As Rangers fell to a 2-0 home defeat to Lyon at Ibrox, Steven Gerrard took solace in the fact that this was only the Europa League Group A opener.

Ligue 1 Lyon are perhaps an outside bet to win the tournament and there is no doubt that Rangers will scarcely face more equipped competition even in the latter stages.

Lyon are a Champions League team with Champions League investment and it speaks volumes the Gers were able to hold their own against them for much of the proceedings.

Not only that, but Rangers’ status in the competition beyond Christmas is more likely to be determined by results against the other sides in their group rather than those against the Ligue 1 side.

As Gerrard pointed out, there are still 15 points to play for this season with 12 of those against Czech club Sparta Prague and Danish Champions Brondby.


Next up for Rangers is a trip to the Czech Republic to face Sparta but how did these two sides fare against each other in Group A’s other game this week?

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Well, things probably couldn’t have gone any better for Rangers with both sides playing out a 0-0 draw in Copenhagen.

Sparta appear to have dominated the chances but there was little to separate the two sides and this is a sizeable boost for Rangers heading into Europa League matchday 2 in Group A.

This means that whilst the Gers currently sit bottom, having played the group’s top seeds they can take hold of that second-place spot with some positive results in the coming matches.

One player who has been taking much criticism in the wake of the Lyon result has been defended by Steven Gerrard as a challenge is set for the midfielder.

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