Giovanni Van Bronckhorst hails Rangers’ ‘great night’ after stunning win in Dortmund, but warns his players MUST finish the job at Ibrox next week to reach the Europa League Round of 16
- Rangers won 4-2 away in Dortmund in first leg of Europa League Round of 16
- James Tavernier, Alfredo Morelos and John Lundstram scored for Gers
- Scottish champions have a foot in the last 16 of the Europa League
- Rangers boss delighted with result and performance at Westfalen Stadion
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst tonight praised his Rangers stars after they conjured up one of the club’s great European nights on German soil.
A stunning 4-2 first leg thumping of Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund in the Westfalenstadion saw the Scottish champions place one foot in the last 16 of the Europa League.
Four goals in 16 minutes came either side of half-time, captain James Tavernier and Alfredo Morelos carving out a half time lead before John Lundstram and an own goal from Dan-Axel Zagadou placed the Ibrox side in a superb position to progress after next week’s second leg at Ibrox.
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst praised his team after an impressive 4-2 win in Dortmund
A late strike 10 minutes from time from Portuguese full-back Raphael Guerreiro offered hope to a Dortmund missing injured scoring talisman Erling Haaland.
The Norwegian could be back for the return in Glasgow and, despite notching his first away win as Rangers boss in outstanding fashion, van Bronckhorst warned his players tonight will only count if they finish the job.
‘It’s very difficult to get an away win Europe,’ said the Dutchman, ‘it’s not easy. As a manager this is the first time I have won away in Europe and that shows how hard it is.
‘It is a great night but it’s only a great night if we get through to the next round. We have to get a good performance next week as well in Glasgow.
Rangers pulled off a stunning win at the Westfalen Stadion against the Bundesliga Giants
The Scottish champions ran riot in Germany and led 4-1 with less than an hour to play
‘We wanted to take a result back with us to Glasgow to get a good game next week.
‘I think we achieved that with the two goal difference we take back.
‘I am really proud of the performance that the players have shown today but we also know that we are only half way and there is still one game to be played.
‘To come here and score four away goals in Europe I think is a very good achievement.
‘I am more than happy with the result and also the performance.’
James Tavernier opened the scoring from the penalty spot late in the first half
Alfredo Morelos add a second two minutes later as Rangers took a 2-0 lead at halftime
Missing central defenders Filip Helander and Leon Balogun, there was a further set-back when Kemar Roofe and Fashion Sakala failed to make the bench for reasons yet to be made clear.
Buoyed by two interventions from the Video Assistant Referees for the first goal from a Tavernier penalty and the fourth goal – initally chalked off for offside – van Bronckhorst felt his side were well worth their two goal lead.
‘We had many games where I have been pleased with the performance and the home game with Sparta Prague was also a good performance. You want to be successful with your club, you want your players to enjoy the games and do well and to get good results.
John Lundstram scored Rangers’ third with a brilliant sweeping finish early in the second half
‘I am obviously more than happy for my players but also happy because we represented us really well as a club.
‘We played against a quality side and got a good result and we are on our way to a good game next week at a full Ibrox. I am very happy with the achievement.’
Dortmund’s defensive frailty was flagged up before the game after the side sitting second in the Bundesliga were knocked out of the German Cup by St Pauli and lost five goals at home to Bayer Leverkusen in the league.
‘We worked hard to get the right gameplan,’ said the Rangers boss. ‘We watched a lot of games of Dortmund and we knew they were getting a lot of goals against them lately.
Jude Bellingham temporarily made it 3-1 shortly after Lundstram’s goal for Rangers
Raphael Guerreiro scored a cracker late on to give Dortmund a glimmer of hope
‘I think we prepared the game well and had a lot of meetings on the way Dortmund can play.
‘We were prepared technically, but more important mentally. We had the right attitude today to getting a good result.
‘We are as one and we represent this beautiful club and we have to make sure we make our fans proud of the performances we put in and I think today we have done it.
‘We have to enjoy the moment but prepare as well for a difficult away day on Sunday as well.’