Skip to content

Rangers: How did they reach the Europa League final in Seville?

Rangers will face Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final in Seville on May 18; it is the Ibrox side's first European final since 2008; they knocked out tournament favourites Borussia Dortmund to reach the showpiece event at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium

Credit - AP Photo/PA

Rangers' European journey started under Steven Gerrard last August and will end with Giovanni van Bronckhorst leading the club in a showpiece final.

The remarkable adventure will end at Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium and standing between the Ibrox side and Europa Leauge glory are Eintracht Frankfurt.

It's the third Bundesliga side the Gers will have faced in the knockout stages so here we take a look at their route to Seville, one that's been filled with giant-killings and comebacks...

Malmo misery ends CL dream

Rangers lost to Malmo in Champions League qualifying.
Image: Rangers lost to Malmo in the Champions League qualifiers

After clinching their first Scottish Premiership title in a decade, Rangers had the chance to reach the Champions League group stages but fell at the first hurdle after a disappointing exit to Malmo in the third qualifying round.

They dropped into Europa League qualifying and faced Armenian outfit Alashkert in the play-off round. They proved tougher than expected as 10-man Rangers edged to a 1-0 first-leg victory before playing out a goalless draw in Yerevan.

A fourth successive venture into the groups was secured, with Lyon, Sparta Prague and Brondby joining them in Group A.

A struggle through the group stage

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Rangers' Alfredo Morelos celebrates making it 2-0 with Joe Aribo during a UEFA Europa League match between Rangers and Sparta Prague at Ibrox Stadium, on November 25, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Image: Rangers qualified for the knockout stages by beating Sparta Prague

Consecutive defeats by Lyon and Sparta Prague gave Gerrard's side a tough task, but four points from their next two fixtures against Brondby kept their hopes of reaching the knockout stage alive.

Also See:

The Ibrox side then saw Gerrard leave for Aston Villa with new manager Van Bronckhorst immediately facing a key home game against Czech side Sparta.

A two-goal win was needed to progress from the group and the Dutchman achieved it on his Ibrox return as manager - an Alfredo Morelos double earning the win victory before the side drew 1-1 at group winners Lyon.

Dortmund demolished in Germany

James Tavernier scores from the penalty spot to make it 1-0 to Rangers vs Borrusia Dortmund
Image: James Tavernier got Rangers off to a great start against Dortmund

Rangers finished second in Group A meaning they could face a club that dropped out of the Champions League in their first knockout tie.

That's exactly what happened when Borussia Dortmund came out the hat and many thought the German side would be too big a challenge for Rangers.

However, the Ibrox side were ready to impress and were 2-0 up before half-time at the Signal Iduna Park before two more goals after the break had the small travelling support on a high.

Rangers beat Borussia Dortmund in a 10-goal epic
Image: Rangers overcame Borussia Dortmund in a 10-goal epic

Dortmund pulled two back to set up an absolute classic at Ibrox but as he did in the first-leg, James Tavernier opened the scoring from the spot, before Dortmund scored twice to take the lead on the night.

However, Tavernier struck again to dump the German giants out of the Europa League in an epic 10-goal tie. It was time for the last-16.

Rangers star against Belgrade

Rangers are in control of their last-16 tie against Red Star Belgrade
Image: Rangers reached the quarter finals by beating Red Star Belgrade

Rangers were struggling domestically as they headed into the last-16 tie against Red Star. Performances had dropped and their hopes of retaining the Scottish Premiership title were fading.

However, all was forgotten as they returned to the European stage and there was another famous night for the fans to enjoy at Ibrox as they beat the Serbians 3-0 to take full control of the tie.

Again Tavernier opened the scoring from the penalty spot, Morelos doubled the lead before half-time and Leon Balogun then added a third.

Allan McGregor then produced a man-of-the-match display as Rangers lost 2-1 in the away leg, meaning a resilient Rangers won 4-2 on aggregate. The dream was alive as the quarter-finals awaited.

Braga blown away at Ibrox

Rangers' Calvin Bassey vies for the ball with Braga's Iuri Medeiros
Image: Rangers took on Braga for a place in the last four

Rangers had knocked out tournament favourites Dortmund and Red Star, so there was no sign of fear as they prepared to take on Sporting Braga in the last eight.

Then Alfredo Morelos was ruled out for the season and the striker's absence was obvious as they struggled to threaten in front of goal during a 1-0 first-leg defeat in Portugal.

They were down but not out and Ibrox was ready for another huge night of European football.

Kemat Roofe's goal sent Rangers into the Europa League semi finals
Image: Kemar Roofe's goal sent Rangers into the semi-finals

A Tavernier double had them looking comfortable against the 10-man visitors, but a late header from David Carmo sent the tie into extra time. Cue Kemar Roofe.

The forward became a hero amongst the Ibrox support as he tapped in a dramatic winner to send the fans wild. Rangers were in the semi-finals.

Semi-final success

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Giovanni van Bronckhorst reflects on an emotional and dramatic night after Rangers reached the final of the Europa League following victory over RB Leipzig

Roofe was the man who kept Rangers' European dream alive, but he then joined Morelos on the sidelines.

With no recognised striker, they lacked flare against RB Leipzig in Germany and a late wonder strike from Angelino give their opponents a slim advantage.

The odds were now stacked against Van Bronckhorst side but the manager called on the supporters to help create an epic night under the floodlights at Ibrox.

The fans delivered and the players rose to the occasion.

As he had done so often captain Tavernier sent the stadium wild before Kamara doubled the lead on the night.

Christopher Nkunku levelled the tie but, with extra time looming, John Lundstram fired in to seal a historic night for the Glasgow giants.

John Lundstram's late goal sent Rangers into the Europa League final
Image: John Lundstram's late goal sent Rangers into the Europa League final

Tears of celebration and disbelief as the final whistle blew, they had done it. They were in the final.

Now Eintracht Frankfurt await Rangers in Seville on May 18. Would you bet against Rangers completing the job?

Win £250,000 with Super 6!
Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Another Saturday, another chance to win £250,000 with Super 6. Play for free, entries by 3pm

Around Sky