STICK a tick in another box for Steven Gerrard and Rangers in the Europa League. In a managerial career of firsts, victory over Standard Liege ensured another achievement was earned.

This was Rangers’ first group stage win away from home under Gerrard’s guidance. Indeed, it is the first since that memorable night in Lyon under Walter Smith.

A first half penalty from James Tavernier and a stunning strike from substitute Kemar Roofe ensured Rangers got their campaign off to a winning start. With Lech Poznan to come at Ibrox next week, Rangers now have a chance to put themselves in a strong position in Group D as they continue to make an impact at this level.

At the start of each of Rangers’ Europa League journeys, there has been a section of the support that have made the case that this competition isn’t as important as those Rangers enter domestically. That is true to an extent, but those that would give up European football miss the point of just how important nights like this are to Rangers.

This side would not be where they are today if it were not for their achievements on this stage and the prize money and prestige cannot be overlooked. Gerrard has earned one and restored the other.

Given how impressive Rangers have been on the continent over the last two years, it is a surprise that they have not been able to win away from home in the group stages. Some matches, like the draws in Villarreal, Porto and Feyenoord, have felt like wins at the time but Rangers kicked off in Liege knowing that their record would surely have to change in Group D if they were to progress to the knockout rounds once again.

By the time Gerrard’s side returned to the dressing room at the interval, they were halfway towards that very aim. This wasn’t Rangers at their best, far from it in fact, but one of Gerrard’s tried and trusted performers had ensured they had something to show for their efforts.

Standard may have been depleted due to a Coronavirus outbreak, but the hosts were still more than capable of causing Rangers problems. Given their long unbeaten record at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne, a run which stood at 15 European games before this one, Rangers knew it was no simple ask to come here and win.

They were given a helping hand, quite literally, after 18 minutes. A Tavernier corner found Connor Goldson and his header struck the arm of Nicolas Gavory.

This was a clinical conversion from 12 yards as he tucked it into the bottom right corner of Arnaud Bodart’s goal. Given how imperious Tavernier has been from those situations this term, it is hard to fathom just why he was so out of sorts last season.

The advantage was certainly satisfying for Rangers, but it was one that they looked more like losing than adding to at times. A speculative effort from Ianis Hagi was as close as Gerrard’s side would come as too many moves broke down prematurely.

The half would end with the loss of Borna Barisic – the Croatian receiving treatment and then hobbling off with a strain - but not the concession of the equaliser.

Standard had their chances in an entertaining affair. A neat header from Jackson Muleka beat Allan McGregor but clipped the bar on the half hour mark.

Another attempt just before the whistle met with the same fate, although the striker had clearly used his arm to divert the ball towards goal in what was his final contribution before being replaced at the break.

As the Liege skies opened and the rained poured, the 3,750 supporters that had been granted access may have wished they had stayed at home to watch the Group D opener.

Rangers should have added to the woes of the home crowd but Alfredo Morelos was having one of those nights. His first chance after a Tavernier pass was squandered as a result of a slack touch, while his second was blocked by Bodart following a neat ball from Hagi.

The conditions became increasingly difficult and treacherous and the action became unsurprisingly sloppy. A fine charge forward from the impressive Bassey led to Scott Arfield curling an effort just wide but not making mistakes was soon as important as creating chances.

An opportunity that never looked like one presented itself to Roofe with just seconds to spare. After he won the ball in his own half, he scored from it with an audacious finish.

Roofe's celebrations - as he ran to the home crowd and made an 'A' with his fingers in relation to his time at Anderlecht - appeared to spark the post-match rammy. That scuffle couldn't dampen Roofe's spirits, though, as he scored a goal that will live long in the memory.

It was a moment of sublime skill that shone brightly amongst the rain clouds to top off a deserved and pleasing victory for Rangers as the experience and nous earned over two seasons came to the fore.

This is a side that know how to compete and operate at this level. They also now know what it takes to win away from home.