Rangers booked a Europa League playoff clash with Legia Warsaw after seeing off FC Midtjylland with a dominant 3-1 win at Ibrox thanks to a double from Alfredo Morelos and Sheyi Ojo.
Gerrard made three changes to the side that smashed six past Hibs on Sunday as Glen Kamara, Scott Arfield and Alfredo Morelos came back into the starting XI at the expense of Joe Aribo, Jordan Jones and Jermain Defoe.
There was an early scare for Rangers when Anderson’s shot was inches away from creeping in at the back post after he got away from Connor Goldson and fired across goal but the Gers got a little bit of luck and it went the wrong side of Allan McGregor’s upright.
Scott Arfield picked out Sheyi Ojo with a fantastic pass down the left and the on-loan Liverpool man’s cross picked out Morelos who fired home to
The goal took a lot of the pace out of the game as the Danes realised it was over for them but Gerrard’s side continued to work really well both in and out of possession.
With seven minutes left until the break, it was 2-0 as Arfield, Ojo and Morelos combined again with the Canadian showing fantastic tenacity to drive through the Midtjylland defence before slipping in Morelos on the left.
The Colombian’s touch let him down a little before he squared it to Ojo and he rolled it into the net and make it 6-2 on aggregate.
After a 15-minute breather, Rangers picked up where they left off and it only took three minutes for the scoreline to be extended as Morelos grabbed his second of the night.
Ojo worked his way through the Midtjylland defence as they tried – and failed – to play the offside trap before he sent the ball to Morelos who blasted it past the keeper.
The Danes almost pulled a goal back but for an incredible save by McGregor to deny them what looked like a certain goal.
Despite barely being involved, McGregor’s reactions were lightning-quick as he looked for a fourth clean sheet this season.
Midtjylland finally got a goal after capitalising on a poor ball by Jon Flanagan before Evander Da Silva Ferreira fired beyond McGregor.
Rangers started to look a little bit tired at times and the Danes tried to capitalise without ever really having any clear chances to cut the deficit.
With a 7-3 aggregate lead, it was just a matter of playing out the remaining time before the Gers’ playoff place was confirmed and the Light Blues saw out the finale with no issues to set themselves up to face Legia Warsaw for a place in the group stages.
Here’s how the Rangers players performed against FC Midtjylland:
Allan McGregor – 7
Didn’t have much to do as Rangers dominated the ball but pulled off an incredible save midway through the second half. Little bit busier as the game went on.
James Tavernier – 7
Captain was a bit more reserved than usual but solid defensively. Booked in the first half for a fairly innocuous foul.
Niko Katic – 8
Won everything in the air – although made it tough for McGregor with one – and had another impressive night. Easy to see why he’s keeping Filip Helander out of the side.
Connor Goldson – 7
Beaten early on but settled into another composed performance alongside Katic. Looks to have formed a good partnership with Katic and manages the defence well.
Jon Flanagan – 6
The former Liverpool man looks to have nailed himself as first-choice at left-back and played well enough without ever excelling. Mistake led to Midtjylland’s goal.
Ryan Jack – 8
Slightly more defensive role as he looked to nullify Midtjylland’s wing-back and really impressed. Meshed well alongside Arfield and Tavernier on the right side. Replaced by Greg Docherty after 68 minutes.
Steven Davis – 8
There’s little went through the Rangers midfield that Davis wasn’t involved in. It’s only a shame that Davis is nearer to 40 than the is 30 as he’s a joy to watch.
Glen Kamara – 8
Pointing out the fact that Rangers got Kamara for £50,000 is becoming an over-used line – but the fact the Gers got him so cheaply is still ridiculous. Finnish international is such an intelligent player and makes everything look simple.
Sheyi Ojo – 8
Two assists and a goal as the on-loan Liverpool winger put in his most effective performance for the Gers so far. Really impressive night and showed why there’s a lot of expectation surrounding him. Replaced by Jordan Jones with 22 minutes left.
Scott Arfield – 9
Covered almost every blade of grass on the pitch and was unplayable. His pass in the build up to the opening goal and tenacity for the second sum up everything that’s brilliant about the Canadian international captain.
Alfredo Morelos – 8
‘Big Buff’s’ double made him the 11th player in the club’s history to score more than 10 European goals. Was bullying defenders from the first minute but not everything came off for him. Can only imagine how many goals he could hit this season. Taken off with ten minutes left.
Substitutes: Greg Docherty (6), Jordan Jones (6), Jermain Defoe (6)