Rangers are through to the last 16 of the Europa League after James Tavernier’s double helped the Gers secure a 2-2 draw on the night and a 6-4 aggregate triumph over Borussia Dortmund.

The Light Blues only made one change from the weekend draw with Dundee United as Calvin Bassey returned to the side at the expense of Filip Helander; the Sweden international left out of the Gers’ European squad.

With the smoke from the pre-match pyro still hovering over the Ibrox pitch, the atmosphere inside the stadium was electric as the Rangers support got right behind the Gers.

It was Rangers who created the first chance of the game, Morelos getting on the end of James Tavernier’s free-kick from wide on the Sandy Jardine Stand side of the pitch but El Bufalo could only watch as his header flew over the bar and into the fans behind the goal.

There was a narrow escape just a moment later as the Rangers defence fell asleep, allowing Bellingham to ghost in and see his effort hit the post before eventually being cleared as the Gers survived the early scare.

As Rangers looked to take control of the game, the Bundesliga side looked to try and nullify the threat of Ryan Kent, doubling up on the wideman, with Thomas Meunier making a couple of cynical challenges on Kent without a booking.

There was a weak claim for a penalty from the visitors 15 minutes in, Hazard going down under a challenge from Lundstram but there was nothing in it and play continued.

Dortmund would start to increase the pressure as they looked for a way back into the tie and a string of corners for the Bundesliga side had Rangers fans terrified that their lead would be cut in half.

Just as the Germans seemed to be in the ascendancy, it was Penalty To Rangers time.

Kent drove across the edge of the area before being tripped and the focus, like last week, turned to James Tavernier from 12 yards out.

Just like last week, there was the same outcome as Tavernier made it 1-0 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate, leaving the Rangers fans bouncing away.

Dortmund were going to have to go all-out to get back into the tie and Rangers had Allan McGregor to thank when he made a fantastic reaction save from Brandt after some excellent work by Bellingham to fashion the chance.

If the Rangers fans needed anything from the players to show them that the players weren’t taking the win for granted, Scott Arfield’s crunching challenge to win the ball in the middle of the park showed just how up for it van Bronckhorst’s players were.

However, right on the stroke of the half-hour, Dortmund grabbed a lifeline through Jude Bellingham after some poor defending by Connor Goldson saw the Rangers star get his clearance wrong.

That saw the ball fall kindly for his compatriot before he cooly fired beyond McGregor.

There was some concern for Barisic and Meunier after the Croatian accidentally caught the Dortmund defender in the head with his knee before the France international was, surprisingly, allowed to continue; Barisic also shrugging off the knock to continue.

Rangers FC v Borussia Dortmund: Knockout Round Play-Offs Leg Two - UEFA Europa League
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers should have made it 2-1 on 35 minutes when Arfield drove at Kobel and opted to shoot when it looked like he should have squared it to Kent, allowing Dortmund to clear the danger after Arfield’s initial shot was charged down.

John Lundstram showed all of his experience just before the interval, picking up a booking for a clever foul as Dortmund broke at speed with Rangers heavily committed in attack.

The Bundesliga giants were again putting the pressure on as Rangers tried to cling on and get to the break still level and there was a growing tension in the air as the Germans went through the gears.

Rangers’ defensive frailties again came to the fore just minutes before the break as Dortmund took the lead on the might, Malen scoring a lovely finish after some really shocking attempts at defending from the Light Blues.

Connor Goldson in particular looked all over the place trying to clear the ball, half-heartedly trying to block the initial ball into the area before making a mess of trying to win it a second time before Malen fired home.

The Light Blues had nobody but themselves to blame for going behind and you sensed that Dortmund could score with every attack such was the change in momentum.

That was also reflected in the stands, with the only noise coming from the 3000 Dortmund fans in the far corner as the Rangers support watched on with grim looks.

As the teams made their way off, van Bronckhorst’s side knew they faced a massive 45 minutes if their European adventure was to continue – and it was clear there needed to be improvements after the break.

Rangers would make a change at half-time, Leon Balogun coming on for Borna Barisic – with Dortmund replacing Meunier with Wolf for the second 45.

That would mean Calvin Bassey moving out to left-back and John Lundstram dropping into a three-man central defence as the Light Blues looked to get through the second half without surrendering their one-goal aggregate lead.

Shortly after the restart, Rangers almost broke through to get level on the night when Morelos did well to outmuscle Hummels and chase a long ball from Balogun, forcing a save from Kobel at his near post.

Whatever was said in the dressing-room at the break appeared to have had the desired effect as the Gers were snapping into challenges and putting the visitors under pressure in their own half.

The change in Rangers’ shape seemed to be causing problems for the Germans too, and ten minutes after the restart, James Tavernier was once again the hero for Rangers.

Fantastic work down the left saw Bassey’s cross leave Hummels on his backside before Tavernier rifled the ball home from inside the area to blow the roof off Ibrox and restore Rangers’ two-goal aggregate cushion.

Then with 24 minutes left, the ball was in the back of the net again as Rangers went 3-2 ahead through Ryan Kent.

However, just to add to the drama, there was a lengthy VAR review after Emre Can pleaded there had been a foul on him by Morelos in the build-up and when the official finally agreed it was as all the air had been sucked out of Ibrox.

The disappointment of seeing their third goal disallowed seemed to knock van Bronckhorst’s side off their stride a little, allowing Dortmund to get themselves forward and have a couple of half-chances at goal.

It wasn’t to last though and Rangers would find themselves back on top as the game entered the final 15 minutes.

It was quickly becoming clear that the Bundesliga side didn’t have enough to turn the game around and as the minutes ticked down, the noise ramped up as anticipation built for the final whistle.

When the final whistle did go, the noise was deafening as the Gers now turn their attention to tomorrow’s last 16 draw.

Rangers: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic; Arfield, Lundstram, Jack; Aribo, Morelos, Kent.
Subs: McLaughlin, McCrorie, Amad, Davis, Kamara, Sands, Wright, Roofe, Balogun, Sakala, King, Lowry.

Dortmund: Kobel; Can, Hummels, Schulz; Hazard, Bellingham, Dahoud, Meunier; Brandt, Reus, Malen.Subs: Unbehaun, Hitz, Guerriro, Moukoko, Reiner, Tigges, Witsel, Passlack, Pongracic, Wolf.

Meanwhile, Motherwell manager Graham Alexander expects one of his stars to be fit to face Rangers on Sunday

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