CAN you hear the roars Fernando?

This match could, coming as it did just a day after the tragic passing of one-time Rangers midfielder Fernando Ricksen from motor neurone disease at the age of just 43, have been a sad and solemn occasion.

Respects were certainly paid to one of the Ibrox club’s favourite former players both before and during proceedings; there was an extended period of silence from both sets of supporters and players prior to kick-off and a minute of applause during the game.

Yet, an individual who relished such intense European nights during his playing days would have heartily approved of the joy and celebrations which followed as his old club overcame the Dutch giants who he enjoyed some memorable battles with during his colourful career.

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A stunning first-half Sheyi Ojo strike was all that separated the two combatants when the final whistle blew. But this was a Group G fixture that Rangers deserved to win. There could be no better way to honour the memory of Ricksen than with such a rousing display and fine win.

Orkun Kokcu, the teenage Turkish midfielder, got a shot away for the visitors in the seventh minute which Allan McGregor, the Rangers keeper, did well to hold. It was a bright start for the away side and looked like being a taste of things to come for the home team.

But it turned out to be their only meaningful attack in the first-half. Gerrard had said on Wednesday that he needed every one of his players to be at their best to get a win. They were. Scott Arfield, Steven Davis, Ryan Jack and Glen Kamara dominated the all-important midfield area and controlled possession. Their opponents were unable to get a foothold in the game and bring their formidable front line of Steven Gerhuis, Sam Larsson and Luis Sinisterra into play.

Sinisterra’s compatriot Alfredo Morelos fared far better at the other end of the park. The Colombian striker gave rival left back Ridgeciano Haps a torrid evening and looked a threat whenever he got on the ball in the final third.

Rangers should have taken the lead after being awarded a penalty in the ninth minute. Borna Barisic swung a corner into the Feyenoord area that was met by Conor Goldson and Edgar Ie clearly handled his downward header. Referee Antoni Mateu Lahoz was quite correct to point to the spot.

Captain and right back James Tavernier, the designated penalty taker, stepped forward to take it. But his attempt was poor and clipped the outside of the right post on its way out for a bye kick. The defender knew he had blundered and held his head in his hands.

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His side, though, continued to impress. Arfield struck the inside of the left post after being supplied by Kamara nine minutes later and they finally edged in front shortly afterwards. The much-maligned Barisic beat Rick Karsdrop to a 50-50 ball just outside the visitors’ area and Ojo pounced. His well-struck left foot shot flew beyond the outstretched Kenneth Vermeer and into the net.

Cue wild celebrations in the stands - where there was as much brilliant orange, the colour that Ricksen proudly donned when he made his 12 appearances for the Netherlands, as there was light blue in a show of respect to one of their favourite sons - and an impromptu “Bouncy” to boot.

Vermeer did better in the 33rd minute when he denied Morelos twice in rapid succession. The temperamental forward may have been thinking of that double save a few minutes later when he received a yellow card for challenging for a ball a little rashly for the match official’s liking.

It was poor finishing, not good goalkeepng, which prevented Rangers for forging further in front four minutes before half-time. The culprit was the scorer Ojo. The winger received the ball from Barisic in the middle of the Feyenoord penalty box and showed great composure to tee himself up for an attempt. But he fired wide of an inviting target.

Scuffles broke out between the away fans and police at half-time and one hooded supporter was led away by the local constabulary. The Rotterdam outfit showed they had plenty of fight about them in the second-half. McGregor needed to show quick reactions when he was tested first by Berghuis and then by Larsson early on and then by substitutes Luciano Narsingh and Jens Toornstra in the closing stages.

READ MORE: Fernando Ricksen Obituary: Star had a torrid start to Ibrox career but ended it a hero

Gerrard’s men, however, still enjoyed the better of the second 45 minutes and would have sewed up the three points had they been more clinical in front of goal. Arfield, Davis, Jack and Morelos all had decent opportunities to net. All of them squandered their chances. Joe Aribo, Brandon Barker and Andrew King came on, but they fared no better.

Rangers were fortunate they didn’t pay a heavy price for their lack of ruthlessness. It is a failing which has long frustrated their manager and one they will need to address if they hope to go further in Europe than they did last term and progress to the last 32. But nothign could detract from what was an emotional night.