How Rangers lined up the last time they faced RB Leipzig 5 years on from sub zero reality check

It might only have been a friendly but there was a cold reality about the defeat on a sub-zero Sunday in east Germany.

Rangers took on RB Leipzig in a winter break friendly as they geared up for the second half of the season.

But the performance did little to warm them up with their hosts the only thing that was red-hot on a freezing day.

Mark Warburton’s men were thumped 4-0 in the Red Bull Arena with Oliver Burke even getting on the scoresheet despite flopping during his stint there after a much-hyped £13 million move.

The then Ibrox boss claimed it was a learning experience for his players as he looked to get the club back onto the European stage following a six-year absence.

But just a month after that defeat the Englishman was given the bullet and his successor Pedro Caixinha took over, finishing third that season to reach the Europa League.

Their return to continental competition, though, wasn’t much to shout about as they were embarrassed by Luxembourg minnows Progres Niederkorn.

So that mid-season bounce game in Germany in January 2017 is a good reference point to look at just how far Rangers have progressed as they prepare to face RB Leipzig again – this time in Europa League semi-finals.

It’s hard to believe just how far they have come in that relatively short space of time given they hadn’t even returned to the European stage following the club’s financial collapse.

Here, RecordSport looks back at the team who took to the field for that 4-0 drubbing as Red Bull clipped their wings.

Starting XI

Wes Fordingham

Spent five years at Ibrox after Mark Warburton signed him but played a second fiddle to Allan McGregor when the hero keeper returned and left for Sheffield United two years ago.

James Tavernier

Still going strong at Ibrox and RB Leipzig will see a much-improved player who has been the star man in this Europa League run.

rob kiernan

A player who probably sums up the standard of Rangers at that period. A decent defender but not good enough to get the club to where they wanted to be and his performance in the Scottish Cup final defeat to Hibs in 2016 came in for heavy criticism.

Clint Hill

A veteran when he arrived at Ibrox but a solid professional who was just at the club at the wrong time. However, a fans favorite for his commitment to him-and that goal against Celtic.

8,000 Gers made the journey

Danny Wilson

Was in his second spell at Ibrox after leaving for Liverpool first time around and did a job before moving across the Atlantic to Colorado Rapids.

Jason Holt

Played a huge part in helping Rangers win promotion back to the top flight from the Championship but Steven Gerrard made him available for transfer when he arrived and joined Livingston after a couple of loan spells.

jon toral

Spaniard arrived the month of the Germany trip as he was reunited with Warburton who managed him at Brentford but failed to impress.

Barry McKay

The pick of the bunch of that team and was said to have impressed RB Leipzig chiefs at that time with his performance. Still turning on at Hearts after stint south of the border.

Josh Windass

A decent servant for Rangers at a difficult time and sold for a tidy profit when he moved to Wigan Athletic for £2.5 million in Gerrard’s first season.

Kenny Miller

Veteran striker who was back at Ibrox for a third time and would last another season before it ended on a sour note following a bust-up with the club.


matt gilks – Back-up keeper who never let the side down when called upon

Philippe Paths – Swiss stopper had a stellar CV but never recovered from nightmare Old Firm display

harry forrest – Flair player who had some nice skills but not at the level required

Emerson Hyndmann – Classy midfielder brought in loan from Bournemouth but American, who later had a spell at Hibs, was another who might have flourished in a better team

leipzig ran riot

Lee Hodson – A right back deputy who never let the side down

Martin Waghorn – Goal machine down south who has gone on to have a good career in English Championship

Michael O’Halloran – Signed after impressing for St Johnstone against Rangers but didn’t hit the heights and acrimonious departure after being frozen out under Caixinha

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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