Glasgow Rangers secured a top seed place in Monday’s Europa League last 32 draw after Steven Gerrard’s side beat Lech Poznan in Poland on Thursday night to win Group D.
The Light Blues need to match or better Benfica’s result against Standard Liege to finish top of the group, and they passed with flying colours as goals from Cedric Itten and Ianis Hagi gave them the deserved victory.
Itten opened the scoring before half-time and Hagi scored his first goal since August after Connor Goldson’s header hit the bar to double the lead.
The 22-year-old has copped a fair amount of stick in recent months but put in a performance to remember on Thursday night.
Per SofaScore, the Romania international received a high rating of 8 out of ten for his efforts – he took 50 touches of the ball, three shots on target, provided 25 out of 31 passes, produced two key passes, won five out of his seven duels overall, and was fouled twice.
Glasgow Live gave Hagi a grade of 7/10, claiming he ‘made sure Goldson’s header cross the line and grew in confidence as the game went’, whilst The Daily Record awarded him with a similar score, insisting he ‘has been operating on the fringes of late but given an opportunity to shine as part of a three-pronged attack and was unlucky not to score with deflected shot before nodding home the second goal.’
In 20 appearances for the Gers, the attacking midfielder has scored two goals and supplied eight assists in all competitions, via Transfermarkt, whilst he is averaging 2 shots and 1.7 key passes per game, as per WhoScored.
Hagi has arguably struggled to hit the ground running at times since making the move permanent in the summer, having started just three out of six games in the Europa League so far this season.
But it’s fair to say that this was a big step in the right direction and will have gone some way towards silencing any lingering doubts about his obvious talent, as he mustered more shots on target than any other player on the pitch.
AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers striker Cedric Itten was Gerrard’s hero vs Lech Poznan…