Rangers found themselves struggling to find a breakthrough against Legia Warsaw on Thursday night as they were held to a 0-0 draw in the Polish capital.
The hosts have an exceptional defensive record in the Europa League so far this season as they were yet to concede a goal in their six previous qualifying matches and managed to keep the free-scoring Scottish Premiership outfit at bay as well.
Although they were not able to score, Rangers will head to Ibrox next week knowing a win will see them progress into the group stages of the tournament for the second season in a row.
Steven Gerrard admitted he was pleased with how his players performed on the night and told the Daily Record: “We were excellent in the first 45 minutes and stood up to the atmosphere and the intensity and the speed Legia wanted to play. I was really proud of the team for controlling a lot of the game.”
The manager singled out Allan McGregor for praise as he mentioned how big of a role he played, however one man appears to have been completely overlooked when, perhaps, he deserved a number of the plaudits as well.
Jon Flanagan has come in for plenty of criticism in recent weeks as fans have lambasted him on social media, whilst one supporter stated he was once a disaster.
Indeed, he is not a natural left-back and has looked error-prone at times – he did make a mistake leading to a goal being conceded against FC Midtjylland in the previous round – but he appears to have made amends for that display with his latest one in Poland.
The Daily Record were not too convinced by his performance as they only scored him a six and stated he struggled, however a couple of fansites felt he had his best outing as a Rangers player.
Ibrox Noise handed him a ‘colossal’ Man of the Match nine out of ten, stating: “Colossal night for the left-back – this was one of his big ones. Some huge blocks, excellent reading, and that last-ditch side block was worth a goal. Intelligent defending, supported attack pretty well too (of what little there was of it) and can be very happy with probably his best display in a Rangers shirt.”
Rangers News appeared to echo the thoughts that he had a brilliant night, as they gave him an eight and wrote: “Solid defensively and made a few, rare, forays forward. Still not convinced he’s the long-term answer at left-back but hasn’t put a foot wrong when called upon recently. Huge tackle in the second half and arguably his best performance in a Rangers shirt.”
With the left-back position still up for debate (Borna Barisic does not appear to be the main man despite being the only naturalised option) and with days to go before the transfer window closes, Flanagan appears to have put himself in contention for that starting berth on a regular basis.
It will be interesting to see if he does get that opportunity moving forward, however he has started to prove some of his doubters wrong with that Europa League performance.
Rangers fans, were you impressed with what you saw from Flanagan on Thursday night? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!