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Rangers beat Standard Liege 2-0 in Europa League opener

Kemar Roofe scored from his own half as Rangers won in Belgium.

Rangers beat Standard Liege 2-0 in Europa League opener SNS Group

Rangers have beaten Standard Liege 2-0 in the opening match of their Europa League group.

James Tavernier opened the scoring from the penalty spot for Steven Gerrard’s side before Kemar Roofe sealed three points with a stunning strike from his own half.

Rangers travelled to Belgium after a 2-0 win over Celtic that continued a strong start top the season. Gerrard made three changes to that team, bringing in Ryan Jack, Leon Balogun and Ianis Hagi for Steven Davis, Filip Helander and Brandon Barker.

The team settled quickly and were in front after 18 minutes. Tavenier’s cross was headed by Connor Goldson but Standard’s Nicolas Gavory played the ball with his hand and a penalty was awarded.

Arnaud Bodart dived the right way but Tavernier drilled his shot past the keeper.

Hagi almost doubled the visitor’s lead with a dipping strike from outside the box but Standard went close to levelling soon after when Jackson Muleka smashed a header off the bar with Allan McGregor beaten.

The Standard forward then hit the bar again on the stroke of half time but replays showed that he had struck the ball with his hand. Referee Jakob Kehlet missed the foul and booked McGregor for his protests.

After the break Standard pushed to get back on level terms but a torrential downpour forced both teams to change their style. Kehlet allowed play to continue despite a saturated pitch and difficult conditions.

Rangers defended their lead, pushing forward when they could, and looked set for a 1-0 win as the clock ticked down.

Roofe, who had replaced Morelos, had other ideas and beat three men in his own half after latching on to a clearance, before looking up and hitting a perfectly judged shot from 54 yards for a memorable goal.