Sheyi Ojo scored with a blistering strike to help Rangers to a 1-0 victory over Feyenoord, giving Steven Gerrard the tribute he wanted to former captain Fernando Ricksen.
Gerrard had said a victory in his side’s Europa League Group G opener would be a fitting way to celebrate the life of fans’ favourite Ricksen, who died on Wednesday after a long battle with motor neurone disease, and Ojo’s first-half winner was enough to secure it.
The 22-year-old Liverpool loanee delivered a moment of real quality to separate the two teams, on a night when impressive finishing was in short supply at Ibrox.
Yet the way Rangers blunted Feyenoord’s attacking threat will have pleased Gerrard as he plots a course through a competition he won as a player in its previous guise as the UEFA Cup.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) September 19, 2019
After Feyenoord’s Sam Larsson missed an early close-range chance, centre-back Edgar Ie handled in his own box only for Rangers captain James Tavernier to send the ensuing penalty kick wide, clipping the outside of the post with his low, side-footed attempt.
The hosts kept the pressure on and Scott Arfield hit the post before Borna Barisic’s brave challenge presented Ojo with a chance 20 yards from goal and the winger unleashed a resplendent left-footed drive that bulged the left side of Kenneth Vermeer’s net.
Ojo hit the woodwork from just inside the box five minutes from half-time, but Feyenoord started the second half brightly as Steven Berghuis sent a diving header just wide.
Substitute Luciano Narsingh gave the Eredivisie side a lift and he went clean through on goal five minutes from time but Allan McGregor got down well to save his low shot, preserving Rangers’ clean sheet on an emotional night for their supporters.
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