ALL good things must come to an end. It was no surprise that it was this night of all nights where the record would tumble.

Rangers took to the field against Lyon unbeaten in their nine group stage fixtures at Ibrox under Steven Gerrard. The champions couldn’t bring up the ten.

A moment of brilliance from Karl Toko Ekambi set the wheels in motion. A moment of misfortune from James Tavernier sealed their fate.

Gerrard had billed this fixture as the toughest that his side had faced at European level during his tenure. That pre-match prediction was unfortunately played out over this largely lacklustre 90 minutes in Group A.

Not since the defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in Gerrard’s second term have Rangers taken on a challenge such as this. There would be no revenge on Peter Bosz as the Dutchman maintained his perfect record in Glasgow.

This was a night where Rangers’ aspirations of finishing top of the table suffered a significant setback but progression from the section has to be the aim. That remains the case in defeat.

If it to be achieved, the trip to Sparta Prague carries even greater significance now, while the visit of Brondby already falls into the must-win category for the champions.

The Europa League has given Gerrard some of his most remarkable and memorable occasions as manager over the last three seasons.

The stage was set for this to be one of the best of all, but Rangers couldn’t deliver when it mattered. Lyon were just too good.

Had the first weeks of the campaign gone differently, Gerrard would have been celebrating his half century of continental fixtures with a Champions League group stage fixture.

As it was, Rangers had to make do with a Champions League level test as Lyon arrived in Glasgow aiming to lay down a marker of their intentions, both in Group A and in the competition as a whole.

It had all the ingredients for a special European evening. Rangers would need to punch above their weight, and Ibrox had to rise to the occasion. Neither happened.

The atmosphere for elongated spells was rather subdued. In that sense, it mirrored the performance from Gerrard’s side.

It was hard to shake the suspicion that Lyon were playing within themselves at times and that they had gears to move into should it be necessary. When they did, the Ligue 1 giants carried a menacing threat that made Ibrox hold its breath.

The opening goal was the perfect case in point. From a position of positivity, Rangers found themselves behind as Lyon were clinical in turning defence into attack.

A pass from Ryan Kent midway inside the Lyon half was slack and careless and, within seconds, it was punished in some style. The break was incisive, the finish clinical.

Ekambi picked up the ball on the left, shifted it inside a static John Lundstram and picked his spot in the corner of Allan McGregor’s net.

The quality of the strike from the Cameroonian cannot be downplayed, yet the concession of such a soft goal will have frustrated Gerrard. It was the kind of moment Rangers simply could not afford against a side of this stature.

McGregor wasn’t under siege either before or after that 23rd minute effort from Ekambi, but Lyon had enough menace about them to act as a warning to Rangers.

A Malo Gusto strike, after neat play from Houssem Aouar, was as close as the visitors would come to doubling their advantage before the interval.

At that stage, Rangers couldn’t grumble too much about being behind, yet the story could have been different if they had shown more composure in the final third or had a break when it was needed.

Steven Davis had fired a speculative effort high and wide of target early on, but Joe Aribo forced Anthony Lopes into a near post block and Lundstram whistled an effort just by the same section of woodwork.

Lopes had to make a smart save to prevent Emerson scoring an unusual own goal as he moved sharply to his left to hold a header.

When he went low to the same direction just before the break, he would deny Kent. The winger had collected a Borna Barisic cross and made space for himself, but a strike from the edge of the area wasn’t good enough to draw Rangers level.

The champions had shown that they could exploit Lyon – particularly through the trademark long diagonal from Connor Goldson – but it hadn’t quite clicked in the final third.

The scoreline was against Rangers. The game wasn’t outwith their grasps, however, as they re-emerged and sought to assert themselves on proceedings.

Within ten minutes, and having failed to do just that, Rangers were staring at defeat. From 2-0 down, it was a long, long way back and the recovery job never even got started.

Kent lost the ball in the build-up once again and Lucas Paquetá slipped in Aouar. His shot was well saved by McGregor, but the danger was far from over.

Rangers couldn’t make the most of a second chance to clear their lines and their third attempt delivered the damaging blow.

Islam Slimani celebrated after a strike from close range, but it was Goldson who fired the ball into the helpless Tavernier as Lyon doubled their lead.

The captain almost offered Rangers some hope with a spectacular free-kick that clipped the post but Gerrard’s side were up against it. The clock was as big an enemy as the opposition now.

The loss of Kent through injury only compounded Rangers’ problems. The Englishman pulled up and received treatment before being replaced by Kemar Roofe and his distress was clear as Gerrard suffered another significant squad setback.

There would be no dramatic comeback like that wonderful night against Braga and the closing stages offered only frustration for Rangers before a deserved defeat was confirmed.

Hope had faded and the stands began to empty long before the final whistle on an evening that promised so much but ultimately delivered little.

One run has come to an end. Rangers must now put another together.

There were few positives to take in defeat. The only consolation is that Lyon do not lie in wait again for some time.