Europa League - Qualifying Play-offs - 2nd Leg
FC Ufa1Rangers1

Ufa 1-1 Rangers: Steven Gerrard's nine-man side reach Europa League groups

Alfred Morelos
Alfredo Morelos is shown a red card in Russia

Steven Gerrard's nine-man Rangers survived a frantic second-half Ufa onslaught to clinch a place in the Europa League group stage.

The Scottish Premiership side remain unbeaten in 12 games under Gerrard despite playing the final 24 minutes with a two-man deficit after Jon Flanagan received a second booking.

Alfredo Morelos had earlier been shown his second red card of the campaign - this time being given a second yellow for dissent after being cautioned for kicking the ball away.

At that stage, Rangers were ahead 2-1 on aggregate after Ovie Ejaria's curling shot was cancelled out by Dmitri Sysuev's leveller.

Ufa registered 26 attempts as they pushed late on but they found Allan McGregor and his defence a formidable barrier, with an injury-time strike ruled out for offside.

Rangers now visit Celtic in Sunday's Old Firm game having reached the group stage of a European competition for the first time since the 2010-11 Champions League.

The draw takes place in Monaco on Friday at 12:00 BST.

'Heroic defending & Morelos' red mist'

Nobody could have foreseen the nervy second half that would befall Rangers when Ejaria's stunning opener put the Glasgow outfit into the lead on nine minutes.

Flanagan's cross was not dealt with by the Ufa defence and the on-loan Liverpool defender curled his shot high into the net from just inside the box to leave the Russians needing three goals to prevent the Premiership side reaching the group stage.

Rangers had not conceded a goal away from home in three European ties this season until Sysuev struck on 33 minutes - running in on goal and slotting beyond McGregor despite looking marginally offside.

The equaliser caught the Scottish side by surprise, and was one of the few times Gerrard's defence appeared vulnerable at the Neftyanik Stadium.

Ufa still needed two more goals, but the tie appeared to take an even more ominous turn on 38 minutes.

Morelos was booked for kicking the ball away after being penalised for a challenge, and a second yellow followed after he directed his frustrations towards the officials.

It was the Colombian striker's second red card of the season, having been dismissed for a kick at Aberdeen's Scott McKenna in the opening game of the season, albeit the punishment was later downgraded to a booking.

That left Rangers facing just short of an hour with a man disadvantage and their task became even more daunting on 66 minutes, when referee Tobias Stieler penalised Flanagan for a high elbow.

Then the Ufa cavalry charge began. Vyacheslav Krotov hit a post and Jemal Tabidze had the ball in the net in injury time, but it was ruled out for a foul on Ejaria.

Rangers defended desperately, though, and did enough to ensure European football until Christmas.

'Selfish Morelos put team in trouble' - analysis

Former Rangers & Scotland striker Billy Dodds on BBC Sportsound

The biggest disappointment is that Morelos had so many opportunities to get himself out of the situation and ensure he stayed on the park but he didn't take them. It's so selfish and he put his team in a lot of trouble.

People were asking the question of Steven Gerrard and whether he was tactically good enough. He's answered a huge question. Rangers rode their luck at times but it was a brilliant performance.

Line-ups

FC Ufa

  • 31Belenov
  • 55Tabidze
  • 3AlikinSubstituted forOblyakovat 52'minutes
  • 27Nedelcearu
  • 17Zhivoglyadov
  • 6SalaticBooked at 34minsSubstituted forKrotovat 76'minutes
  • 19PaurevicBooked at 82mins
  • 5Jokic
  • 9Vanek
  • 7Sysuev
  • 44IgbounBooked at 86mins

Substitutes

  • 8Carp
  • 13Zaseev
  • 20Tumasyan
  • 33Sukhov
  • 57Krotov
  • 88Shelia
  • 98Oblyakov

Rangers

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 19Katic
  • 15FlanaganBooked at 66mins
  • 21CandeiasSubstituted forLaffertyat 45'minutes
  • 8Jack
  • 10Ejaria
  • 37ArfieldSubstituted forHallidayat 69'minutes
  • 26Kent
  • 20MorelosBooked at 38mins

Substitutes

  • 5Wallace
  • 9Sadiq
  • 13Foderingham
  • 16Halliday
  • 17McCrorie
  • 38Lafferty
  • 40Middleton
Referee:
Tobias Stieler
Attendance:
13,186

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 30th August 2018

  • FC UfaFC Ufa1RangersRangers1
  • BurnleyBurnley1OlympiakosOlympiakos1
  • CelticCeltic3SuduvaSuduva0
  • FC AstanaFC Astana1Apoel NicosiaApoel Nicosia0
    FC Astana win 2-1 on penalties
  • AEK LarnacaAEK Larnaca3AS TrencínAS Trencín0
  • FC CopenhagenFC Copenhagen0AtalantaAtalanta0
    FC Copenhagen win 4-3 on penalties
  • RB LeipzigRB Leipzig3Zorya LuhanskZorya Luhansk2
  • Apollon LimassolApollon Limassol1FC BaselFC Basel0
    Apollon Limassol win on away goals
  • CFR ClujCFR Cluj2F91 DudelangeF91 Dudelange3
  • FK QarabagFK Qarabag3Sheriff TiraspolSheriff Tiraspol0
  • LudogoretsLudogorets Razgrad4Torpedo KutaisiTorpedo Kutaisi0
  • Maccabi Tel-AvivMaccabi Tel-Aviv2Sarpsborg 08Sarpsborg 081

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Villarreal6321106411
2FC Astana6312107310
3Slavia Prague62226608
4Maccabi Tel-Aviv611418-74

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dynamo Kiev6411159613
2Partizan Belgrade622289-18
3Young Boys613278-16
4Skenderbeu6123610-45

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sporting Braga631298110
2Ludogorets62317529
3Istanbul Basaksehir622278-18
4Hoffenheim6123810-25

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1AC Milan6321136711
2AEK Athens61506518
3HNK Rijeka62131112-17
4Austria Vienna6123916-75

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Atalanta64201441014
2Lyon6321114711
3Everton6114715-84
4Apollon Limassol6033514-93

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lokomotiv Moscow632194511
2FC Copenhagen62317349
3Sheriff Tiraspol62314409
4Zlín6024110-92

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Viktoria Plzen6402138512
2Steaua Bucharest631297210
3Lugano6303911-29
4Hapoel Be'er Sheva6114510-54

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal64111441013
2Red Star Belgrade62313219
3Köln620478-16
4BATE Borisov6123616-105

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1RB Salzburg633071612
2Marseille62224408
3Konyaspor613246-26
4Vitória Guimarães612359-45

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ath Bilbao632185311
2Östersunds FK632184411
3Zorya Luhansk620439-66
4Hertha Berlin612367-15

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lazio6411127513
2Nice630312759
3SV Zulte Waregem6213813-57
4Vitesse6123510-55

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St Petersburg65101751216
2Real Sociedad64021661012
3Rosenborg6123611-55
4Vardar6015320-171
View full Europa League tables

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