The Austrian press had little complaints about Rangers’ 3-1 win over Rapid Vienna at Ibrox, with the stadium and atmosphere coming for praise.
Der Standard called it “an evening to forget” for Rapid Vienna despite the team taking a first-half lead through Veton Berisha.
“In the first game under coach Dietmar Kühbauer Rapid did not start scared or cocky, it ended a decent match without real scoring chances,” it was written. “Second half, similar picture: Glasgow (Rangers) was fresher, brisk, but not particularly dangerous.
“Nevertheless, the Green-Whites wavered towards the draw until Sonnleitner fouled Morelos in the penalty area. Rapid found its offensive ambitions again, but missed any game structure.”
Kleine Zeitung, meanwhile, felt a point “would have been quite possible”.
It accepted that Rangers were “superior” in the second half without creating too many chances after a first half which “was marked by a lot of fighting on both sides”.
“Rangers... celebrated an ultimately deserved success,” it added.
Niederösterreichische Nachrichten said Rapid “were defeated in Glasgow after a weak second half of the game”, Österreich, too, noted the Rangers response in the second half after the “first half did not offer much”.
“After the change, Rangers increased the pressure and were clearly game-determining,” it said.
Kronen Zeitung bemoaned “fatigue” resulting “in individual mistakes, which in turn led to the two late goals conceded”.
Rapid’s defensive solidity was praised by Die Presse “until the 84th minute”.
The paper was full of praise for the home side.
It wrote: “At Ibrox Park, the home base of the British-Protestant heritage club, Rangers are growing beyond their reach. Skilfully, they played their home form, the pace that Steven Gerrard’s squad sometimes dictated was remarkable.”
“Conclusion: A courageous idea of the Viennese, who were no longer able to cope with the pressure of the hosts in the end.”
Much was made of Steven Gerrard’s presence in the Rangers dugout, emphasising the worldwide appeal that his appointment brought.
Kronen Zeitung said: “Steven Gerrard made the jigging man for 90 minutes, conducted energetically, screamed fervently, hopped nervously, lived the game properly.”
While it was written in Der Standard that “the most entertaining was Gerrard, who rioted on the side line with every little foul.”
It was noted that after Rangers had equalised Rapid’s clearly offside opener, “Gerrard calmly slowed down when he let the fourth referee feel his rage on the offside goal.”
There was no complaints regarding Rangers’ penalty which James Tavernier converged to put his side ahead.
Der Standard called it a “clear penalty”, while Österreich bemoaned Dejan Ljubicic “fatal wrong pass” before “Mario Sonnleitner arrived too late against Morelos”.
Finally, the atmosphere and the support at Ibrox impressed the Austrian press.
“As a footballer you can already see it as a reward for the dark days of endurance training, playing in the Glasgow Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium,” it was written in Der Standard. “Rapid got this reward thanks to the Europa League.”
It said that Rapid’s defeat happened “against a fantastic backdrop”.
Niederösterreichische Nachrichten called Ibrox a “cauldron”, while Österreich hailed the “fantastic atmosphere”.