Unlucky Glasgow Rangers lose a thrilling away game in Russia to Spartak Moscow after scoring three away goals.
Steven Gerrard’s side felt cheated when a wrong offside flag was raised by the assistant referee after Alfredo Morelos was shown on TV replays that he was actually onside when the ball was passed forward.
The disallowed goal would have taken Rangers to a 4-2 lead, and the ‘Teddy Bears’ would probably have gone on to win the game.
In the last-minute of the tie, James Tavernier’s brilliant effort was so unlucky when instead of hitting the back of the net, it hit the post.
This was a particularly sore game for Gerrard to lose, but in many ways it was his and the background staff’s own fault.
I have been crying out for weeks now that the boss MUST play three big solid centre halves as a back three, to stop so many goals being scored against us. When will the rookie manager ever learn?
The Ibrox manager will be kicking himself for not listening to me. How can I see it so clearly when he cannot?
Rangers led on three occasions away from home and lost the game 4-3. It deserves him right for his naivety, and I hate saying that!
Both of Rangers remaining games in the group are winnable with the home tie with Villarreal so vitally important to keep the group advancing alive.
Then the Light Blues can hopefully win away in Austria against Rapid Vienna, but Rangers will have to find their best form again and defend much better, if they are to win this one.
This was a bad one to lose and it is a harsh lesson for this fairly new Rangers side, but Gerrard has to learn quickly, if he will succeed.
Very few successful sides are built on a rotation system, especially in your reliable and regular defensive first picks. Because it is far too important an area of the field to mess about and gamble with.
This 4-3 loss is a real body blow to the Rangers’ management team, due to their high hopes of qualifying into to the last 32 of the competition.
It has become a much more complicated route to reach their target now, but certainly not an impossible task.
Rangers away form in Europe was built on relying on solid defensive displays. They only conceded three goals in the previous five away games.
However, the art of top class defending by Rangers fell well short of normal expectation this time. The two centre halves struggled at times, and were never at their very best throughout.
This massive game also had financial consequences, because Rangers require all the money they can muster before they can buy another couple of players in the January transfer window.
With the Ibrox club leading 3-2, the roof fell in on them when the Russians scored two goals in the 58th and 59th minutes to give Spartak Moscow a win that sadly ended the 11-game unbeaten Europa League run.
Starting X1: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Katic, Flanagan: Coulibaly, Ejaria, Arfield: Candeias, Morelos, Middleton
In a last chance double substitution, Flanagan was replaced by Halliday and Coulibaly was replaced by Grezda with about 10 minutes of the final whistle to go. With no time left McAuley came on for Ejaria.