We’re deep in the first international break, and it’s time to rate the Famous so far in the Champions league including qualifiers. Has it been a success, or is it devastating?
The Foundation for 2022/23 season
Glasgow Rangers managed to reach the Europa League final in 2021/22, which was the first significant European final since 2008. However, they lost by luck in the penalty shoot-out, when Aaron Ramsey missed a penalty. This was a campaign when we saw The Gers finish second in the Scottish Premier League, as well. Despite the disappointing end to their season, it was still a successful campaign overall for Rangers, and fans were hoping for more or less the same next season.
Rangers have lost two of their most influential players, with Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey leaving for Southampton and Ajax, respectively. It was definitely a big blow to our side, who will now have to fill the void left by these talented individuals.
High hopes brought to you…by Gio
We were all delighted when Giovanni van Bronckhorst took over the club from former Liverpool player Steven Gerrard. It all happened so quickly, and it left a bad taste in Gers fans’ mouths. There was nothing left from “The Invincibles” we saw during the 2020/21 campaign. But it was a spectacular moment! There were so many great memories, that even the cryptocurrency market erupted. You could buy Ethereum and purchase Glasgow Rangers NFTs.
But Gio did bring high hopes, and took us all the way to a European Final. The first one since 2008! Considering the boys relied on the last game’s positive result, it was a monstrous achievement to take out Borussia Dortmund, Crvena Zvezda, Braga, and RB Leipzig eventually.
The Europa League Final
While Gers lost the final to Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville, for 12 minutes, the dream to lift the trophy was alive. But regardless of the outcome, the boys played well, and got short only because of Aaron Ramsey’s missed penalty. Fun fact is: Ramsey was brought on just to take a penalty, but let’s not dig deep.
Back in the Champions League
After a long unsuccessful stint without Champions League football and having missed playing along with the best teams in the world for 11 straight years.
Third qualifying round
It was a pretty nervous moment when Belgian vice-champions USG (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise) defeated Gers 2-0 in Brussels. What we didn’t expect was a beatdown in Glasgow (3-0) and we deserved our Europa League place as a bare minimum.
The PSV drama
The first leg saw us dominate the game but we were down first. This time around, we managed to turn the game around and left the sweet stuff for the second leg. And finally, we were back! Antonio Colak scored the only goal in the game.
If there was anything that we could avoid, this could be group A. We managed to draw Napoli, Ajax, and Liverpool. Probably only the Czech Viktoria Plzen were less lucky than us (they have Bayern, Barcelona, and Inter in the group).
First two games…
Well, it’s safe to say that all fans felt the same: chest pain. It’s not as if we had expected to find a way through, but what we say is a sad reality.
Only 33 minutes into our first campaign in so many years, and we were down in Amsterdam by three goals to nil. An astounding 4-0 defeat, and only 1 shot on target saw the Dutch players cruising. 24% ball possession is a shame, and even people who didn’t watch the game could realize how poor we were.
Facing the Serie A leaders wasn’t going to be an easy task. I’ve monitored Spalletti’s team long enough to know their fast football wasn’t going to match our liking. Especially seeing them thrash not a random team, but the vice-champion of Europe and England Liverpool by 4-1 in their first outing. At Ibrox, we looked promising starting on, and even held them at 0-0 during HT. Things got messed up after James Sands was sent off in the 55′. From then on, we were expecting rain but by the 85′ minute, we were still in the game. At FT, though, the result was totally different – 0-3.
Gers are to face Liverpool twice, and to be honest – I’m not quite positive about it. The Reds used to have some injury woes and I’d prefer we faced them earlier, but at least we have Alfredo back. If we don’t lose both games, hopefully, we can pray for a miracle and wait for a chance to reach Europa League, and hopefully – win it this time.