Rangers once again played out a frenzied tie with Royal Antwerp as the Ibrox side beat the Belgians 5-2 – and 9-5 on aggregate – to reach the Europa League last 16.
The victory came with the help of a first half Alfredo Morelos strike, a fine goal at the end of a fine move from Ryan Kent and two penalties – one dispatched by Borna Barisic and one dispatched by Cedric Itten.
But the headline grabbing moment of the match involves Academy kid Nathan Patterson, who battled back from the brink last week to score the club’s second goal at 1-1 this evening.
Moments after coming on for the struggling Leon Balogun, Patterson showed exactly why he is so highly thought of Ibrox as he was slipped through by Alfredo Morelos and lashed it into the far corner across the goalkeeper.
It was a fine finish, his first Rangers goal, and a strike that came at a vital moment right from at start of the second period.
Rangers had started the match with swagger and intent and largely dominated the proceedings before Lior Refaelov would net a tidy equaliser.
This was Patterson’s first match back in the squad since being involved in a high-profile Covid-19 breach at the club earlier this month.
Alongside Bongani Zungu – who made a late cameo in the match – and Calvin Bassey, Patterson apologised to the Rangers fans with that message accepted by Steven Gerrard and Ross Wilson [Rangers].
The young right-back, 19, has certainly done his chances of currying favour amongst the Rangers support no harm with the goal which set the tone for a fine second half:
Nathan Patterson 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
— Connor Marshall (@ConnorM1872) February 25, 2021
The smile Gerrard gave Patterson 🔴⚪🔵😂 pic.twitter.com/bezkgDvfbA
— Scott McCallum (@ScottMcC93) February 25, 2021
What a moment for Nathan Patterson scoring in the Europa League 👏 https://t.co/GPU1er2XoZ
— Rangers Youth Updates (@rfcyouthupdates) February 25, 2021
No way ahahahah go to all the gaffs you want son
— Brodie Donald (@brodiedonald3) February 25, 2021
— Chris Millington (@ChrisMilIington) February 25, 2021
You have redeemed yourself x
— L✨ (@_l1305) February 25, 2021
— 𝗠𝗶𝘁𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗹シ (@CM94__) February 25, 2021
Everyone who said Patterson is finished pic.twitter.com/GePBMPoCQQ
— Rangersfc1872 (@waltersmith1872) February 25, 2021
Look how much it meant to the wee man 💙💙💙
— James Thomson (@jamestomo99) February 25, 2021
All is forgiven wee man 💙
— Bramzzz (@Jbramzzz72) February 25, 2021
Redeemed himself with that one. So chuffed for him. 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏
— 𝕎𝕖 𝔸𝕣𝕖 𝕋𝕙𝕖 ℙ𝕖𝕠𝕡𝕝𝕖 (@WATPSeventyTwo) February 25, 2021
That’s how you recover from your mistakes. You apologise, you show the fans why you deserve a second chance and you put Rangers in front in a European tie.
Absolutely incredible Nathan Patterson 👏
— This Is Ibrox (@thisisibrox) February 25, 2021
Rangers will now go into the hat for tomorrow’s draw with fans eager to find out who they face next in this year’s competition.
Here’s our match report from the game as seven goals were once again scored in a rip-roaring match at Ibrox.