By Ray Livingstone

8th Nov, 2019 | 9:30am

View: Rangers exploits in Europa bring Champions League football much closer

Rangers beat Porto 2-0 at Ibrox last night to move to within a whisker of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League.

We’re not going to mention the result of the other Scottish team in the Europa, save to say that it also helped Scotland’s co-efficient, which is now at a five-season high.

The Rangers result – against a team that made the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season, don’t forget – was a big statement of intent.

It leaves Rangers a win against Feyenoord away from qualifying for the knockout stages, with a home game against Young Boys to come.

And it has wider implications for the future, too. The latest results see Scotland move up to 16th in the coefficient rankings, a fraction behind Cyprus.

And if Rangers can help nudge Scotland up to 15th, we’ll get another team in Europe and a second entry into the Champions League qualifying rounds.

If that happens, the Premiership winners would go into the third qualifying round with the second-placed team entering the competition one round before.

The kicker? This wouldn’t kick in until the 2021/22 season, with entries set in stone until then.

The aim for Rangers is to win the Premiership this season and so far, so good – it’s the only way into the Champions League next season. But, having an insurance policy of a second entry into the Champions League in the future would be huge.

In other Rangers news, Alan Brazil shows true colours after talkSPORT comments on Gerrard