Player of the match, biggest letdown, turning point, ref watch, gave us a giggle - what you need to know from Rangers 2-0 Brondby

The key takeaways from crucial Europa League win for Scottish champions at Ibrox.

Croatian referee Fran Jovic is sent sprawling as he tries to get out of the way of rampaging Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo at Ibrox. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Player of the Match

Joe Aribo regularly got the Rangers fans to their feet with his energetic, purposeful and skilful contribution.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

At his best, the Nigerian international midfielder is as thrilling to watch as any player currently operating in Scottish football and he approached his optimum form at times here.

A large travelling Brondby support were at Ibrox for the Europa League match against Rangers. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Letdown

While it was refreshing to have a sizeable and noisy away support inside Ibrox for a big European night, some of the Brondby fans in the 46,842 crowd sadly soured the occasion.

Rangers captain James Tavernier was subjected to a flurry of objects thrown at him from the section of the stadium hosting the visitors’ supporters when he went to take the corner from which the hosts opened the scoring.

There were further unpleasant scenes at half-time as police officers had to move in to restore order after some of the travelling contingent surged towards stewards and home fans. The Danish champions can expect to face disciplinary action from UEFA.

Turning point

The outcome of the contest was determined by a horror miss from Brondby striker Andrija Pavlovic. Who knows how Rangers would have responded had the Serbian not passed up the glorious chance of an equaliser in the 27th minute?

As it was, Steven Gerrard’s side doubled their lead three minutes later through Kemar Roofe. Although Brondby passed up another glorious opportunity at the start of the second half, victory for Rangers never really looked to be in doubt from the moment VAR confirmed Roofe’s goal.

Ref watch

Croatian referee Fran Jovic left Rangers midfielder John Lundstram bewildered with a booking for dissent in the 29th minute when it appeared to be his team-mate Borna Barisic who had berated the linesman after a disputed throw-in went Brondby’s way.

But it was Dutch official Pol van Boekel, the man in charge of VAR, who had the most influential say on proceedings.

Gave us a giggle

On a tense evening with so much at stake for Rangers, light-hearted moments were few and far between.

But the aforementioned Jovic was the source of considerable mirth in the 12th minute, the referee taking a slapstick tumble as he tried to get out of the way of one of Joe Aribo’s surging runs from midfield.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.