Skip to main content

Rangers looking for repeat of Braga comeback after first-leg loss to Leipzig

Motherwell v Rangers – cinch Premiership – Fir Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Rangers must overcome a 1-0 first-leg deficit against RB Leipzig at Ibrox this Thursday if they are to reach the final of the Europa League.

It will be only the fourth time the Ibrox club have gone into a second leg trailing since they returned to continental competition in 2017 following their financial meltdown a decade ago.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how Rangers fared on the three previous occasions they were charged with having to overturn a deficit at the halfway stage of a tie.

Europa League quarter-final, April 14, 2022: Rangers 3 Braga 1 (aet)

Kemar Roofe

Kemar Roofe celebrates against Braga (Jane Barlow/PA)

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Portugal early last month, Rangers got off to the perfect start in their comeback bid when James Tavernier levelled the tie after just two minutes at Ibrox. The contest swung hugely in favour of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side just before the break when Braga’s Vitor Tormena was sent off and Tavernier struck again from the penalty spot.

The Portuguese picked themselves up off the canvas and forced extra time with David Carmo’s 83rd-minute goal but Rangers went 3-2 ahead on aggregate through Kemar Roofe in the 101st minute before Braga’s challenged was killed off when Iuri Medeiros was also dismissed.

“It’s a big night and a big result for us,” said Van Bronckhorst. “It was a game that was up and down, 10 men, nine men, goals disallowed, it was quite hectic but at the end of the day we are through to the semis. I’m very proud.”

Champions League qualifier, August 10, 2021: Rangers 1 Malmo 2

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard was disappointed against Malmo (Mike Egerton/PA)

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Sweden, Rangers looked on course to keep their Champions League dream alive when they scored in the first half through Alfredo Morelos and then Malmo had Innocent Bonke sent off right on half-time.

Steven Gerrard’s side squandered a golden opportunity, however, when Antonio-Mirko Colak netted twice, in the 53rd and 57th minutes, to put the 10-man Swedes 4-2 ahead on aggregate and leave the Ibrox crowd stunned.

“In terms of our performance, it was certainly a game of two halves,” said Gerrard. “The crowd were terrific and we have gone in at half-time exactly where we wanted to be. We’ve got two restarts in the second half badly wrong from throw-in situations. At this level, good players and decent teams hurt you.”

Europa League last 16, August 6, 2020: Bayer Leverkusen 1 Rangers 0

Joe Aribo

Joe Aribo, centre, is crowded out against Leverkusen (PA Images)

This was a tie that spanned almost five months after the Covid-19 pandemic brought football to a halt immediately after Leverkusen won 3-1 at Ibrox in the first leg in March 2020.

In an empty BayArena, the hosts killed off any chance of a Rangers fightback when Moussa Diaby scored the only goal of the second leg six minutes after the break to seal a 4-1 aggregate win.

“I don’t think we found our level or performance to give it a good go tonight,” said Gerrard. “The best side won and go through. There’s a lot we can improve on and a lot we can work on moving forward and we’ve found a level tonight to strive for.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1