Bayer Leverkusen looked a different class to Rangers according to former Rangers midfielder

Friday, March 13th, 2020 1:46pm

By Josh O'Brien @JoshJohnOBrien1

Ex-Rangers midfielder Gordon Smith claimed Europa League opponents Bayer Leverkusen were simply too good for the Scottish outfit as they ran out 3-1 victors at Ibrox.

A first-half penalty from golden-boy Kai Havertz put the German side in front and they never really looked back; a second and third for Leverkusen came either side of a George Edmundson strike for Rangers, but Leverkusen are now firmly in the driving seat with three away goals. 

Speaking to Love Sport Breakfast, ex-Gers player Gordon Smith conceded his former side were always second best on the night. 

"I was wondering how it was going to go because the only games that Rangers have risen to in December, they played Celtic, they outplayed Celtic twice, lost the cup final obviously but the league game they won at Celtic Park. Then January the league form had been very, very poor bar the two tremendous results against Braga but this was more like Rangers' form of late.

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"To be fair Bayer Leverkusen are a good team, they were in the Champions League already this year and then you know, they get knocked out- they were in with Atlético Madrid and Juventus, got knocked out having beaten Atlético Madrid at one stage but they then played Porto and won home away in the last round. And then last night they looked a different class from Rangers."

The result clearly damages Rangers' chance of progressing to the quarter-final stage, and has led to some questioning the job being done by manager Steven Gerrard.

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Rangers sit thirteen points adrift from league leaders Celtic. All of a sudden, dwindling title hopes and little chance of Europa League progression means what was once a promising season now looks very bleak.

Smith revealed he thinks Gerrard is going nowhere anytime soon: "I think that I think the board will be behind them. I think that they recognise the fact that brought in someone like that, with the knowledge of the game, great experience, despite the fact he hadn't had a lot of managerial experience.

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"Steven Gerrard now has to look at his squad and basically pick out because what my feeling is, you've got a lot of players, maybe have come in there and one of the things they haven't been able to handle is the fact that when you play for Glasgow Rangers in Scotland you have to have the character to deal with the pressure that comes with that.

"Second for Rangers is not good enough. You've got to be winning things and that's a big problem. Some of the players don't seem to be able to cope with that."

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