Glasgow Rangers’ competitive season kicked off on Tuesday night in Gibraltar against part-timers St. Joseph’s. It was the first leg of the Europa League’s first round qualifying round.

The first half started quite slowly with the Gers prepared to keep possession, move the ball about, and the Scottish giants ended up winning comfortably 4-0.

Ryan Jack opened the scoring in the second half from an accurate Borna Barisic cross, with an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty area, right in the corner of the net.

This was followed up with a fabulous, well-placed free kick by left-back Barisic. 

The outstanding Sheyi Ojo scored a wonderful third and Alfredo Morelos scored with a good header to put Rangers in easy street at Ibrox next week. 

Rangers’ man of the match was Liverpool loanee Ojo, who scored his third goal in his first three matches – what a start to his Ibrox career.

With the second Europa League round beckoning, as the games will come thick and fast, what will the master tactician Steven Gerrard plan for the immediate future? 

Against St Joseph’s at Ibrox next Thursdsay, the Rangers boss may decide to play George Edmundson, Andy Halliday, Greg Stewart, Greg Docherty and Jake Hastie.

Should he play what he considers his best 11 players against Marseille on Sunday for the first 60 minutes, as the St. Joseph’s tie is surely over already? 

A Rangers select side played a friendly closed-door game against Ayr United on Tuesday and put in a blistering second-half performance to beat the Ayrshire team 6-1.

Starting Rangers XI vs Ayr United:

Jak Alnwick: Jordan Houston, James Maxwell, Danny Finlayson, Rhys Breen: Jason Holt, Graham Dorrans, Jamie Murphy, Josh McPake; Joe Dodoo, Eros Grezda 

Rangers led 1-0 at half time from a good Jamie Murphy goal, and then made seven changes for the second half.

Nathan Patterson, Jack Thomson, Cammy Palmer, Stephen Kelly, Jamie Barjonas, Glenn Middleton and Dapo Mebude all appeared after half time.

Midfielder Stephen Kelly quickly became the star of the show by displaying an inspirational 45 minutes by scoring three goals, having only come on at half-time.

Kelly was full of confidence from enjoying the first team squad’s pre-season training camp in Portugal.

He scored his hat-trick from a free-kick – everybody at Ibrox is hopeful he will go all the way into the Rangers first team within a few seasons.

Young striker Dapo Mebude followed up scoring twice for the development team last week by scoring again, this time against Ayr.

And Andy Dallas completed the rout by scoring the sixth goal from the penalty spot.


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