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Rangers advance into Europa play-offs after Maribor draw

Rangers advance into Europa play-offs after Maribor draw

Allan McGregor pulled off a terrific save to deny Amir DervisevicRangers must beat Russian side FC Ufa to reach the Europa League group stage after easing past Maribor 3-1 on aggregate.Steven Gerrard's side drew 0-0 in Slovenia after Allan McGregor saved Marcos Tavares' stoppage-time penalty.Scotland international McGregor had earlier denied Tavares and Amir Dervisevic during a professional showing from the Premiership side.
Rangers will now join Celtic in the competition's play-off round.The first leg against European debutants Ufa will be at Ibrox next Thursday, before the return in Russia a week later.If the Scottish Premiership side progress, it will be the first time they will have reached the group stage of European competition since the 2010/11 Champions League.
Maribor showed Rangers 'no respect' - Gerrard
Reaction & relive Rangers' performance
'If you want Morelos, blow us out the water' - Gerrard
Rangers surpassing all expectations
With a two-goal cushion from the first leg at Ibrox, there was no need for Rangers to leave themselves exposed at the Ljudski vrt Stadium.Attacking was not their priority, with a tame Alfredo Morelos shot the sum total of their efforts going forward in the first half.With Andy Halliday deputising for the suspended Jon Flanagan and the ineligible Borna Barisic, there was a potential vulnerability on the left-side of the Rangers defence, but early Maribor pressure failed to yield any results for the hosts. McGregor's save to deny Dervisevic's 30-yard free-kick was as close as Darko Milanic's men came to a half-time lead. And it was the 91st minute before the Scotland goalkeeper was properly tested again, the 36-year-old saving Tavares' spot-kick after Luka Zahovic was tripped by Connor Goldson.The save ensured Gerrard takes his record to eight games undefeated at the start of his tenure, something which will have likely surpassed the expectations of many supporters.Maintaining that against Ufa, who are currently sixth in the Russian top flight, would take Gerrard's growing reputation as a coach to even greater heights.
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'Gerrard does not tolerate slackers' - analysis
BBC Scotland's Alasdair Lamont in MariborThis was another example of how Rangers have grown under Gerrard. They managed the game superbly, absorbing Maribor pressure, killing their momentum and limiting them to relatively few chances. Gerrard has his players well drilled, with each of them knowing their role with and without the ball. Their industry is also markedly improved on recent Rangers teams - Gerrard clearly does not tolerate slackers. But from Morelos all the way back to the defence, they chased and harried and thoroughly deserved to go through. The new manager's honeymoon period continues.
Line-ups
Line-ups
NK Maribor
33Handanovic
2KlinarSubstituted forPihlerat 52'minutes
10Hotic
9Morales Magno Tavares
4Suler
31IvkovicBooked at 90mins[/i]
5Vrhovec
11Zahovic
21DervisevicSubstituted forVrsicat 73'minutes
28Viler
27MesanovicSubstituted forMlakarat 80'minutes
Substitutes
6Pihler
8Cretu
12Vrsic
13Piric
20Bajde
29Mlakar
32Uskokovic
Rangers
1McGregor
6Goldson
10EjariaBooked at 27mins[/i]Substituted forKentat 68'minutes
2Tavernier
8JackBooked at 35mins[/i]
16Halliday
37ArfieldBooked at 89mins[/i]
7MurphyBooked at 74mins[/i]Substituted forMcCrorieat 76'minutes
19Katic
20Morelos
21CandeiasBooked at 32mins[/i]
Substitutes
9Sadiq
13Foderingham
14Hodson
17McCrorie
26Kent
27Kelly
40Middleton
Referee:Jonathan Lardot
See also:
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