WHILE Rangers spent large swathes of Saturday’s turgid win over Kilmarnock playing like you’d expect a team on its return from the home of Stella Artios to, the Light Blues got the job done. Just. 

Antonio Colak’s first goal on his home debut sent a huffing and puffing Rangers on their way before the returning Alfredo Morelos finally blew Derek McInnes’ house down. 

It was the perfect manner in which to bounce back from the painful Union SG defeat and, at the very least, gives them some momentum ahead of the return leg this week. 

Here’s what we learned. 

1. Regardless of the shape change, Rangers’ play was lacking for much of the game 

Antonio Colak, right, and Alfredo Morelos, left, have given Giovanni van Bronckhorst a decision to makevan Bronkhorst came in for criticism after the midweek defeat

One of the biggest talking points (and avenues for criticism) in the wake of Tuesday’s loss to Union SG was Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s decision to alter Rangers’ shape. The apparent hesitancy to change the approach did little to lighten the mood. 

It was a very different team that started on Saturday. With four of the worst offenders (Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara, Borna Barisic and Rabbi Matondo) parked on the bench, the Light Blues deployed a more ‘conventional’ shape. Tom Lawrence was on the left, Scott Wright was on the other side and Malek Tillman was given licence to roam across the park, as was so often his wont. 

Did it work? Not entirely. Wright’s introduction certainly helped James Tavernier and Tillman, while never in the game for extended spells, continues to look exactly like you’d expect a player reared at Bayern Munich to (the lack of lederhosen notwithstanding). 

Eventually there was a touch more zip to Rangers’ play, albeit it took them 50 minutes to get up to speed. That it took so long to open the scoring and that Kilmarnock represented, at least on paper, an easier task than Tuesday’s three-goal target might still be cause for concern. 

2. The ‘Blonde Buffalo’ is still the main man 

Antonio Colak, right, and Alfredo Morelos, left, have given Giovanni van Bronckhorst a decision to makeAlfredo Morelos could be key to any hope Rangers have of overcoming a Champions League deficit

New hairstyle, same Alfredo Morelos. The Colombian was back, coming off the bench, and putting some gloss on a stodgy Rangers win. The reception from the stands said it all. Every single time he was shooed out to shuffle along the touchline, the wave of anticipation around Ibrox was that of a child seeing an ice cream van for the first time

Five years and several signings later (Cedric Itten, Kemar Roofe and, now Colak), he’s still Rangers’ immovable talisman. 

If van Bronckhorst’s men are to overturn the 2-0 deficit from Belgium on Tuesday, they’ll need Morelos at his best. When he is, they rarely lose on the biggest stage. In fact, Rangers have been defeated in just two European qualifiers with Morelos on the pitch; Malmo in last season’s Champions League and Progres Niederkorn on that infamous night when Pedro Caixinha ended up in a bush. 

Throw in the fact he has been involved in around 50 per cent of all of the Glasgow men’s European goals in his 57 continental games for the club, and you can understand the fans’ clamour for his return. 

3. Don’t rule out Colak just yet 

Antonio Colak, right, and Alfredo Morelos, left, have given Giovanni van Bronckhorst a decision to makeAntonio Colak's first Rangers goal came at a crucial time

One man who might have something to say about all of that is Colak. While his first two Rangers starts had been cause for some concern (albeit, against two stubbornly low blocks, he was a square peg in a round hole), he marked his third with a well-taken finish to finally get the ball rolling. 

There was a hint of good fortune in the way space opened up for the Croatian - something unlikely to happen on Tuesday - but he sent the ball beyond Sam Walker with all the ease of a man picking up some milk from Tesco. 

The conundrum for van Bronckhorst now is thus: does he stick with his newly found goal-scoring number nine in the hope the second-leg falls into a pattern that suits Colak? Or does he send the Morelos-signal into the Glasgow night sky? 

Either way, it’s a call that can only be judged come the sound of the final whistle tomorrow. 

4. Steven Davis remains one of Rangers’ best passers of a ball

Antonio Colak, right, and Alfredo Morelos, left, have given Giovanni van Bronckhorst a decision to makeSteven Davis glided through the game

From the first minute to the last, Steven Davis glided across the Ibrox pitch, prodding the ball to a teammate one minute, picking up possession in a tight area the next. It’s hardly the kind of proclamation that will have you thrown into the nearest asylum, but he remains, arguably, Rangers’ finest passer of the ball. 

At 37 there are doubts over whether or not he can do it at the highest level for a full 90 minutes - albeit his Europa League final cameo would be ample ammunition in his corner - but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him start on Tuesday.

5. Kilmarnock look like they’ve never been away 

Antonio Colak, right, and Alfredo Morelos, left, have given Giovanni van Bronckhorst a decision to makeDerek McInnes' men impressed on just their second game since they returned to the top flight

The finest compliment you can give Derek McInnes’ men is that not at any point did they look out of place or overawed by their first visit to Govan in some time. In fact, had a pass here been a little better timed, or a header there found the target, they could have emerged with at least a point. 

While there’s a certain ruggedness to their play, they backed it up with enough cunning that will stand them in good stead on easier assignments. Rory McKenzie ran and ran, Ryan Alebiosu gave Ridvan Yilmaz no easy introduction to life in the Premiership, and every man in crimson gold did exactly what was asked of them. They’ll be just fine.