Steven Gerrard: Liverpool legend’s first match in the Rangers dugout - best pictures

Ruben Hill
July 16, 2018

Rangers claim a 2-0 win over Macedonian outfit Shkupi in Thursday night's Europa League first qualifying round first leg at Ibrox.

The hosts broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute, as Murphy, who only joined on a permanent deal from Premier League side Brighton in May, drove a low shot through Shkupi goalkeeper Suat Zendeli, who should have done better, to score the first goal of the Gerrard era.

Rangers have not made the group stages of any continental competition since the 2010-11 Champions League and suffered a humiliating loss to Luxembourg minnows Progres Niederkorn at this same stage a year ago.

"We were satisfied with the win and the clean sheet", said the Rangers manager.

"It's our first competitive game".

"Maybe, maybe with some of the players who were here previous year but I don't think it would have been a concern for any of the new players because they never experienced it", he said.

"We got the second goal in the end, but one concern would be we weren't more comfortable and didn't put the whole tie to bed tonight".

"There is still a lot of work to do and we are still in a game".

Ranges live stream watch Europa League Shkupi
GETTYRanges manager Steven Gerrard is expecting a different match from the first leg vs Shkupi

"But, we controlled a lot of it, most of it, and we were a bit careless at times in little moments but all-in-all, it's the first game of the season - the first real game and people are trying to over impress and people are still a little bit tense".

"But it was the first time some of them have played in front of a full house here with that atmosphere".

How will Rangers line up on the opening day of the 2018/19 season?

Middleton revealed that neither he nor his team feel that their performance was flawless and believes that work is still left to be done when they visit Macedonia for the second leg of the first qualifying round tie next week.

Overall, he admitted his satisfaction, and told RangersTV at full-time: "There are a lot of positives to take from the game".

"The only thing I'm slightly concerned about is that we didn't get the third or the fourth goal.

I'm looking forward to the next week of training and then going from there." .

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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