Beale hails second-half response as Rangers reach play-offs

Rangers will now face PSV after securing a draw in Switzerland.

Michael Beale hails second-half response as Rangers reach Champions League play-offs SNS Group

Rangers manager Michael Beale praised his side for digging deep and finding the answers in Switzerland after James Tavernier’s equaliser sent them into the Champions League play-offs.

Last season’s Premiership runners-up will face PSV Eindhoven next Tuesday at Ibrox after James Tavernier’s equaliser sealed a 1-1 draw against Servette and a 3-2 aggregate win in the third qualifying round.

Jack Butland made one-on-one stops either side of Dereck Kutesa’s excellent finish midway through the first half in Geneva and Danilo squandered a glorious opportunity for Rangers before the break.

Rangers continued with a midfield diamond after the interval but were far more effective and they forced two saves before Tavernier headed home a Borna Barisic cross five minutes after the interval.

Cyriel Dessers missed two good chances to put the game out of sight but Rangers were generally comfortable as Servette tried to force extra time.

Beale told Rangers TV: “We didn’t do well enough first half, I thought we were passive and obviously they scored and the crowd were up in the stadium.

“We had a wonderful chance ourselves with Dani and obviously he misses and we go in at half-time and had to have a strong conversation.

“We were much better second half, we got the full-backs higher. Borna, a fantastic cross, and Tav, something we have seen for a number of years, it was a wonderful goal.”

Beale added: “The game is 90 minutes plus and sometimes you have got to solve the problem as you go through the game.

“The second half was much, much better, more energy and more running forward, and in the end we saw the game out well. We were unfortunate not to score one or two more.

“This was a tough night. The pitch was extreme and the pitch was very slow and sticky, the home fans were up. We had to dig deep and we got the job done.

“When you are 1-0 down you are looking for a response from the players and we certainly had that after half-time.

“Dujon Sterling came on and did well for the team, as well. I have to say Jack Butland was outstanding and that’s why we recruited him.”

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