Rangers recorded a massive 2-0 win over Porto thanks to goals from Alfredo Morelos and Steven Davis on a fantastic night for the Light Blues at a packed Ibrox.
A poor opening 45 minutes will quickly be forgotten after two goals in a matter of minutes saw the Gers go level at the top of Group G with Young Boys, leaving Feyenoord and Porto trailing three points behind.
The Gers made one change to the side that faced Hearts at Hampden at the weekend with Brandon Barker replacing Sheyi Ojo but it was the omission of Niko Katic that caused some controversy among fans.
Rangers had Glen Kamara to thank for keeping the scores level after only seven minutes when he cleared off the line as the Gers endured a nervy start.
The Light Blues started to find some confidence as the first-half wore on but were far too wasteful in possession as the Portuguese side looked to frustrate them.
With the game going from end to end, there were chances for both sides and Allan McGregor was called into action as he pulled off a phenomenal save to deny Suarez’s header from close-range.
There was little doubt that Porto were the better side in the opening 45 and it was clear that Gerrard’s players were happy to get to the break and give them a chance to regroup and reorganise.
Despite how poor Rangers had been in the first half, Porto never really looked that likely to score – beyond the chance Kamara cleared off the line and both sides went in level at the turnaround.
Rangers started the more brightly of the two sides after the break as they looked to pick up a sixth win over Portuguese opposition at Ibrox in UEFA competition.
Ryan Kent’s drive across goal was the best of the early chances as the winger really grew into the game and started causing some real problems for the Porto defence.
Gerrard turned to his subs with 25 minutes left as he replaced Brandon Barker with Scott Arfield looking for a goal – and there wasn’t long to wait.
There was only one man who was going to score and Morelos done what does best when he lashed a cross home from Jack with his left foot.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) November 7, 2019
It was the Colombian’s 21st goal of the season and was an absolutely fantastic finish from Scotland’s best player before he turned creator for Steven Davis a few minutes later.
The Ulsterman was picked out on the edge of the box by Morelos and he drove the ball beyond the keeper with the aid of a slight deflection to put the Gers in a comfortable position with 15 minutes left.
With the win looking secure, Gerrard again turned to his subs as he introduced Jermain Defoe and Joe Aribo within moments of each other for Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent – with Morelos getting an wonderful ovation as he left the pitch having helped seal the win.
Here is how Steven Gerrard’s side performed against Porto:
Allan McGregor – 7
Saved by Kamara early on after he came charging out at a corner. Kicking was pretty scrappy early on but got better. Didn’t have a huge amount to do despite Porto’s pressure. Incredible first-half save from Suarez. Barely involved in the second half as Rangers took control of the game.
James Tavernier – 6
Couple crazy moments of defending in the first half but managed to get away with it. Tried to get forward but had little joy down the flank for long spells. Kept working hard and pushing others on despite not having the greatest game himself.
Connor Goldson – 6
Solid enough from the Englishman but far from totally convincing. Like many others, his passing was well off at times and looked to be a bit panicked. Took a sore one when he was caught in the face by a flailing arm. Cleared off the line to keep the scores level after 65 minutes.
Filip Helander – 6
Continued alongside Goldson in defence and didn’t look as composed as he has recently. Let himself get dragged out of position a bit too regularly.
Borna Barisic – 7
Croatian left-back constantly tried to power down the left but was also solid defensively as the Gers struggled to get going in the opening 15 minutes. Wrongly booked as the referee dished out a spate of yellow cards in a ten-minute spell.
Glen Kamara – 7
Fantastic early clearance stopped Porto from taking the lead from a corner after seven minutes. Composed performance and was always offering an out-ball for his team-mates and blocking runners. Such a tidy player then he’s on his game.
Steven Davis – 7
Struggled to get involved early on as Porto put under the cosh before growing into the game. As Rangers took control of the game, Davis really started to impress and scored the second with a fantastic strike.
Ryan Jack – 7
Had to make some important challenges in the early stages as the Gers struggled to contain Porto before getting to focus more on pushing forward as the Gers grew into the game. Brilliant cross for Morelos’ goal.
Brandon Barker – 5
Well off the pace after his surprise start and really should have done much better. Far from the only player to struggle in the the first half but never really got going after the break either. Replaced by Scott Arfield with 25 minutes left.
Ryan Kent – 7
In and out of the game early on but really started to impose himself after the break as Rangers upped the pressure in search of the opening goal. Two chances after the break as the Gers went close to scoring. Replaced by Aribo late on.
Alfredo Morelos – 8
Frustrating night for the Colombian as chances were few and far between for him and El Buffalo was left fighting for scraps. When he did get a chance though, he did what he does best and scored. Taken off to a hero’s reception to be replaced by Defoe.
Substitutes: Scott Arfield (4) Replaced the disappointing Barker. Joe Aribo (3) Took over from Ryan Kent. Jermain Defoe (3) Late replacement for Morelos.