Steven Gerrard got his Rangers reign off to a winning start as the Ibrox side battled their way to a 2-0 home victory over FK Shkupi in the Europa League first qualifying round.
Jamie Murphy put the hosts ahead against the Macedonians midway through the first half, but it was not the kind of display the excited Gers faithful had been expecting from their new boss’ first game in charge with their team sluggish and wasteful in front of goal.
But new skipper James Tavernier ensured Gerrard’s side will head to Skopje for next Thursday’s return leg with breathing space after tucking home a stoppage-time penalty.
Gerrard handed debuts to five of his summer signings. Allan McGregor was back in goal six years after calling time on his first Ibrox spell, while Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic were paired together at the back.