Rangers boss Michael Beale has admitted that his team “couldn’t handle” PSV stars Luuk de Jong and Ismael Saibari in the club’s devastating Champions League defeat.

Both players were instrumental as Rangers fell to a confidence-sapping 5-1 defeat in Eindhoven and dropped into the Europa League for the season.

The Gers side were outclassed by a superior team for large chunks of the game with suicidal defending and a criminal lack of concentration compounding the club’s misery.

Ismael Saibari was instrumental for PSV, the young Moroccan attacking midfielder netting twice before James Tavernier pulled one back for Rangers.

Ex-Barcelona striker Luuk de Jong would then add his second goal of the tie seconds later, rising unchallenged to head past Jack Butland, before Joey Veerman and a calamitous Connor Goldson own goal rubbed salt in Rangers’ wounds.

PSV v Rangers - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Off
Photo by Rene Nijhuis/BSR Agency\Getty Images

Michael Beale singles out PSV pair Ismael Saibari and Luuk de Jong

With PSV Eindhoven progressing to the Champions League group stages for the first time in four years, and avenging last season’s Playoff defeat to Rangers, the Ibrox side’s futile resistance has sparked major concerns amongst supporters.

Speaking after the PSV defeat, Michael Beale conceded that his Rangers team were beaten by a better side and singled out Luuk de Jong and Ismael Saibari for special praise.

“I think we played against an excellent team over two legs,” said Michael Beale.

“Obviously we scored three goals over the two games so we’re bitterly disappointed with the way we defended at times.

“When we get the game back to 2-1 you put a little intrigue in the air but to go and concede straight away.

“I thought the story of the two legs was that we couldn’t handle (Ismael) Saibari and (Luuk) De Jong.

“As a team, in everything that we tried, we couldn’t handle them.

“In times in the second half tonight we had to go for it and we actually had opportunities in the second half to score more goals.

“But I think that it’s clear to everyone over the two games that PSV go through and they’re an excellent team.”

UEFA Champions League Play-offs, 2nd legPSV Eindhoven v Rangers FC
Photo by ANP via Getty Images

Following the defeat to PSV Eindhoven, Rangers drop into the Europa League group stages with Michael Beale’s side finding out their opponents on Friday.

The Ibrox side will be seeded in pot 2 of the competition unless Sparta Prague can overturn a 3-1 deficit and knock Dinamo Zagreb out of the competition.

This would bump Rangers up to Pot 1 and help them avoid the biggest teams in the competition.

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