Roofe scores wonder goal in Liège

Kemar Roofe's sensational goal was his third in five Rangers appearances
Kemar Roofe’s sensational goal was his third in his last five appearances

Rangers earned a first away victory in the Europa League group stage under Steven Gerrard after Kemar Roofe’s outrageous halfway-line goal capped off a fine win in a rain-soaked Liege.

The Ibrox club rode their luck at times after James Tavernier’s 19th-minute penalty broke the deadlock.

Jackson Muleka twice headed against the bar in the first half and Standard pushed hard for a leveller after the break. But Gerrard’s men held firm in front of more than 3,000 fans in Belgium to start with a win.

Poland’s Lech Poznan travel to Glasgow next Thursday for the second game in the section, having started their campaign with a 4-2 home defeat by Benfica.

Both sides enjoyed their share of possession early on, but the only real sight of goal fell to Tavernier, who failed to connect with a volley after Borna Barisic found his fellow full-back charging into the box.

However, the Rangers captain made no mistake after 19 minutes, placing a penalty perfectly into the bottom left-hand corner after Nicolas Gavory handled a Connor Goldson header.

The goal sparked Gerrard’s men into life, and they came close to doubling their advantage almost immediately as Ianis Hagi’s speculative long-range effort whistled just wide.

However, it was Standard who finished the half strongest, with two efforts crashing off the frame of Rangers goal. First, Muleka’s glancing header came off the bar before the Congolese international had a second effort – which appeared to strike his hand – hit the woodwork.

The Ibrox club could have put the contest out of sight in the second half, with Alfredo Morelos having two close-range efforts saved by Arnaud Bodart, and Scott Arfield failing to hit the target from the edge of the area.

With the game poised at 1-0 heading into the closing stages, the risk was always there for Gerrard’s side, and Duje Cop should have made them pay. However, the Croat let the ball slip under his boot with the goal at his mercy before Roofe capped off the game with a truly stunning goal.

The former Leeds United and Anderlecht striker picked up the ball in his own half before knocking it past Gavory and unleashing an unbelievable strike from the halfway line which left Bodart helpless.

Man of the match – Calvin Bassey

Calvin Bassey
The 20-year-old (right) had big boots to fill, coming on in place of the injured Borna Barisic just before half-time, but the former Leicester man was composed and defended resolutely in challenging conditions

What did we learn?

Gerrard has instilled a steeliness into his side that was perhaps missing at times before.

In seasons gone by, the Ibrox club have dropped points from similar positions in Europe but, despite spending spells of the game under pressure, they prevented the Belgians registering a shot on target.

They did the same against Celtic in last weekend’s Old Firm derby victory and have now kept 12 clean sheets in 15 games this term.

graphic

Match stats

  • Rangers earned their second away win in 11 attempts in the Europa League (D5 L4).
  • This was Standard’s first home defeat in Europe in 15 games since in December 2014.
  • Since their last defeat in August against Bayer Leverkusen, Rangers have won 12 and drawn two.
  • Tavernier is Rangers’ top scorer in all competitions this season with nine goals.
  • Roofe has scored three goals in his last five games.

What’s next?

Rangers resume league duties on Sunday as they welcome Livingston to Ibrox (15:00 GMT).

Line-ups

Standard Liege

  • 16Bodart
  • 21FaiSubstituted forCarcela-Gonzálezat 64′minutes
  • 3Vanheusden
  • 6DussenneBooked at 18minsSubstituted forJansat 78′minutes
  • 24Gavory
  • 20BokadiBooked at 82mins
  • 22LestienneSubstituted forAvenatti Dovillabichusat 72′minutes
  • 28BastienBooked at 66mins
  • 8Cimirot
  • 19AmallahSubstituted forCopat 72′minutes
  • 17MulekaSubstituted forOularéat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Gillet
  • 7Cop
  • 9Oularé
  • 10Carcela-González
  • 12Sylvestre
  • 15Shamir
  • 18Boljevic
  • 25Avenatti Dovillabichus
  • 27Jans
  • 30Henkinet
  • 33Pavlovic
  • 34Laifis

Rangers

  • 1McGregorBooked at 45mins
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 26Balogun
  • 31BarisicSubstituted forBasseyat 43′minutesBooked at 66mins
  • 37Arfield
  • 8Jack
  • 18Kamara
  • 7HagiBooked at 26minsSubstituted forAriboat 67′minutes
  • 20MorelosSubstituted forRoofeat 74′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 14Kent

Substitutes

  • 3Bassey
  • 5Helander
  • 10Davis
  • 11Itten
  • 16Patterson
  • 17Aribo
  • 21Barker
  • 24Stewart
  • 25Roofe
  • 33McLaughlin
  • 36Barjonas
  • 61King

Referee:
Jakob Kehlet

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Standard Liège 0, Rangers 2.

  2. Second Half ends, Standard Liège 0, Rangers 2.

  3. Kemar Roofe (Rangers) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Goal! Standard Liège 0, Rangers 2. Kemar Roofe (Rangers) right footed shot from more than 35 yards to the centre of the goal.

  5. Foul by Connor Goldson (Rangers).

  6. Obbi Oularé (Standard Liège) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Attempt blocked. Kemar Roofe (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Kent.

  8. Attempt blocked. Ryan Kent (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Aribo.

  9. Foul by Kemar Roofe (Rangers).

  10. Zinho Vanheusden (Standard Liège) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Merveille Bokadi (Standard Liège) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Glen Kamara (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Foul by Merveille Bokadi (Standard Liège).

  14. Substitution, Standard Liège. Laurent Jans replaces Noe Dussenne.

  15. Offside, Standard Liège. Mehdi Carcela-González tries a through ball, but Felipe Nicolas Avenatti Dovillabichus is caught offside.

  16. Foul by Glen Kamara (Rangers).

  17. Zinho Vanheusden (Standard Liège) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Foul by Glen Kamara (Rangers).

  19. Samuel Bastien (Standard Liège) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Merveille Bokadi.

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