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Rangers beat Galatasaray to reach Europa League group stage

Scott Arfield and James Tavernier scored in the 2-1 play-off win at Ibrox.

Rangers beat Galatasaray to reach Europa League group stage SNS Group

Rangers will be in the draw for the Europa League group stage after they beat Turkish giants Galatasaray 2-1 at Ibrox.

Goals from Scott Arfield and James Tavernier ensured that Steven Gerrard’s team qualified for the third successive season.

The home side started brightly with Arfield close to getting on the end of a Tavernier cross after just six minutes, closely followed by Connor Goldson threatening with a header from a Borna Barisic corner.

Galatasaray weathered the early storm and Sofiane Feghouli kept the Rangers defence lively but the home side were strongly pushing for the opener and Alfredo Morelos was crowded out after being set up by Ryan Kent.

Neither side could find a goal before the half time whistle and almost immediately after the restart Morelos headed a good chance straight at Fatih Ozturk.

After 51 minutes Rangers took the lead with a slick passing move. Tavernier played the ball towards the centre of the box and Morelos dummied to allow Ianis Hagi to slide the ball into Arfield’s path. The midfielder made no mistake with a crisp finish.

Seven minutes later the lead was doubled and again it came after clever interplay. Eight players were involved as the ball was worked from the right side of defence to the left flank where Barisic’s cross was met by Tavernier, who outjumped his marker to head in.

Galatasaray made optimistic claims for a penalty as they tried to get back into the game but were struggling to create clear chance. But they set up a nervy finale as they scored three minutes from time. Marcao leapt high to meet a cross into the box and headed past Allan McGregor.

Rangers held on and saw out the remaining moments, taking another memorable European win under Gerrard and going into Friday’s group stage draw.