Rangers recorded one of their best European away results with a 4-2 win over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Europa League play-off tie.
James Tavernier put the team on the road to victory, with Alfredo Morelos and John Lundstram adding to the scoring before Jude Bellingham pulled a goal back for the hosts.
Dan-Axel Zagadou deflected a shot into his own net to make it 4-1 for Rangers before Raphael Geurreiro pulled one back for Dortmund to set up a thrilling second leg at Ibrox next week.
Rangers went into the game as underdogs but had an early chance when Borna Barisic made a run into the box but the full-back’s shot from edge of the six-yard box blocked by Gregor Kobel.
Shortly after Dortmund showed their attacking threat when Dan-Axel Zagadou had a free header from a corner but fluffed his lines, heading into the turf and making it easy for Allan McGregor to gather when a goal seemed almost certain.
The home side’s growing grip on the game was evident in the 26th minute when Jude Bellingham found space on the left to play in a low cross but Julian Brandt could only get the faintest of touches on the ball and his connection meant Donyell Malen couldn’t pounce as it swept across goal.
The visitors took the lead in the 36th minute. A Rangers corner was cleared without complaint but the referee was alerted by VAR and after a review he awarded a penalty for hand ball by Zagadou. Tavernier stepped up and sent Kobel the wrong way as the ball found the back of the net.
Buoyed by their goal, Rangers threatened again immediately, pouring forward before a Morelos shot from a narrow angle was turned behind. Tavernier’s corner was headed across goal by Joe Aribo and Morelos was free at the back post to knock the ball over the line.
Dortmund made two changes at the break in the hopes of turning things around, bringing on Giovanni Reyna and Youssoufa Moukoko for Axel Witsel and Julian Brandt.
Despite the changes, it was Rangers who made the first mark on the second half. Ryan Kent wove his way down the left under close attention from Dortmund defenders and then cut the ball back for Lundstram to curl in a first time shot from distance and give his side a three-goal advantage.
The hosts responded immediately. Moukoko made a driving run before passing to Bellingham and the Englishman swept a finish past Allan McGregor.
The explosive start to the second half continued with another goal in the 54th minute and it was Rangers who found the net once again. Aribo carried the ball to the edge of the box and picked out Morelos to his left and the Colombian’s shot took a nick off Zagadou and found the far corner of the net.
Dortmund continued to threaten, and Bellingham was running directly at the defence at every opportunity, but Rangers continued to be a threat on the counter, with Aribo flashing a dangerous drive past the post on one foray forward. James Sands replaced Scott Arfield and dropped into a defensive position shortly after as Rangers looked to thwart Dortmund’s attempts to gain a foothold.
The visitors remained in control but saw their lead cut with just under ten minutes left. Raphael Guerreiro hit a shot from 20 yards that looped over McGregor and into the net.
Glen Kamara and Aaron Ramsey were introduced as Rangers looked to see out the final minutes and with no further scoring they took a memorable win and a significant lead back to Glasgow ahead of next week’s second leg.
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