Itten, Zungu, Patterson, Barker, Aribo, Morelos, Stewart, Barjonas

Lech Poznan: Bednarek, Czerwinski, Satka, Rogne, Kravets, Skoras, Moder, Marchwinski, Puchacz, Ramirez, Ishak

Subs: Malencia, Muhar, Sykora, Dejewski, Kachavara, Awwad, Klups

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