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Rangers 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen: Visitors hit three to build lead

The visitors shone at Ibrox and take a big advantage into the second leg.

Rangers 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen: Visitors hit three to build lead SNS

Rangers have lost 3-1 to Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.

The German side were the better team over 90 minutes to hand Rangers their first European home defeat in 18 games.

After controlling the majority of the early play, the visitors took the lead after 37 when a VAR check saw handball given against George Edmundson and Kai Havertz struck the resulting penalty past Allan McGregor.

Bayer Leverkusen doubled their lead in the second half when Charles Aranguiz smacked in a rebound from distance to leave Rangers with an uphill battle.

Steven Gerrard’s side fought to get back into the game and hopes rose when Edmundson found space to head in from a James Tavernier cross.

Ibrox was silenced soon after when Leon Bailey received the ball on the left and hit a rising shot that McGregor was helpless to stop.

Both sides will now wait to find out if the second leg will take place as scheduled with UEFA meeting on Tuesday to discuss a response to the coronavirus epidemic. The match is already set to be played behind closed doors but there is the possibility that all continental competition could be suspended.

Rangers will also expect action from the governing body after a bottle was thrown on to the pitch after the visitor’s third goal.