Match ends, Rangers 3, SK Rapid Wien 1.
Rangers 3-1 Rapid Vienna: Rapid response sends Rangers top of group
Rangers moved top of Europa League Group G as they came from behind to claim a deserved win over Rapid Vienna.
Veton Berisha broke the deadlock to give the Austrians the lead at Ibrox, but it was short-lived with Alfredo Morelos replying instantly.
Rangers' second came with just six minutes to play as Morelos was brought down in the box, James Tavernier scoring from the spot.
And Morelos finished the game off with a smart counter attack at the death.
With Villarreal drawing 3-3 away to Spartak Moscow, Rangers have the advantage ahead of their double-header with the Russians.
It means Steven Gerrard's side are still unbeaten in Europe this season, with five wins and five draws.
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Rangers rewarded for patience
It had not been a lively first half, but as the half-time whistle edged closer suddenly the game sparked into life.
Andrei Ivan collected the ball on the right hand side. Despite looking offside the flag stayed down, and his cut-back was slid into the path of Berisha by Rangers midfielder Lassana Coulibaly, leaving the Rapid forward with an easy finish.
But within a minute Rangers were level. Tavernier collected the ball out wide and drove it perfectly into the path of Morelos who made no mistake from the centre of the box.
Initially the second half was much of the same. Rangers kept the ball, but the incisive passing was missing. The visitors always looked a threat on the break, but were not making enough to seriously trouble the Ibrox men.
Rapid goalkeeper Richard Strebinger's one-handed save denied Ovie Ejaria's diving header. Then Morelos broke free on the right but was too keen to get a cross in when an extra touch would have allowed more blue shirts to get into the box.
Something had to give though and when Morelos drove into the box, Mario Sonnleitner scythed him down. Tavernier made it five successful penalties from five attempts this season, rocketing the ball into the top corner.
And with just injury time left and Rapid throwing men forward, Rangers broke on the counter attack, and Daniel Candeias' backheel from the halfway line was pounced on by Morelos who made no mistake, finishing beyond Strebinger.
Comfortable in Europe - analysis
This was a different Rangers than the one that had struggled to impose themselves away to Livingston.
The Europa League has brought the best out of Gerrard's side this season. They look comfortable at this level, and for long spells against Rapid Vienna they were patient up front, refusing to panic as the clock ticked by without the lead they craved.
At the back Rapid were restricted to little, only twice breaking through, and even then the second occasion was a more than debatable offside call.
Rangers were knocking the ball about well, but they found their main success when they drove at the Austrians and it was Morelos' run that earned them the decisive penalty.
Sitting top of Group G after two games, there is now more than just an outside chance of qualifying through the section and into the knockout stages.
- 1McGregorBooked at 43mins
- 26KentSubstituted forHallidayat 90'minutes
- 20MorelosSubstituted forMiddletonat 90+5'minutes
- 3MüldürBooked at 63mins
- 4BaracSubstituted forDibonat 33'minutes
- 97IvanBooked at 51minsSubstituted forAlarat 58'minutes
- 8SchwabBooked at 68mins
- 9BerishaBooked at 11minsSubstituted forBolingoli-Mbomboat 72'minutes
- 22PavlovicBooked at 90mins
- Ruddy Buquet
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Rangers 3, SK Rapid Wien 1.
Substitution, Rangers. Glenn Middleton replaces Alfredo Morelos.
Goal! Rangers 3, SK Rapid Wien 1. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Daniel Candeias following a fast break.
Foul by Alfredo Morelos (Rangers).
Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo (SK Rapid Wien) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Andrija Pavlovic (SK Rapid Wien) is shown the yellow card.
Substitution, Rangers. Andy Halliday replaces Ryan Kent.
Foul by Jon Flanagan (Rangers).
Mert Müldür (SK Rapid Wien) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Daniel Candeias (Rangers).
Marvin Potzmann (SK Rapid Wien) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, SK Rapid Wien. Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo tries a through ball, but Andrija Pavlovic is caught offside.
Goal! Rangers 2, SK Rapid Wien 1. James Tavernier (Rangers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Penalty Rangers. Alfredo Morelos draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Mario Sonnleitner (SK Rapid Wien) after a foul in the penalty area.
Attempt saved. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Foul by Ryan Kent (Rangers).
Thomas Murg (SK Rapid Wien) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, SK Rapid Wien. Conceded by Connor Goldson.
Offside, Rangers. James Tavernier tries a through ball, but Ryan Kent is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Foul by James Tavernier (Rangers).
Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo (SK Rapid Wien) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Rangers. James Tavernier tries a through ball, but Ovie Ejaria is caught offside.
Substitution, SK Rapid Wien. Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo replaces Veton Berisha.
Foul by Ovie Ejaria (Rangers).
Mario Sonnleitner (SK Rapid Wien) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Stefan Schwab (SK Rapid Wien) is shown the yellow card.
Connor Goldson (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Andrija Pavlovic (SK Rapid Wien).
Attempt saved. Ovie Ejaria (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by James Tavernier with a cross.
James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Veton Berisha (SK Rapid Wien).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Marvin Potzmann (SK Rapid Wien) because of an injury.
Attempt missed. Scott Arfield (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Christopher Dibon.
Mert Müldür (SK Rapid Wien) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Ryan Kent (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.