Estadio de la Ceramica
Europa League Group G
20/09/2018 5:55 pm
|Bacca (1), Moreno (69)||Arfield (67), Lafferty (76)|
Earlier this evening Rangers continued their Europa League journey in the season of 2018/19 with the Spanish leg of our Group G tie against Villarreal.
Having travelled to the Estadio de la Ceramica, on-loan 21-year-old Nottingham Forest centre-half Joe Worrall was handed his club debut by manager Steven Gerrard as we were forced into two changes with the suspensions of Alfredo Morelos and Jon Flanagan.
The game saw Rangers end an eight-year absence from the Group stages of the tournament but nobody was taking the opposition lightly given their record in the competition.
It couldn’t have started more badly for the side as Carlos Bacca opened the scoring within the first minute of the game and the hosts absolutely dominated. Rangers held firm though and went into the halftime break only a goal behind.
Scotty Arfield levelled matters up in the 67th minute, but unfortunately for us, they reacted better taking the advantage once more two minutes later.
Rangers may not have had many chances on target but the spirit and determination alone deserved something from the game and Kyle Lafferty ensured we came out with a positive result as he scored inside of the final 15 minutes to take a point.
The stats tell the story and given their possession dominance was reduced, all credit for another rearguard action and even more credit for finishing strongly to avoid the defeat.
We’d have taken that going into the game and Arfield has the chance to nick all three points in the closing minutes, but we shouldn’t be greedy.
The icing on the cake was the return of Graham Dorrans as a late substitute, as I genuinely wasn’t expecting him to feature when I first heard he had travelled.