PLAYER RATINGS: Rangers heroes secure Europa League final after epic semi-final v RB Leipzig

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GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 05: Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst at full time during a UEFA Europa League Semi-Final match between Rangers and Red Bull Leipzig at Ibrox Stadium, on May 05, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group)

Who else but John Lundstram, the English midfielder, defender and driving force who has rediscovered his form under van Bronckhorst to sweep Rangers to Seville in a fortnight’s time on an incredible evening at Ibrox.

Lundstram’s powerful performance at all ends of the field was the peak of an epic Rangers performance, front to back.

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Captained by James Tavernier, leading by example at the backpost to level the tie on aggregate after 19 minutes, they will head to Spain to face their third German opponents of the campaign – Eintracht Frankfurt.

Denied Laimer with a brilliant paw – ‘a critical moment’ according to his manager. No chance with the goal seconds later and took some crucial late pressure off to run down clock and cue a party.

Even without Kemar Roofe and the already injured Alfredo Morelos, Rangers found the net three times as Ibrox shook and Leipzig wobbled. Christopher Nkunku gave the tie a different complexion for a while, but the stands bounced to a crescendo after Lundstram tucked in the aggregate winner with nine minutes to go to ignite an already charged and emotional night.

May 18 promises to be similar – here is how the Rangers players who got them there rated…

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Who else would level the tie? Which other right back would be so advanced for a 19th minute tap-in? Inspired driving performance from the skipper.
Croatian was quietly effective but ensured defensive duties were followed primarily.
Solid at the back. Shackled Nkunku for all but a short spell where Leipzig lifted the tempo, but key headers late on cleared nervous moments as Rangers counted down the clock.
Left of the three, was solid in the first half where Leipzig only threatened sporadically, but showed his head for pressure in carrying the ball late on with Leipzig pushing for another.
Swept in the crucial second and became a Rangers hero. Poetic justice to finish this European campaign at Ibrox with a night like this after the way the last ended.
Marshalled the three at the back on the right side before stepping up to confidently trot around midfield the second half… then took goal in his stride to send Rangers to Seville.
Replaced by Balogun in the second half but provided anchor as Kamara frequently pressed forward. Had his own drive go close.
Missed a gilt edged chance for the third before going off after a blow to the head. Presence was a miss after settling into his new-found, and enforced, position. Replaced by Sakala.
Smothered by Leipzig defenders but kept running. Great strength for the opener and continued to drive at the shaken defense in the second half.
Another shift where he buffered off the German defense but continued willingness and showed added strength to last week’s display before being replaced by Arfield.

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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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