Rangers Victory in Champions League Creates History

Rangers Champions League

Rangers’ stunning victory over PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League Play-Off Round has given Scotland a boost by giving the country two teams competing in the group stage of European football’s most-premier competition for the first time since 2007.

Antonio Čolak’s second-half goal earned the Gers a stunning victory in the Netherlands to take their place amongst Europe’s elite for the first time since the 2010/11 season, capping their return from the doldrums of Scotland’s lowest tier in 2012.

Victory in Champions League Creates History for Rangers

From Russia… With Luck?

Champions Celtic had already guaranteed a place in this season’s group stages by virtue of a combination of Scotland’s improved co-efficient – helped greatly by Rangers reaching the final of last season’s Europa League – and the fact that Russian clubs were not granted entry into this year’s competition due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The Gers’ last sojourn into the Champions League saw them finish third in their group, behind Manchester United and Valencia, dropping down into the Europa League knockout rounds after collecting six points via a victory over Bursaspor, and draws with all three sides.

The last time both sides of the Old Firm competed in the tournament together, coincidentally, saw them both play Barcelona. Rangers held the Catalan giants to a 0-0 draw in their match at Ibrox, while a Lionel Messi-inspired Barça knocked Celtic out in the round of 16.

Brighter Days for Scottish Football?

Scottish football has suffered in Europe in the last decade, with Celtic being the only representative in any of the group stages for the past decade, but this season looks like a watershed moment. Not only does the country have two teams fighting it out amongst the big boys, but third-placed Heart of Midlothian have also guaranteed themselves group stage football in either the Europa League or the Conference League.

The next step for the Scots is to do themselves justice, and make sure this historic hat-trick of qualifications is the norm going forward, not just a flash in the pan.