BBC's Tom English raves about Rangers pair in reaching Europa League final
John Lundstram was a “towering presence” and James Tavernier showed his “freakish menace” as Rangers reached the Europa League final, says Tom English.
The home side conquered RB Leipzig 3-1 at Ibrox Thursday (5 May) to reach a first European final in 14 years, and give themselves a chance to lift a first European trophy in 50.
The Gers skipper again registered first and is now joint-top scorer in the competition, while summer arrival Lundstram netted what proved to be the winner to spark wild scenes in Glasgow.
In his BBC Sport report English said: “Lundstram has become a towering presence in this team and his goal will only add another layer to his legend.
“The truth is, though, that on the biggest night at Ibrox in 50 years and in the biggest game of these Rangers’ players lives, they produced a performance of power and substance, a display of the ages. Every one of them stepped up.
“For the fifth time in Europe this season, James Tavernier got Rangers’ opening goal.
“Leipzig would have known all about his freakish menace from full-back, but knowing what he can do is not the same as being able to stop him doing it.”
The European nights at Ibrox this season have been something else, with a selection of the continent’s stronger sides now unable to cope with it.
Despite lining up for each subsequent round with a further depleted team, whoever Giovanni van Bronckhorst puts out there has risen to the occasion.
Tavernier has done so time and time again, while ex-Sheffield United man Lundstram has become a key figure in this Light Blues side off the back of the run.
The fact that the final is on neutral territory in Spain is one of the few factors that sows a seed of doubt in terms of the team’s chances of winning.
If an uneven season that has seen the title-winning manager leave, and the league defence crumble after Christmas, ends with glory on the European stage it will still have to go down as a major success.
Whatever the faults of this team in domestic competition, they have been a completely different beast on their run to the final, and nobody can back Eintracht Frankfurt with full confidence in two week’s time.