Rangers have impressed in every area of the park both domestically and in Europe in the opening weeks of the new season.

So it spoke volumes about how well Scott Arfield has been performing when Steven Gerrard singled him out for special praise in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

The Canadian internationalist showed why his manager has been so impressed with his displays in the Europa League play-off against Galatasaray last night.

He hadn’t scored in continental competition before last night, but you wouldn’t have known that when he buried the all-important opener early in the second-half.

He timed his run into the opposition box to perfection and his finish with the outside of his right foot left the advancing Fatih Ozturk no chance.


The Rangers manager is, despite bringing in Leon Balogun, Calvin Bassey, Ianis Hagi, Cedric Itten, Jon McLaughlin and Kemar Roofe this summer, keen to add more players to his squad before the transfer window closes on Monday.

Now that he has become the first manager to lead a team through four qualifying rounds and into the Europa League group stages three times, he can.

European football is hugely important to the Ibrox club financially. Securing their place in the competition proper will enable them to enter the market again despite the ongoing challenges presented by the Covid-19 outbreak.

That will increase their chances of progressing to the Europa League knockout rounds and landing their first Premiership title since 2011.


Having to play matches behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic this season has been necessary if unfortunate.

But at no stage in the 2020/21 campaign has the absence of fans been more keenly felt than at Ibrox last night.

If supporters had been allowed in to the Govan ground to cheer on their heroes last night the atmosphere would have been electric.

It was a match of massive importance for the Glasgow club and the visitors were one of the famous names of European football.

Having the vocal backing of their followers would have lifted James Tavernier and his team mates from kick-off.

Would they have drifted out of the game after their positive start if there had been a full house present? It is unlikely.

Crowd noise was played over the public address system throughout. But it just wasn’t the same. The sooner fans can file through the turnstiles again, even in limited numbers, the better.