Rangers endured a rude awakening on their return to the Champions League as they were blown apart by a ruthless Ajax side at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
The reigning Eredivisie champions olbiterated Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side in Amsterdam as they consigned the Ibrox side to a second 4-0 defeat in the space of five days after their Old Firm mauling on Saturday.
This tie was over at half-time as the Light Blues suffered a nightmare start with Edson Alvarez allowed a free header from a corner to fire the hosts in front after 17 minutes.
Ajax, who are in the midst of a transitional phase after a player exodus over the summer, were relentless in their press as they continued to lay siege on the Rangers goal.
Steven Berghuis found himself in space on the edge of the box and his 32nd minute effort looked as if it was going be to saved by the diving Jon McLaughlin, only for James Sands to divert the ball past his own goalkeeper.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors within minutes of the restart as Mohammed Kudus shrugged of James Tavernier on the left before driving into the box and rifling a shot high into the top corner of the net.
Some Rangers fans had already witnessed enough as they headed for the exits and Van Bronckhorst made three substitutions at half-time in a desperate attempt to limit the damage.
However, there was to be no let up from the Dutch outfit as Steven Bergwijn, a £31million summer arrival from Tottenham Hotspur, pounced on a slack backpass from Ryan Jack to round McLaughlin and slot home number four.
That goal came shortly after Borna Barisic had a brilliant curling strike ruled out following a lengthy VAR check, with Ryan Kent straying a few yards offside in the build-up.
It was a brutal welcome back to Europe’s elite table for Rangers who were often found chasing shadows. They simply failed to cope with the step up
A night to forget for Van Bronckhorst and his players but they must rally together another of a vital Premiership encounter with Aberdeen at Pittodrie this weekend.
Here are GlasgowWorld’s player ratings...
JON McLAUGHLIN - 6 - Kept his place in the side and could do little to prevent Alvarez’s early header from finding the net. Made important save at his near post shortly after and was called into actiona few times aterwards, thwarting Taylor’s long-range strike and Tadic’s powerful effort. Blocked Bergwijn but the Ajax attacker rounded him before slotting home a fourth goal.
JAMES TAVERNIER - 2 - Shocking. Out of position on several occasions and marking was poor at Ajax’s first goal from a corner. Outmuscled by Kudus in the lead up to Ajax’s third goal. Subbed at half-time.
CONNOR GOLDSON - 4 - Caught in the face by Kudus’ flailing arm early on and looked nervous during the first-half. Improved marginally in the second half but couldn’t close down Bergwijn in time for Ajax’s fourth goal.
JAMES SANDS - 2 - Extremely poor defending to allow Alvarez a free header on 17 minutes but produced a brilliant last-ditch challenge to prevent a certain second goal ten minutes later. Deflected Berghuis effort past his own goalkeeper and often exposed.
BORNA BARISIC - 6 - Didn’t get out to quick enough to block Berghuis goal but made an excellent challenge on Kudus as he glided through the Gers defence midway through the second half. Fantastic curling finish from just inside the box ruled out after VAR check for offside.
GLEN KAMARA - 3 - Filled in well for Tavernier in the opening minutes but guilty of gifting away possession far too cheaply. Another poor display from the Finland international.
JOHN LUNDSTRAM - 4 - Couldn’t get to grips with Ajax’s impressive movement and robbed of possession on the half hour mark before Sands made a crucial interception. Slotted into a flat back five after the break to help limit the damage.
MALIK TILLMAN - 2 - Very disappointing. Looked a passenger and lacked urgency in a defensive sense. Deservedly hooked at half-time.
SCOTT WRIGHT - 1 - Totally annonymous. Couldn’t impact the game in any way and replaced at the break.
RYAN KENT - 3 - On the receiving end of a horrendous challenge which went unpunished in the first half and didn’t cause enough theat throughout. Caught in an offside position in build up to Barisic’s dissallowed goal and passed up a good chance to score late on.
ANTONIO COLAK - 2 - Scored the winner against PSV Eindhoven to seal Rangers ticket to the group stages but found himself severely isolated once again. Ineffective throughout the 90 minutes. Had just 25 touches all evening and none of them came in the opposition box.
RYAN JACK - 2 - Brought on for Tillman at the break and picked up a booking for a sliding challenge on Tadic. Misplaced pass led to Ajax’s fourth goal as he allowed Bergwijn to slot home.
LEON KING - 6 - Took over from skipper Tavernier at right-back and acquitted himself well on his Champions League debut. Looks a bright talent.
RABBI MATONDO - 3 - Replaced Wright at the break and delivered a dangerous cross for Kent on 66 minutes but his team mate couldn’t get a clean strike away at the back post. However, that was his only real contribution.
STEVEN DAVIS - 2 - Replaced Kamara for the final 15 minutes and helped to tighten things up defensively.
Allan McGregor (GK), Robby McCrorie (GK), Ridvan Yilmaz, Ben Davies, Adam Devine, Scott Arfield, Alfredo Morelos, Fashion Sakala
Ramko Pasveer 6, Jurrien Timber 7, Calvin Bassey 7, Edson Alvarez 8 (Jorge Sanchez 4), Steven Bergwijn 9 (Lucas Ocampos 5), Kenneth Taylor 9, Dusan Tadic 8, Devyne Rensch 8, Daley Blind 7 (Youri Baas 4), Mohammed Kudus 8 (Brian Brobbey 3), Steven Berghuis 8 (Davy Klaassen 4)
Maarten Stekelenburg (GK), Jay Gorter (GK), Ahmetcan Kaplan, Lorenzo Lucca, Florian Grillitsch, Lisandro Magallan, Francisco Conceicao