After Rangers dumped Royal Antwerp 9-5 on aggregate, the entire tie was dominated by one man.
Across the double-header against the Belgians, we saw Alfredo Morelos not only return to his bruising, battering best up top, but we also seen the stark development in his game realised in a team playing with verve, confidence, and swagger.
Morelos is the focal point of the side with his deep-lying forward play instinctive and creative, something summed up by the fact he had a hand in eight of the nine goals.
El Bufalo might only have scored one himself but he was in frightening form across the two legs as the Prince of the Europa League threatens to become the tournament’s King.
The performances of Morelos across the two ties have earned plaudits aplenty with Steven Gerrard describing his game on Thursday as a performance of “all-round quality” [BT Sport].
What’s clear is that even this season the Rangers striker has taken a big step in his development and as a solitary striker, there are not many at Europa League level who can do what Morelos does.
Rangers – a team full of young talent and a togetherness the envy of sides across Europe – are a considerably better team with Morelos heading them up.
The striker symbolises so much of what is good about this side, his work ethic, in-game intelligence, and talent a microcosm of the fluid style which Steven Gerrard and his cohorts have built.
In this set of matches, Morelos showed why Rangers knocked back £16m for the striker [Daily Mail] and why reports consistently suggest the club wants £20m.
But for me, that was Morelos of last season, and matches such as those against Royal Antwerp prove that he’s a better player than even that price-tag would suggest.
Kieran Tierney’s £25m transfer to Arsenal from Celtic [BBC Sport] stands as Scottish transfer record and it’s likely to remain for a while as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But if football wasn’t penny-pinching and Rangers were entertaining bids for the player in a Covid-free landscape, then £25m+ is a snip for a striker who is gobbling up European defences at will.
Morelos was applauded for his sportsmanship in the aftermath of the game in comments which shame Scottish football’s coverage of the striker.