Rangers were dazzling in attack against Royal Antwerp on Thursday but the defence let them down once again.

It is not the first time that has happened in the Europa League, with the Belgian side scoring three last week and Benfica doing the same earlier in the campaign.

There is reason to be worried about Filip Helander.

The Swede did not have the best of games against Dundee United last week and was severely criticised by supporters.

Steven Gerrard would have expected him to bounce back against Antwerp, particularly after his post-match comments after the 4-3 win the week before.

“We didn’t defend well enough in situations,” said Gerrard.

“We know and the players know what we could have done better. We could have avoided all three goals but it just shows you will concede at this level if you are not right on your details.

“We need to improve on that in a week’s time for sure.”

But we did not improve on Thursday, with Antwerp’s second a horror goal to concede.

Against Slavia Prague we have to be more solid, as we could struggle to put goals past them.

This is a team that did not concede in 180 minutes against Leicester, who are third in the English Premier League.


Helander’s performance will be key.

He has performed well with Conor Goldson and the pair have helped us concede just nine goals in 30 league games.

However, his showing in mid-week fell way below that standard.

The centre-back won just 20% of his duels – winning one on the ground but failing to win any of his four aerial duels, per SofaScore.

To put that into perspective, Ianis Hagi won three duels, and he is not exactly known for his physicality.

We are at least defending from the front, but Helander must show more dominance.

The 27-year-old also failed to complete a single interception or block – if Slavia Prague exploit that next month we will struggle to progress.

Gerrard should assess these weaknesses in training as we have a few days before our next match.

We also have a few games before the trip to the Czech Republic, so hopefully Helander can recover his form.

In other Rangers news, ‘Go all the way’ – Alex McLeish claims Rangers teen can make it to the top of the game.


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