Glasgow Rangers’ Europa League campaign ended with a tame 1-0 defeat away to Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday evening, although one man in Steven Gerrard’s line-up came in for plenty of praise from the club’s fans for his performance.
With summer signing Leon Balogun ineligible for the game in Germany, Filip Helander came in at centre-back for his first appearance in eight months since being forced off with a foot injury in the Betfred Cup final defeat to Celtic.
The Swedish defender looked like he’d never been away, though, winning four of his five duels against a Bayer Leverkusen side who dominated the match. The 27-year-old also won two tackles and made three interceptions, two blocks and four clearances at the heart of the Light Blues’ defence. [via SofaScore]
Indeed, the ‘Gers would likely have been behind at half-time were it not for his timely block to deny Florian Wirtz what looked a near-certain goal and Glasgow Live‘s Robert Fairnie gave him an eight in his player ratings, lauding “a strong performance from the Swede, especially given the amount of time he’s been out injured”.
Who was Rangers' best player against Bayer Leverkusen?
These ‘Gers fans on Twitter were keen to commend Helander’s contribution, with one supporter calling him a “class act” on a sombre evening for the Ibrox club:
Helander showing what is needed. Been a class act.
— Islandbear (@willienic) August 6, 2020
helander the only one who can get pass marks for that performance, solid first game back in months.
— Sean Brady (@sb72__) August 6, 2020
Good to see Helander looking decent enough after 8 months out and ensuring that we’ll have at least three days of 3-5-2 chat.
— Ted (@NewcoTed) August 6, 2020
Big Helander been excellent
— Dave (@D4ve___) August 6, 2020
My MoTM for Rangers tonight was Filip Helander.
Hasn't played since December and was excellent for the 90 minutes.
— ninja (@NinjaMan54) August 6, 2020
Thought Helander was excellent tonight especially first game back after 8 months 👊🏼
— Stu (@boag22) August 6, 2020
Helander doing what he always does, outstanding at winning headers and blocking shots. Positionally very good. Just struggles very badly with pace. A no nonsense defender. Lovely.
— Billy. 👨🏼🦰 (@TheQuietKid18) August 6, 2020
Positive from that game was big Helander looking decent after 8 months out & no other injuries. Overall a fantastic EL experience in 19/20 and hope we manage through the qualifiers to hit the group stages again 🔴⚪️🔵
— Scott Cameron (@Cammy26_2) August 6, 2020
‘Gers fans, how impressed were you with Helander’s performance against Bayer Leverkusen? Comment below with your views!
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