Rangers 1-0 Real Betis: Is Europa League win a turning point for Michael Beale’s side?

“Nothing is done. It is just one performance.” Rangers manager Michael Beale is aware there is still work to do despite their Europa League victory over Real Betis.

Beale was backed in the summer transfer window as he looked to overhaul the squad in a bid to provide a title challenge to Celtic and start winning more silverware.

But defeat on the opening day of the season, failure to reach the Champions League and a 1-0 loss to their biggest rivals at Ibrox piled the pressure on the manager.

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Michael Beale insists Rangers must back up their win over Real Betis and says it is too early to start praising results after a tough start to the season.

They returned from the international break with a comprehensive win at St Johnstone but there were still doubts over how Rangers would fare in their Europa League opener against Real Betis on Thursday night.

Abdallah Sima was the matchwinner with a second-half strike but it was Jack Butland who ensured the victory with a number of big saves, including two late on from substitute Rodri.

“Jack was taking over from a modern-day legend at the club and there were a lot of eyes on him,” Beale said of the former England stopper who replaced Allan McGregor in the summer.

“But I’ve known about Jack for a number of years and all he’s had here is an opportunity to play and show his quality.

“It’s still very early in his Rangers career but we’re delighted with him.

“To get him as a free transfer, I think we’ve done very well but it’s only the start of his Rangers career.”

Jack Butland impressed for Rangers
Jack Butland impressed for Rangers

Victory on matchday one is encouraging for Rangers with Beale insistent they can progress to the knockout stages, even if he is refusing to get carried away just yet.

“I don’t think we can come off of each other just now,” he said.

“We came into the season and what we were seeing behind the scenes were really positive signs then the results and performances have not been in line with that.

“The first thing is showing passion and desire, I think the quality will come over time with results and confidence.

“It’s too early for me to start talking and giving the team praise. We need to go again at the weekend [vs Motherwell].

“We have had a couple of bangs on the head this season and we have heard it loud and clear from the outside.

“We have had two clean sheets since the international break and that is a real positive sign.

“But, nothing is done. It is just one performance.”

Barisic: It felt like the old Rangers

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Rangers defender Borna Barisic reflects on a 1-0 win over Real Betis at Ibrox in the Europa League and what the result could do for their season.

Defender Borna Barisic feels the team are back to their old selves after what he saw as a morale-boosting win over Betis.

Barisic hit the bar with a free-kick, with Rangers also creating other chances against the La Liga side.

“I felt like we are old Rangers,” he said. “I would say that we’re in a good way. I’m very happy, people are happy, the dressing room is happy.

“There’s games every three or four days now so the schedule is very busy. We just to continue this.”

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between St Johnstone and Rangers.

Barisic admitted their Champions League failure and defeat to Celtic before the international break were tough.

“Of course we have not been happy and have been very disappointed. We felt that we didn’t play good some games,” he added.

“We lost the derby game and obviously it was a hard two weeks to be here to train. I was not here but people said, and I know that feeling.

“Then we came to St Johnstone and won the game, now this game so that’s why I said that we feel much better now, and happy, but this is only one game.

“We need to continue like this and be positive and try to win games.”

Improvement still required

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Sky Sports reporter Mark Benstead provides his reaction after Rangers overcame Real Betis 1-0 in their opening game of this year’s Europa League.

Sky Sports’ Mark Benstead watched the Betis match at Ibrox:

Borna Barisic said post-match that it felt like the old Rangers was back.

“I don’t think they quite hit the heights of some of their recent Europa League games at Ibrox but you can’t argue about the result that they delivered.

“There are things to perhaps improve on, moving forward.

“When you look at the balance of the game, when Rangers got themselves into good positions they didn’t quite make the most of it and test the goalkeeper enough.

“It underlines that they’ve maybe not got the right combination in the forward areas and maybe not the right personnel despite the investment.”

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