Barry Ferguson: Rangers need to evoke spirit of 2007 v Barcelona to fend off Liverpool
Rangers put on a stubborn display to hold Barcelona to a stalemate at Ibrox 15 years ago – Barry Ferguson wants to see a similar spirit next Wednesday.
Rangers find themselves on the brink of European disaster, with the side currently sat bottom of their Champions League group without a single point to their name.
Next up is Liverpool’s trip to Ibrox, and Gers realistically need a point at least to keep their European dreams alive.
Ferguson played in the 2007 classic against Barcelona when Rangers held a strikeforce of Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho to a 0-0 stalemate, and believes a similarly stubborn performance will be needed next week.
Via his column in the Daily Record, Ferguson wrote: “They came to Ibrox 15 years ago this month expecting to walk all over Rangers.
“Ninety minutes later they were heading back to Barcelona with a 0-0 draw, mumbling stuff about anti-football. And you know what? We loved it.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“Next Wednesday night, this current Rangers team will have to be every bit as stubborn, determined and, most of all, concentrated if they are to get the same kind of result against Liverpool at Ibrox.
“Rangers must take to the pitch on Wednesday fired with that same belief. That same willingness to knock Liverpool out of their stride. They have to make Jurgen Klopp’s players feel uncomfortable out there. Take them to places they don’t want to go. And not give them a minute’s peace.”
One word thrown around plenty this week has been belief. Rangers looked devoid of it at Anfield, but that has to change this week if the side are to keep their European hopes alive.
Should Ajax lose to both Napoli and Liverpool in their next two fixtures, then it’ll likely all come down to their trip to Ibrox in the final week. With their 4-0 drubbing up their sleeve, there’s no chance Rangers can topple their head-to-head record, and therefore need a point against either Napoli or Liverpool in the next two matches.
That makes next Wednesday’s game do-or-die. The side will need to fight for every blade of grass and harness Ibrox’s energy to try and go toe-to-toe with one of Europe’s best teams.
But if last season’s Europa League run taught us anything – it’s that this Rangers side can thrive when pegged as underdogs.
This club is built for magical European nights, and this side has a great chance at adding another, but it all boils down to belief. A positive start is a must, as Liverpool can’t be allowed to grow in confidence. The fans will help with that, but ultimately it’s down to the players and Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s gameplan.
In other Rangers news, Virgil van Dijk has shrugged off Ibrox’s atmosphere ahead of next week’s UCL clash.