There was a feeling after last Thursday’s defeat in Vienna, that although not the end of the world, it constituted a missed opportunity for Rangers.
Rapid’s fans put on a good show, and their team were organised. Yet, they clearly aren’t a top European outfit.
Languishing in 8th in the Austrian Bundesliga, their poor domestic form suggests they were there for the taking.
You might expect that qualifying for the last 32 of the Europa League would breathe new confidence into the team. However, the result from the weekend’s big derby match suggests otherwise.
On Sunday, Rapid were thrashed 6-1 by Austria Vienna, their fiercest rivals.
The scores were actually tied at 1-1 after half an hour. But, a red card for the match winner against Rangers, Dejan Ljubicic, saw the tide turn.
Reduced to ten men, Rapid simply capitulated. They conceded three goals in eight minutes after the dismissal and shipped two more after the break, including an own goal from Mateo Barac.
For Rangers, this hammering shows just how brittle an opponent stood between them and knockout European football.
Still clearly bereft of confidence, rather than galvanising their defence, Ljubicic’s red card prompted Rapid to give up altogether.
It just shows the fine lines in football. Had Connor Goldson’s 20th minute header found the top corner instead of the crossbar, maybe it would have triggered a similar collapse.
In reality, all this result does, is serve to embarrass the Gers.