By Joe Ellis

3rd Aug, 2022 | 10:10am

Rangers blasted for 'sloppy' Champions League display by Sky Sports pundit

Rangers gave themselves a mountain to climb in the Champions League third-round qualifier with a 2-0 defeat away at Union Saint Gilloise.

An unjust penalty and a Jon McLaughlin error awarded the Belgian side, who finished second to Club Brugge last season, a handy advantage ahead of the return leg in Glasgow.

Sky Sports pundit and former Ibrox striker Kris Boyd was seething at the Light Blues’ performance and has called upon the Bears fans to repeat the atmosphere that surged Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side all the way to the Europa League final last season.

“They were really, really sloppy with the ball,” Boyd said. “If there was anybody in Scottish football who underestimated the Belgians tonight then they’ve just got a wake-up call.

“They’ve shown that they are a club that can compete on this level and a club that has been on the rise in the past couple of seasons.

“Rangers have got to be doing better than they did tonight, it was really slow. It was very similar to the first half on Saturday (against Livingston) and they were actually lucky to get away with only a 2-0 deficit.

“They are going to have to improve and they will need that Ibrox crowd again to make it through.”

Abysmal

There will be some great concern within Ibrox at the lacklustre start to the new campaign and it can’t carry on for too much longer in any competition.

Saturday’s victory at Livingston was a great example of winning while not at your best but the Champions League defeat showed little encouragement that words had been said in the dressing room.

The boss can’t afford to keep overseeing dismal performances no matter the result that happens because eventually, it will come back to bite and could see the season derailed before it has began

Celtic will have been looking at that performance in Belgium, while already in the group stages, and not been remotely worried that this is the year that Rangers return to take their title back.

The Gers will at least play European football in some capacity this season with Europa League group stages guaranteed but no one at Auchenhowie will want to be playing on a Thursday night again.

In other Rangers news, captain James Tavernier reacted on Twitter as his brother secured a big-money transfer to the Premier League.