8000 Rangers fans might have travelled to Germany from airports all across the UK and, by all accounts had a cracking weekend of it, but unfortunately Mark Warburton’s side couldn’t end their trip on a high as the Bundesliga side ran out comfortable winners at the Red Bull Arena.
The opening twenty minutes saw both sides try to find a gap in the other’s defence to exploit but didn’t bring any real chances. Rangers continued to experiment with a 3-5-2 formation and started new loan signing Jon Toral for the first time since his arrival at the club. The Spaniard showed several glimpses of the talent that saw Arsenal sign him from FC Barcelona and quickly looked to get involved in the game and dictate the tempo.
RB Leipzig finally broke the deadlock when a fantastic through ball from Sabitzer split the Rangers defence allowing the jet-heeled Werner to ghost between Hill and Wilson before rounding Foderingham and rolling the ball home. Wilson almost managed to keep the ball out but his last-minute lunge couldn’t stop the ball from rolling over the line.
The opening goal was a blow to Rangers and the Gers quickly lost control of the game following Werner’s goal. The host’s stepped up a gear and started finding more and more holes in Rangers’ defence with Marcel Sabritzer and Timo Werner both impressing.
With minutes to go until the break Scotland international Oliver Burke doubled Leipzig’s advantage with a goal very similar to the first. Jason Holt lost posession in the Leipzig half allowing Werner to burst forward and release Burke who cooly fired beyond Foderingham.
Rangers had the ball in the net just before half-time when debutant Jon Toral poked the ball home but the referee pulled it back after Josh Windass was judged to have been offside. Replays showed it was a tight decision but the German officials appear to have made the right call.
Manager Mark Warburton then made a handful of changes introducing Emerson Hyndman, Martyn Waghorn, Lee Hodson and Matt Gilks at the expense of Jon Toral, Josh Windass, James Tavernier and Wes Foderingham.
RB Leipzig came out looking to kill the game off and grab a third goal early in second half and it was only two good saves from Matt Gilks, from Keita and Bernardo, that kept the score at 2-0. 17 minutes into the second period Yussuf Poulsen added a third when he tapped home Werner’s cross. Holt was caught in posession and another quick counter exploited the Rangers defence with ease.
Poulsen quickly grabbed a second, and RB Leipzig’s fourth when some woeful defending allowed Franke to play a low cross along the six-yard box without as much as a challenge leaving Poulsen to stroke the ball home amd put the icing on an easy win.
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi, Bernardo, Orban, Sabitzer, Werner, Ilsanker, Burke, Halstenberg, Selke, Demme Compper
Subs: Muller, Poulsen, Keita, Schmitz, Upamenco, Kaiser, Khedira, Forsberg, Gipson, Wojtkowski, Franke
Goals: Werner 21’, Burke 43’, Poulsen 63’, 80
Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, Hill, Kiernan, Wilson, Toral, Miller, McKay, Windass, Halliday, Holt
Subs: Gilks, O’Halloran, Forrester, Bates, Hyndman, Waghorn, Hodson