While we wouldn’t pretend Willem II are one of the absolute elite sides of Europe, they’re certainly no slouches and were regarded as a notably stiffer test for Rangers after a fairly comfortable win in Gibraltar.
A stable of the Dutch Eredivisie, the top-5 finishers from last season were expected to give Rangers a tough night and after the country considered our win over Feyenoord a fluke last season, it was on for some revenge.
And after the early exchanges, there’s no doubt Willem II were looking composed – solid, quick, technically impressive.
Then Ryan Kent, with technically his first assist of the night, won a penalty, and the game was practically over in an instant.
We’ll dissect this match in due course over the next day or so, but we have to hand it to Steven Gerrard – the man has the absolute Midas touch, a genius touch when it comes to Europe.
Aside 07/08, even Walter’s more recent Rangers was never this impressive in European competition, and it’s made all the more stunning by the fact Celtic, supposedly our country’s best team, could only just scrape by some mob from Latvia.
Steven Gerrard absolutely has the measure of Europe, and his teams frequently punch above their weight so regularly that we think it’s time to accept a promotion in weight division.
The next round will provide another big test, but given the quality of team Steven Gerrard has started putting away with his Rangers side with extreme regularity, who would bet against Rangers comfortably being in the group stage again?
Absolutely astonishing, and it’s certainly quite the bounce back from the weekend.
Get in there!