Steven Gerrard sprung some surprises with his Rangers starting line-up but came up with an action-packed 4-3 win against Royal Antwerp.

The game went against Gers early on when James Tavernier was forced off in the first 25 minutes, but Gerrard’s boys recovered quickly.

Joe Aribo grabbed the opener following some suspect goalkeeping from Antwerp’s Alireza Beiranvand but the Belgians scored twice to lead at the break.

Stevie G clearly provoked a response from his team at half-time though as we pinned Antwerp back in the second half.

Borna Barisic scored a penalty before the hour mark but the home side retook the lead with a brilliant strike from Martin Hongla.

Gers won it with a late penalty after Ryan Kent scored a brilliant goal.


Here is how Ibrox News rate the players’ performances in Belgium.

Allan McGregor 6 – Strangely had a quiet evening but pulled off a hugely important one-on-one save late on. Was left rooted to the spot for Antwerp’s equaliser and could do nothing about the penalty or Hongla’s strike.

Leon Balogun 6 – Deputised well for Tavernier considering he was playing out of position. Was never going to carry the same attacking threat as the skipper but kept a pacey Jordan Lukaku quiet, so deserves credit for that.

Conor Goldson 6 – Marshalled the back four with his usual composure but he and Helander will likely feel disappointed at the manner of the first goal conceded.

Filip Helander 6 – Looked solid at the back and helped to put us on the front foot with his class on the ball. Held a high line alongside Goldson and the pair built moves from the back.

Borna Barisic 8 – Lost his man Felipe Avenatti who headed in Antwerp’s equaliser. Did not show enough endeavour going forward either but deserves huge credit for the composure he displayed to score both his penalties – the second of which came in the 90th minute.

Steven Davis 6 – Showed a rare lapse in judgement in conceding a penalty on the stroke of half-time, but will feel harshly done by given there was minimal contact. Struggled to display his usual influence.

Glen Kamara 7 – Was energetic as usual and tried to make things happen in the attacking final third. Linked-up well and was unfairly substituted with 15 minutes to go.

Scott Arfield 5 – Struggled to get into the match which is unsurprising given how long he has spent injured. A little strange Stevie G picked him ahead of Ryan Jack and the decision did not pay off. Was surprising that he played 75 minutes.

Joe Aribo 6 – Had the simple task of scoring an open goal but he showed good composure to do so. Decision-making let him down when presented an early second-half chance to score or to pass to Morelos, in the end his effort was somewhere in between. He was lively throughout however and looked to make things happen.

Kemar Roofe 6 – His brilliant movement forced the mistake for the opening goal. Was a danger off the ball in the first-half so will be bitterly disappointed at going off injured just before half-time.

Alfredo Morelos 7 – Great to have El Bufalo back. His work rate showed what we have missed of late when he beat the keeper to assist Aribo’s goal. Should have scored with a first-half chance but remained a nuisance throughout and won the penalty. Brilliant touch to tee up Kent’s late equaliser too.

Ryan Kent 8 – He came on for Roofe and it looked to be another frustrating performance for the £18,000 a week winger before he smashed home an equaliser following a brilliant one-two with Morelos. He will be disappointed he did not grab a second moments after that.

In other Rangers news, ‘Absolute warrior’, ‘Absolute class’ – These Gers fans wowed by ’huge’ player in crazy 4-3 win.


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