Rangers are through to the third qualifying round of the Europa League after a comfortable 5-0 win over Lincoln Red Imps in Gibraltar as goals from James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Jermain Defoe and an Alfredo Morelos double sent the Gers into the next round.

The Gers made six changes from the weekend win over Dundee United as Gerrard looked to give minutes to some of the players on the fringes of his regular starting XI like Greg Stewart and George Edmundson.

With Willem II awaiting the winners of the Victoria Stadium tie after beating Progres Niederkorn 5-0 on Wednesday, Gerrard’s side will face a much tougher opponent in the next round.

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Rangers had much of the early possession as Gerrard’s side shaped up with Cedric Itten playing centrally, Kemar Roofe out on the left and Stewart on the right of the front three.

Lincoln Red Imps v Rangers: UEFA Europa League Second Qualifying Round GIBRALTAR, GIBRALTAR - SEPTEMBER 17: Connor Goldson of Rangers and his teammates warm up prior to the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round match between Lincoln Red Imps and Rangers at Victoria Stadium on September 17, 2020 in Gibraltar, Gibraltar.

(Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

The first real chance for the Gers came 11 minutes in through Itten when the Borna Barisic’s free-kick was almost nodded in by the Swiss striker but the Ibrox new boy couldn’t quite get on the end of it and open the scoring.

Roofe was next to go close after a brilliant run behind the defence from Itten was picked out by Arfield the played into the former Anderlecht star but the Red Imps keeper saved well.

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Rangers took the lead just moments later through James Tavernier after the skipper fired home a fantastic effort as the pressure started to really tell on the hosts.

Ianis Hagi was causing real problems for the Red Imps defence and won a second dangerous free-kick 25 yards out and Tavernier fired it into the top corner to give the Gers a deserved lead.

The hosts had nothing in response and found themselves pinned back in their own half as the Gers worked the ball around patiently and looked for gaps to exploit and double their advantage.

With the opening 45 ticking down there was yet another injury blow for Rangers as Roofe limped off seven minutes before the break to add to the ever-growing injury list at Ibrox.

There wasn’t a surprise change as Gerrard brought Nathan Patterson and pushed Tavernier into a more advanced position and hand the teenager some minutes and a chance to impress.

Connor Goldson made it 2-0 in stoppage time at the end of the opening 45, stooping to head home another Barisic free-kick and put the Light Blues in the driving seat.

 

Gerrard made one change at the break, replacing James Tavernier with Alfredo Morelos as the Colombian looked to force his way back into the starting XI with an impressive performance after being on the bench in recent weeks.

Rangers started the second half looking eager to further increase their lead and saw the Gers playing at a much higher tempo than they had before the break.

Nathan Patterson and Itten were both seeing lots of the ball and causing problems for the Red Imps but the Light Blues couldn’t take advantage and make it 3-0.

There was a scare for Rangers when McGregor was called into action from a free-kick when Edmundson got a shout and left the ball only for it to fall to a Red Imps player.

Lincoln Red Imps v Rangers: UEFA Europa League Second Qualifying Round GIBRALTAR, GIBRALTAR - SEPTEMBER 17: Roy Chipolina of Lincoln Red Imps battles for possession with Ianis Hagi of Rangers during the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round match between Lincoln Red Imps and Rangers at Victoria Stadium on September 17, 2020 in Gibraltar, Gibraltar.

(Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

With 25 minutes left, Alfredo Morelos added his name to the scoresheet with a simple finish from Barisic’s free-kick after Hagi was brought down again.

The Colombian had been fairly quiet for the 20 minutes before scoring before doing what he does best and netting from close range after the Croatian’s free-kick was played across goal by Stewart and left him with the goal at his mercy.

The third goal was nothing less than Rangers’ play deserved after the restart and the Gers took their foot off the gas and looked to see the game through to the end.

There were more goals to come for the Gers despite taking it a bit easier when Jermain Defoe grabbed his first goal of the season, picking up on a loose ball in the box and rifling home from inside the area before Morelos dinked one over the keeper to make it 5-0 and round off the win.

The Light Blues travel to Easter Road on Sunday before facing Willem II in the Netherlands, giving the Gers’ their most important week of the season so far.

Rangers: McGregor; Tavernier, Edmundson, Goldson, Hagi, Itten, Kamara, Stewart, Roofe, Barisic, Arfield.

Subs: McLaughlin, Helander, Defoe, Davis, Kent, Patterson, Morelos.

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