Rangers 3 – 1 RB Leipzig

John Lundstram hit a dramatic late game winner to send Rangers to their first European final in 14 years with a 3–2 aggregate victory over RB Leipzig in the Europa League semi-final.

In a seething Ibrox, the home side started with intent as captain James Tavernier opened the scoring early on to become the competition’s top scorer this season with seven goals.

Glen Kamara added a second before half an hour in a match dedicated to the legendary Rangers prop man Jimmy Bell, who died earlier this week..

Christopher Nkunku then equalized for Leipzig in the second half, but Lundstram scored the winner in the 80th minute.

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Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd describes his former team’s “incredible achievement” in beating RB Leipzig to reach the Europa League final in Seville.

rangers face Eintracht Frankfurt – who beat West Ham 3-1 on aggregate – in the Europa League final in Seville on May 18, looking to do better than in 2008 when they lost the UEFA Cup final to Zenit Saint Petersburg.

How Rangers got to the Europa League final

This was Rangers’ 18th game in UEFA competition this season and also one of their biggest European games at Ibrox since they beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in the European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final second leg. 1972 on his way to winning the trophy.

James Tavernier opened the scoring for Rangers at Ibrox
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James Tavernier opened the scoring for Rangers at Ibrox

Early on, both teams battled frantically for control before goalkeeper and visiting captain Peter Gulacsi saved Jack’s long-range shot in the seventh minute. Willi Orban then headed in a wide corner at the other end.

However, right-back Tavernier, who scored twice against Braga in the previous round at Ibrox, struck the first blow, racing to the back post to finish off Ryan Kent’s cross after good work from Kamara.

Glen Kamara made it 2-0 before halftime
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Glen Kamara made it 2-0 before halftime

More chaos ensued when Joe Aribo played in Scott Wright to pass the ball to Kamara, who guided a left-footed shot from outside the box past Gulacsi’s outstretched arms. Ibrox swayed.

Aribo then missed the shot from five meters after being set up by Tavernier’s header from a deep cross by Borna Barisic.

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Boyd was speaking at the perfect time on SSN just as Glen Kamara’s goal came in…

Just before half-time, the makeshift centre-forward Aribo fell to the ground after blocking Angelino’s powerful free-kick with his face and was replaced by Fashion Sakala.

With defenders Connor Goldson, Calvin Bassey and Barisic booked in the first half, the home team had to be cautious but keep up the threat as the Bundesliga side went in search of a draw.

Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku leveled the tie
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Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku leveled the tie

Wright and Ryan Jack gave way to Scott Arfield and Leon Balogun just before the hour mark as the visitors began to dominate.

Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor made a great save from Konrad Laimer’s shot, but had no chance moments later when Angelino crossed from the left for Nkunku to volley from 10 meters and the pendulum seemed to have swung towards the visitors.

John Lundstram's late goal sent Rangers to the Europa League final
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John Lundstram’s late goal sent Rangers to the Europa League final

But only until Lundstram pounced as a Kent cross from the left was cleared to his feet 12 yards from goal and he gleefully pushed it down into the net.

The Rangers were on their way to Seville.

The Rangers react after a famous night in Ibrox

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Giovanni van Bronckhorst reflects on an emotional and dramatic night as Rangers reach the Europa League final after beating RB Leipzig.

Coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst could not hide his pride in his players:

“It is very difficult to find the words. It has been an incredible night.

“We said before the game that we would do everything we could. The players were fantastic. You can’t write a better script than this. We’re all so proud. Here’s to Jimmy.” [Bell] For this one.

“The first two goals were fantastic, just the way we wanted. We knew Leipzig would come at us, then scoring in the last 10 minutes gives you a huge boost.

“Not many players get to play European finals. It’s not for every player. Once we’re there, we have to do everything we can to win it. It’s extraordinary.”

James Tavernier is the top scorer in the Europa League this season
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James Tavernier is the top scorer in the Europa League this season

Captain James Tavernier thinks they can lift the trophy in Seville:

He told BT Sport: “First of all we wanted to do it for Jimmy (Bell), and I’m so proud of the effort that all the guys, all the staff and all the fans put in today.” looking down proudly, so would Walter (Smith). I am absolutely delighted, we have reached the end and you can hear the noise, incredible.

“Obviously we will go there (to the final) full of confidence, but Frankfurt came to the final for a reason. So it is a game, and we have our backs completely, and we will give everything like we did tonight.”

“Obviously we want to win it, we are in this competition to win, we are a club that wins trophies and that is what we want to do. We want to make all the fans proud, I know we will take a lot more, so it will be great scenes.”

John Lundstram's goal sent Rangers to the Europa League final
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John Lundstram’s goal sent Rangers to the Europa League final

John Lundstram dedicated his game-winning goal to Jimmy Bell:

“I can’t put it into words. I came in with a good feeling, look at the place, but to go out there and do it, I can’t put it into words.”

“We’ve been through so many ups and downs this season, but getting through it and reaching the Europa League final, wow!

“It’s my best night by far. Playing in the Premier League was a great achievement, but getting to a European final…

“Words cannot describe how much Jimmy [Bell] meant for everyone. He was the cornerstone of the team. I want to dedicate the goal tonight to him, I love him madly.”

Whats Next?

He returns to domestic action for Rangers on Sunday when they host Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership.

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