Saints, Dons disappoint
Rangers and Celtic fly flag for Scotland in Europe
Delight: Gary McAllister (pic: SNS Group)
Europa League play-offs, 2nd legs
Alashkert 0 Rangers 0 (agg: 0-1)
AZ Alkmaar 2 Celtic 1 (agg: 2-3)
Europa Conference League play-offs, 2nd legs
St Johnstone 0 LASK 2 (agg: 1-3)
Aberdeen 1 Qarabag 3 (agg: 1-4)
Rangers and Celtic will fly the flag for Scotland in Europe after a night of mixed fortunes for Premiership clubs.
The Old Firm rivals, who meet in the league at Ibrox on Sunday, secured passage to the Europa League group stages but there was disappointment for both St Johnstone and Aberdeen, who exited the Europa Conference League at the play-off stage.
Rangers shrugged off a Covid outbreak in their camp to get the result they needed in Armenia against hosts who played with 10 men for 50 minutes.
Missing self-isolating boss Steven Gerrard plus a number of first-team regulars, the Gers were not at their best but there will be few complaints after the goalless draw took them through to the group stages of Europe’s second-tier competition for the fourth season in a row.
With Gerrard following coronavirus protocols back home in Scotland, his assistant Gary McAllister took charge of things in Armenia and was delighted at full-time.
“The fact is we came here to do a job and we wanted to get through the tie and we’re in the draw for the group stages,” he said.
“We kept a clean sheet and bearing in mind we had loads of issues surrounding the squad we came together and we’re through. That’s all we wanted.
“To do it four years on the bounce, we’re delighted as a staff. But as an ex-player myself, it’s the players it’s brilliant for. For their kudos and CV, just to be in amongst it is great.
“Listen, it would have been better had it been the Champions League. But we’re in the Europa League group stages and it’s brilliant for the players. The nights at Ibrox are special.”
The squad are not due to arrive back in Glasgow until Friday afternoon, leaving precious little time to prepare for the Celtic clash.