Giovanni van Bronckhorst kickstarted his managerial reign at Ibrox with a 2-0 victory over Sparta Prague that rubber-stamped Rangers place in the Europa League Play-Off round.
The Light Blues had striker Alfredo Morelos to thank as the Colombian’s deadly double secured a runners-up spot in Group A.
The Gers, who were locked on four points with the Czech outfit pre-match, knew victory over Pavel Vrba’s men by two or more goals would ensure they could not be caught due to boasting a better goal difference.
Van Bronckhorst will have been pleased with the reaction from his under fire players after Sunday’s bruising League Cup semi-final exit but will feel there are still plenty of things to work on.
Rangers passed up several chances to increase their lead and goalkeeper Allan McGregor was forced into a brilliant double save late in the game as the visitors looked to salvage a lifeline.
The Dutchman, who will now take his side to face runaway group winners Lyon on Matchday Six, can now look forward to a play-off round tie against a third-placed team from the Champions League.
GlasgowWorld rates how Giovanni van Bronckhorst’ side performed:
ALLAN McGREGOR - 8
Enjoyed relatively quiet first-half but superb when called upon in second half. Sensational double-save late in the game ensured Rangers progress
JAMES TAVERNIER - 6
Caused problems on occasions and was involved in build-up to the opener. Deliveries into the box were not up to usual high standard, though
CONNOR GOLDSON - 7
Under the spotlight after his post-match comments following the Gers League Cup semi-final defeat to Hibs last weekend, but didn’t put a foot wrong. Marshalled the defence well
CALVIN BASSEY - 7
Filled in at centre-back for Leon Balogun and rose to the challenge. Physically dominant and provided neat balance as a left-footed player in an unnatural position.
BORNA BARISIC - 7
Much better all-round performance from the Croatian. Terrific block as Sparta looked to hit back and was more assured on the odd occasion he got forward
GLEN KAMARA - 8
Joy to watch. Retained possession well and very tidy on the ball, often putting it into dangerous areas of the pitch. Bossed proceedings
STEVEN DAVIS - 7
Calm and composed head in middle of the park and linked well with Kamara alongside. His big-game experienced shone through late on when the visitors pressed forward in search of a goal
JOE ARIBO - 7
Rifled effort which crashed off the crossbar early in the first-half but passed up a couple of good opportunities, including one from six-yards out on the stretch. Linked well with Morelos in No.10 role
IANIS HAGI - 7
Lively showing in a wide position and was a crucial figure in setting up Morelos for the opening goal, showcasing brilliant endeavour. Always eager to create an opening and should have celebrated a second assist with excellent cross to Aribo
RYAN KENT - 6
Usual bundle of energy straight from the first whistle, looking to run at the dis-organised Sparta defence where possible. Missed a good chance to add a third goal when clean through on goal
ALFREDO MORELOS - 9
Back to his clinical best on the European stage, ruthlessly taking the chances that fell his way. Looked disinterested on last Sunday but posed significant problems to the Sparta rear-guard
NATHAN PATTERSON - 5
Replaced Hagi in a right midfield role. Full of energy when required and defensive instincts kicked in late on as he helped team-mates protect two-goal lead
SCOTT ARFIELD - 4
Stepped in for Aribo late on to provide fresh legs in the closing stages
FASHION SAKALA - 4
Came on for Kent with ten minutes remaining and gave the Light Blues an outball with his pace
JOHN LUNDSTRAM - 2
Given the final two minutes and protected the back four