Bayer Leverkusen ended Rangers’ 13-month Europa League journey from the primary qualifying spherical to the final 16 with an easy win in Germany.
Main 3-1 from the primary leg at Ibrox on 12 March, Peter Bosz’s aspect have been hardly ever troubled in an empty BayArena.
Kai Havertz hit the bar, slid a shot huge, and had an effort saved nevertheless it was Moussa Diaby’s alert run and end that broke the impasse.
The Germans now face Inter Milan in Monday’s quarter-final in Dusseldorf.
Rangers – with Brandon Barker beginning forward of Ianis Hagi – regarded to bother the crew that completed fifth within the Bundesliga on the break. However alternatives have been scarce.
A heavy contact by Alfredo Morelos spurned an early opening, and it was 21-year-old German worldwide Havertz who went closest within the first half, clipping Allan McGregor’s crossbar with an angled snapshot and sliding a shot narrowly huge when one on one with the Rangers goalkeeper.
Leverkusen, taking part in their first match since dropping the German Cup ultimate to Bayern Munich on four July, have been tidy in possession and threatened with balls by way of Rangers’ central defence.
Had it not been for a Filip Helander block from Florian Wirtz’s shot after a four-on-three assault, Rangers would have trailed on the break.
Diaby broke the stalemate in 51 minutes when he scampered away from James Tavernier and on to Charles Aranguiz ball earlier than ending excessive previous McGregor.
The veteran goalkeeper used his left foot to avoid wasting fantastically from Havertz quickly after earlier than Rangers’ greatest likelihood – Connor Goldson having a header cleared off the road by Edmond Tapsoba.
That was pretty much as good because it acquired for Gerrard’s aspect, although, as a marketing campaign that started with a win over St Joseph’s in Gibraltar on 9 July final 12 months fizzled out.
Man of the match – Charles Aranguiz
What did we be taught?
The 2-goal deficit meant development to the final eight was all the time going to be a tall order. Gerrard had hoped the tempo of Brandon Barker and Ryan Kent might bother Leverkusen, however the Germans’ passing was too slick and no Rangers participant might impose himself sufficient to vary the path of the tie.
In-demand striker Morelos might have performed his final sport for Rangers. He scored six of his crew’s 13 targets within the marathon marketing campaign, however in Germany he supplied few glimpses of his earlier hazard. Gerrard will record new strikers Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten in his 2020/21 Europa League squad, however funds raised from a sale of Morelos may be nicely spent on including thrust and creativity to the midfield.
Rangers competed admirably within the match towards groups from Poland, Holland and Portugal however got here unstuck towards the crew that completed fifth within the Bundesliga, displaying the power of considered one of Europe’s high leagues.
What did they are saying?
Rangers supervisor Steven Gerrard (chatting with BT Sport): “We’re dissatisfied with the end result. I do not suppose we discovered our stage or efficiency to offer it an excellent go tonight. The most effective aspect received the sport and one of the best aspect undergo. There’s quite a bit we are able to enhance on and quite a bit we are able to work on transferring ahead and we have discovered a stage tonight to attempt for. Hopefully at some point we are able to get to that stage.”
- Rangers misplaced each legs of a European tie for the primary time for the reason that 1997-98 Uefa Cup first spherical towards Strasbourg.
- Leverkusen have received 4 consecutive Europa League video games – their greatest run within the competitors since February 1995. It’s the first time have reached the final eight since 2007-08.
- Rangers failed to try a single shot within the first half. Their first try of any variety got here with Goldson’s 71st-minute header.
- Aged 17 years and 95 days, Wirtz grew to become the youngest participant to characteristic for Leverkusen in a European tie, surpassing Havertz (17y 144d v Tottenham within the Champions League in November 2016).
Rangers return to Scottish Premiership motion on Sunday, welcoming St Mirren to Ibrox and searching so as to add to the opening-day victory over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.