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Standard Liege vs Rangers. Europa League Group D.

Stade de SclessinAttendance3,139.

Standard Liege 0

    Rangers 2

    • J Tavernier (19th minute pen)
    • K Roofe (92nd minute)

    Standard Liege 0-2 Rangers: Kemar Roofe hands visitors Europa League win

    Kemar Roofe scores from inside his own half - the longest-ever Europa League goal - to hand Rangers a 2-0 win at Standard Liege; James Tavernier had opened the scoring with a first-half penalty as Steven Gerrard's side kicked off their Group D campaign with a win

    Kemar Roofe celebrates making it 2-0 during the UEFA Europa League match between Standard Liege and Rangers
    Image: Kemar Roofe scored a stunning second for Rangers

    Kemar Roofe's incredible late strike saw Rangers beat Standard Liege 2-0 as Steven Gerrard's side began their Europa League campaign in impressive style.

    James Tavernier had given the visitors a 19th-minute lead from the penalty spot - the right back's ninth goal already of the season - before Roofe sealed their win with one of the goals of the season.

    The substitute picked up possession midway inside his own half, danced his way past three challenges, before catching Standard goalkeeper Arnaud Bodart slightly off his line and scoring from just inside his own half.

    As a result, Rangers go joint top of Group D after inflicting a first home defeat in Europe on Standard for 15 games and six years.

    Player ratings

    Standard: Bodart (6), Fai (6), Vanheusdenm Dussennen(6), Gavoryn (6), Bokadi (6), Lestienne (6), Cimirot (6), Bastien (6), Amallah (6), Muleka (7)

    Subs: Cop (6), Oulare (6), Carcela (6), Avenatti (6), Janes (6)

    Rangers: McGregor (7), Tavernier (9), Goldson (8), Balogun (8), Barisic (7), Kamara (8), Jack (7), Arfield (8), Hagi (6), Kent (7), Morelos (6)

    Subs: Bassey (8), Aribo (7), Roofe (8)

    Man of the match: James Tavernier

    How Rangers began their Europa League campaign in style

    Rangers arrived in Liege on the back of a potentially season-defining win at Celtic, but with ambitions too to make their mark in Europe as they did last season, albeit against opponents who rarely lose at the Stade de Sclessin.

    However, the visitors produced another mature display on the road, helped by an early nerve-settling penalty, awarded after Noe Dussenne had handled Connor Goldson's header in the box.

    James Tavernier gives Rangers the lead from the penalty spot
    Image: James Tavernier gave Rangers the lead from the penalty spot

    Up stepped Mr Reliable from the spot, Tavernier, who again kept his cool to convert his fifth penalty of the campaign, despite Bodart diving the right way, as the captain became his side's top scorer in all competitions this season.

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    Standard, who are currently just a point off top spot in the Belgian top flight, were not without their own dangerous moments, none more so than when Jackson Muleka crashed a close-range header against the bar just before the half-hour mark.

    Team news

    Rangers manager Steven Gerrard made three changes to the side that won Saturday's Old Firm clash at Celtic. In defence, Leon Balogun replaced Fil Helander, Ryan Jack came in for Steven Davis in midfield, while Ianis Hagi took the place of Brandon Barker in attack.

    Despite the heavens opening in the second half - with the torrential rain making conditions almost unplayable at times - Rangers kept their composure and shape to largely nullify the 10-time Belgian champions, before Roofe's dramatic late intervention.

    With the clock entering the second of three additional minutes at the end of the game, the substitute latched on to a loose ball and headed for the sanctuary of the halfway line, only to spot Bodart straying ever so slightly off his line.

    And the striker - who scored against Standard for Anderlecht last season - then somehow managed to find the back of the net from all of 54.6 yards out, the longest-ever goal in Europa League history, which the 4,000 in attendance will never forget.

    What the manager said

    Steven Gerrard: "None of my goals were in that league. I think it was a moment of genius. I've been lucky enough to watch it five or six times since the end of the game and it's the actual build-up and preparation before the strike.

    "He knocks two people off the ball with sheer strength on a very difficult pitch in the worst conditions I've seen.

    Kris Boyd reacts to Roofe's long-range winner

    "Then he manages to take someone on - and to then have the vision and audacity to try the strike in the first place, I just think that's a moment of genius.

    "And it's probably the best goal I've seen live - and I've been a professional since 1998. Unbelievable strike and he deserves all the plaudits for it."

    Man of the Match - James Tavernier

    The Rangers skipper turned in yet another accomplished display on the right side of the Rangers back four in Belgium on Thursday, doing his defensive duties impressively as the visitors kept yet another clean sheet.

    However, the 28-year-old was also a constant attacking outlet for his side with any number of lung-busting runs down the flanks, as well as scoring his now customary spot kick with aplomb.

    What's next?

    Standard host Sint-Truiden in the Belgian top flight on Sunday afternoon (5.15pm).

    Rangers, meanwhile, take on Livingston at Ibrox in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday, with the game getting underway at 3pm.

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