Gio van Bronckhorst’s Rangers sealed their place in the last eight of the Europa League in spite of their 2-1 loss on Thursday night.
The Gers failed to react from a short corner as Glen Kamara allowed his man to bring the ball down 10 yards out and fire it past Allan McGregor after Alfredo Morelos missed the initial header.
Ryan Kent made the score on the night 1-1 and 4-1 overall as he raced away on the counter-attack and saw his deflected effort nestle in the back of the net early on in the second half.
Allan McGregor was forced to make a string of superb saves to keep Red Star Belgrade at bay but he could do little about a stoppage-time penalty – given away by Kamara – winning the game for the Serbian outfit on the night.
Whilst Kamara will be disappointed in his part in both of Red Star’s goals, another player almost cost van Bronckhorst Europa League qualification – Joe Aribo.
The ex-Charlton man endured a rough evening as he struggled throughout the match and he was lucky not to cost the Gers their three-goal lead.
He was consistently losing physical duels and failing to do his job defensively, leading to a number of chances for Red Star that McGregor was forced to brilliantly save time and again.
Off the ball, he left plenty to be desired. As per SofaScore, he lost a whopping 16 individual battles out of the 22 he contested in 68 minutes on the pitch. This shows that the lightweight was abysmal out of possession as he was constantly bullied by the opposition and that allowed them to dominate his side and continually create openings in the final third.
On the ball, he made little impact. Via SofaScore, he completed just 58% of his passes and failed 100% of his attempted dribbles. He also ended the game without a single key pass or successful cross, which shows that he was unable to stamp his mark in the final third.
Therefore, he let van Bronckhorst down badly on the night and should consider himself thankful that McGregor saved him from being the villain of the piece alongside Kamara.
Hopefully, he will be able to shake off this performance and return back to his best against Dundee FC at the weekend and for whoever the Gers draw in the quarter-finals of the competition.