By Sam Stone

30th Apr, 2022 | 6:40am

Journalist in awe over Van Bronkhorst's half-time tactical tweak despite Rangers loss v Leipzig

Rangers’ correspondent for the Athletic Jordan Campbell was full of praise for Giovianni van Bronkhorst’s half-time formation change which kept them in their Europa League semi-final first leg.

Van Bronkhorst had initially lined up in a 5-3-2 formation with Ryan Kent and Scott Wright upfront.

With Alfredo Morelos and Keemar Roofe both absent, Joe Aribo seemed the likely candidate to lead the line for the Scottish giants.

However, the Rangers boss opted for Kent and Wright for the first half in which Rangers were extremely defensive and offered very little threat going forward.

Van Bronkhorst switched formation at halftime, something that Rangers correspondent Campbell was full of praise for.

Writing for the Athletic, he said: “They switched to a 5-4-1 formation and moved Aribo into the striker position, with Kent and Wright providing width.

“It had an instant impact as Rangers had two chances within five minutes of the restart.”

He added: “Van Bronkhorst has shown that when faced with adversity or a depleted squad, he can dabble in the art of tactical escapology.”

Different game plan

Rangers, in Europe especially, have been a high-pressing side who make life difficult for the opposition.

However, their tactics in Leipzig yesterday evening were very different, and perhaps understandably.

Rangers were botched up, they had players out of position and no recognisable striker on the pitch in the first half.

It’s the sign of a good manager, especially in a cup situation to recognise that their preferred style of play could well leave the tie over after the first leg.

Giovanni van Bronkhorst realised the issues his side could potentially face, leading him to set up slightly deeper and more defensively.

For the return leg at Ibrox next week it would be extremely surprising if Rangers adopt the same low block tactics.

Their last two European nights at Ibrox have been fuelled by high pressing, energetic and aggressive play that utilises the electric atmosphere and makes life extremely hard for the opposition.

Expect next Thursday to be no different.

In other Rangers news, Leipzig aimed a sly dig at the Gers on social media after their first-leg victory in Germany.