RANGERS appeared on course to extend their undefeated run in Europe this season to double figures but a late goal proved costly as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Young Boys in Bern. Alfredo Morelos gave them the lead late in the first half, with Roger Assale cancelling that strike out early in the second period. The visitors had chances to win it before Christian Fassnacht broke their hearts with an injury-time strike.

But what else did we learn from the match?


The nature of the defeat counts as an undoubted setback and there will be question marks raised over the quality of James Tavernier’s defending at both goals. But for the most part Rangers looked comfortable against the Swiss champions. That, though, will now be overlooked with the team throwing away their half-time lead to slip to defeat.

Still, the closeness of the group means all is not lost. This had looked a fairly hellish ask for Steven Gerrard’s side when the draw was made but two games into it and they have shown they can mix it at this level. If there were eyebrows raised at just how comfortable they had looked in their opening home game against Feyenoord, this dogged display had looked just as impressive only for individual errors to undo most of that good work.


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Rangers’ next game away to Porto will be their toughest yet but if they can emerge from that one without a loss then they can start to realistically consider the prospect of European football after Christmas.


This has been another good week for Morelos. Called up for international duty by Colombia, he again underlined his importance to Rangers with a vital goal late in the first half. These are the games where centre-forwards earn their corn. With little service from a team set up primarily to defend, he would have known he would be presented with only a sprinkling of chances in front of goal.

Having passed up the first one, he made no mistake with the second shortly afterwards to put his team in front, while only a brilliant save denied him a second goal at the death.

The debate over whether he or Odsonne Edouard are the deadlier of the two Premiership strikers will rage on for some time yet. But what can be said now with some certainty is that whenever Morelos finds himself in range of goal you would back him to score more often than not.


The Rangers manager seems to have alighted on a largely settled side, with eight or nine regulars starting almost every match. Central defence seems to be the one part of the team, however, where he continues to alternate between Filip Helander and Nikola Katic partnering Connor Goldson.

Katic appears to be the fans’ preference but it was the Swede who got the nod here, something of a surprise given his struggles on the artificial surface at Livingston a week earlier. Helander hadn’t conceded in the five matches he had played before this one and, although he lost that record here, there could be no fault attributed to him at either goal following the errors by James Tavernier. But you wouldn’t rule out Katic returning to face Hamilton on Sunday.


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An artificial surface for a major European game seems as incongruous as Donald Trump appearing at a climate change protest.

It obviously works for Young Boys given they haven’t lost on it since last October but it is difficult to make a case for it at this level of the game where clubs have less need to “sweat the asset” for financial gain.

Rangers chose not to train on it before this game but, to their credit, didn’t look overly uncomfortable on the unfamiliar surface beyond one misjudged bounce that gave Borna Barisic a bloody nose.


Rangers elected not to take up their official allocation of 1800 tickets for this one in response to UEFA charges for sectarian singing at previous European ties. But many of their fans still found a way in to the Stade de Suisse, either through taking up hospitality packages or simply by chancing their arm and buying tickets in person upon arrival.

The Swiss, efficient as ever, had the foresight to keep the travelling supporters together in one section of the ground although they were drowned out for the most part by a vocal home crowd.