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Rangers win group with 2-0 victory over Lech Poznan in Poland

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Cedric Itten scores for Rangers against Lech Poznan
Itten netted his third Rangers goal to put them in front

Rangers secured a seeded place in Monday’s Europa League last 32 draw as they beat Lech Poznan in Poland to win Group D.

Steven Gerrard’s side needed to match or better Benfica’s result to finish top, and goals by Cedric Itten and Ianis Hagi ensured they finished two points above the Portuguese side, who drew with Standard Liege.

Itten struck before half-time and Hagi nodded home on the goal-line after Connor Goldson’s header had bounced down off the crossbar.

As well as avoiding clubs dropping down from the Champions League in the next round, Rangers also collect a £900,000 bonus for winning their group on top of £515,000 for qualifying.

Midfielder Bongani Zungu was given his second Rangers start as Steven Gerrard made seven changes and the South African picked up an early booking.

Lubomir Satka headed over when he should have scored as Poznan threatened off a second ball at a corner.

Itten had a shot blocked by Jakub Kaminski moments before Kaminski’s dreadful touch was retrieved by the Swiss forward for the opening goal.

Table

He took on Dorde Crnomarkovic in the inside right channel and beat goalkeeper Filip Bednarek at his near post.

Itten’s delightful touch then sent Hagi through, the Romanian’s shot deflected wide and Hagi’s next effort early in the second half was collected by Bednarek.

Jon McLaughlin was having a quiet night in goal for Rangers but made a fine save to turn Tymoteusz Puchacz’s free-kick wide.

And it was a set piece at the other end that gave Rangers some breathing space as Borna Barisic’s free-kick from the right was helped on to the bar by Goldson and Hagi made sure the bouncing ball crossed the line.

Hagi was in the mood and he tested Bednarek with a bending shot moments later.

Man of the match – Glen Kamara

Glen Kamara and Filip Marchwinski
In Steven Davis’ absence, the onus was on Kamara (left) to keep possession but he also did a shift defensively for the visitors

What did we learn?

With so many changes, Rangers took a while to settle into the game but the new personnel were soon able to carry on the tactics and style Gerrard has used to great effect so far this season.

Itten and Hagi have had limited opportunities so far this season but both made their case for inclusion with goals and very good link-up play throughout.

Nathan Patterson, making a first start this campaign, has a job on his hand displacing captain and top scorer James Tavernier but the teenage right-back put in a solid showing before the Englishman took over for the final 25 minutes.

Match stats

  • Rangers are unbeaten in their past 10 Europa League group stage matches (W5 D5).
  • In all competitions in 2020/21, they have won 22 and drawn four of their 26 games, keeping 20 clean sheets.
  • Lech Poznan have lost six of their past seven matches in the Europa League.
  • Itten scored his third Rangers goal in all competitions, with his other two both coming in the same game against Motherwell in September.
  • Hagi has been involved in four goals in five Europa League starts for Rangers (3 goals, 1 assist).

What’s next?

Rangers return to Scottish Premiership action on Sunday against Dundee United at Tannadice (12:00 GMT).

Line-ups

Lech Poznan

  • 35Bednarek
  • 91Butko
  • 37Satka
  • 5Crnomarkovic
  • 27Puchacz
  • 21SkorasSubstituted forSykoraat 12′minutesSubstituted forRamírez Fernándezat 64′minutes
  • 25Amorim Pereira SilvaSubstituted forModerat 45′minutes
  • 6Muhar
  • 38KaminskiSubstituted forKravetsat 45′minutes
  • 11Marchwinski
  • 9IshakSubstituted forAwaedat 64′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Kravets
  • 8Sykora
  • 10Ramírez Fernández
  • 13Dejewski
  • 15Moder
  • 29Awaed
  • 31Bakowski
  • 33Malenica
  • 40Niewiadomski
  • 44Czerwinski
  • 51Sobol
  • 54Borowski

Rangers

  • 33McLaughlin
  • 16PattersonSubstituted forTavernierat 66′minutes
  • 6Goldson
  • 26BalogunBooked at 57minsSubstituted forBasseyat 81′minutes
  • 31Barisic
  • 37Arfield
  • 15ZunguBooked at 7minsSubstituted forBarkerat 76′minutes
  • 18Kamara
  • 17Aribo
  • 11IttenSubstituted forMorelosat 80′minutes
  • 7HagiSubstituted forKentat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 3Bassey
  • 14Kent
  • 20Morelos
  • 21Barker
  • 24Stewart
  • 36Barjonas
  • 49Kinnear
  • 55Dickson

Referee:
José María Sánchez Martínez

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