Rangers host Croatian outfit Osijek at Ibrox on Thursday night, looking to continue their journey in the Europa League, with a 1-0 lead from the first leg to defend.

The dream for everyone connected with the club is that these laborious early rounds make way for an exciting run into the knockout rounds of the competition at the turn of the year, making new European memories along the way.

With those aspirations still a way off, we have decided to look back at the best five European nights in Ibrox history, while hoping to have another historic night to add to the list by the end of the 2018/19 campaign…

Rangers 2-0 Bayern Munich – 1972

En route to winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1972, Rangers were drawn against the mighty Bavarians in the semi-finals, but escaped the first leg in Germany trailing by just a one-goal deficit.

The German outfit, containing Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeness, were greeted to a raucous reception at Ibrox for the second leg, and within a minute, Sandy Jardine had put Rangers 1-0 in front on the night with a finish from 20 yards.

It was to get even better on 22 minutes, when young Derek Parlane put the Gers ahead on aggregate, sparking an on-pitch argument between Beckenbauer and goalkeeper Sepp Maier, and the Germans were unable to recover.

Rangers 2-1 Leeds – 1992

Back in the days before the disparities in financial power pushed English and Scottish football poles apart, Rangers came out on top in this hotly-contested battle of Britain.

A Leeds side containing Eric Cantona took the lead at Ibrox after just one minute through Gary McCallister, but the Gers turned the tables thanks to an own goal from goalkeeper John Lukic and Ally McCoist’s winner, to earn a narrow lead to take down south for the second leg of the Champions League second round encounter.

At Elland Road, Rangers produced a brilliant display, again winning 2-1 to spark a journey that perhaps deserved to end in a shot at the final against AC Milan.

Rangers 2-0 Parma – 1999

25 Aug 1999: Dick Advocaat the Rangers Manager during the Champions” League, Third Round, Second Leg match between Parma and Rangers at Ennio Tardini Stadium, Parma, Italy. Parma won the game 1-0, but Rangers progressed winning with a 2-1 aggregate score. Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill /Allsport

In the 1998/1999 season, Parma knocked Rangers out of the UEFA Cup in the third round en route to winning the competition, but Dick Advocaat’s side avenged that 4-2 aggregate defeat in the Champions League qualifiers the campaign after.

Tony Vidmar and Claudio Reyna bagged the goals as the Gers made the most of Fabio Cannavaro’s first-half red card to secure a 2-0 first-leg win where the Italians were outplayed for large periods.

Rangers 1-1 Inter – 2005

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM – DECEMBER 06: Peter Lovenkrands of Rangers celebrates after scoring the equalising goal during the UEFA Champions League match between Rangers and Inter Milan at Ibrox Stadium on December 6, 2005 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Alex McLeish’s job was on the line going into the meeting with the Italian giants, in which Rangers were bidding to become the first Scottish team to qualify from the Champions League group stages.

They did exactly that, as a Peter Lovenkrands equaliser cancelled out Adriano’s opening goal to finish second in Group H, and McLeish was able to stay on until the end of the season.

A historic achievement, as the Gers went deeper into the Champions League than any Scottish side since that 1993 run.

Rangers 0-0 Fiorentina – 2008

Fiorentina’s Italian forward Giampaolo Pazzini (L) is blocked by Rangers’ Spanish defender Carlos Cuellar during their UEFA Cup semi final first leg football match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow, Scotland on April 24 2008. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

With the UEFA Cup final just 180 minutes away, Rangers threw down a blue blanket of defence to the Italian outfit and implored them to try to break them down. La Viola couldn’t manage it, despite Walter Smith being shorn of a host of first-choice midfielders.

The Gers boasted a hugely impressive European away record in 2007/08 and trusted themselves to get the job done in Tuscany, which they duly did, winning 4-2 on penalties to reach the showpiece final in Manchester.

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