Rangers tonight were given a harsh lesson in the true reality of the step up in quality of the Champions League.
While the home side put in an infinitely gutsier performance than recent debacles, Gio’s men fell well short on pure quality and finishing, failing to really test Meret or truly threaten his goal, and the blunt truth of how much of a hike over the Europa League the UCL was told damningly.
Fans will point to the penalties, fans will (and are) whining at the ref – but not a single decision, within the letter of the law, was wrong, and Rangers were deservedly beaten, even if the scoreline seems harsh.
Napoli put four past Liverpool, they are a world class team, and all we ever asked from this Rangers side is it shows a bit of gusto and gumption.
Tonight it did – it worked hard, it tried, it covered the same grass Napoli did and did not let our fans down.
But the quality was well short, never highlighted more than a fresh air swipe from Morelos with a borderline open goal while Napoli were clinically putting three past the heroic McGregor.
The side functioned better, much better than recent performances, but the shortfall in talent in this squad told and the spike in opponent quality and competition quality means Rangers ultimately have two matches, no goals, and seven goals shipped.
And we’ve probably just had the two ‘easiest’ matches.
Make no mistake, this is a group of death, and Rangers will struggle even to score in it.
But the heart was there. Mostly.