The Rangers record in Steven Gerrard’s sights after equalling Walter Smith’s 23 European wins

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STEVEN GERRARD moved level with Walter Smith on 23 European wins as Rangers beat Royal Antwerp in a seven-goal thriller on Thursday night.

But the Ibrox boss is still five victories short of matching the Light Blues record held by legendary boss Scott Symon as Rangers look to continue their Europa League journey this term.

🔴 Late winner
⚪️ Seven-goal thriller
🔵 Rangers claim first leg advantage
Prediction for second leg? 🤔#UEL pic.twitter.com/eN3qQUL8Oh
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) February 18, 2021

Gerrard’s side are on the brink of a place in the last 16 for the second consecutive season following their dramatic away win in Belgium as Borna Barisic netted twice from the spot and Joe Aribo and Ryan Kent also scored on a memorable night.

That win saw Gerrard overtake Dick Advocaat’s record of 22 continental wins and move level with Smith but he would dismiss the comparisons with either boss as he turned his attentions to the Premiership clash with Dundee United on Sunday.

Gerrard has enjoyed a remarkable record in the Europa League over the last three seasons but he will need to take his side deep into the competition if he is to match the overall record that is held by Symon this season.

Symon was at the helm when Rangers entered the European Cup in 1956/57 and would guide his side to a 2-1 win over Nice at Ibrox thanks to goals from Max Murray and Billy Simpson.

His second win on the continent also came against French opposition as Saint-Étienne were beaten the following season and it would be 1959/60 where Rangers would really make their mark on the European stage.

🎙️ Steven Gerrard spoke about the European record and his respect for Walter Smith at today’s press conference.

📺 Watch the full press conference on our YouTube channel: https://t.co/s2jE9ITfXb pic.twitter.com/ndsTPP7qqE
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) February 19, 2021

The five wins that term against Anderlect (twice), Bratislava (twice) and Sparta Rotterdam took Rangers to the semi-finals before they lost heavily to Eintracht Frankfurt. The Germans would famously lose the final 7-3 to Real Madrid in front of a crowd of almost 130,000 at Hampden.

The following season, Symon’s side would record four wins on their way to the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup before they lost both legs against Italian giants Fiorentina.

The record of five wins was repeated in season 1961/62 and season 1964/65 and the Gers would reach their second European final two years later.

🎙️ PRESS CONFERENCE: Leon Balogun spoke to the media today ahead of Sunday’s match against Dundee United at Ibrox pic.twitter.com/2pixWnaV7W
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) February 19, 2021

Victories against Glentoran, Borussia Dortmund, Real Zaragoza and Slavia Sofia earned Symon’s side a crack at Bayern Munich but a 1-0 defeat in Nuremburg denied Rangers their first European trophy.

Symon was sacked in November 1968 and replaced by Davie White but he would oversee one final win on the continent as goals from Andy Penman and John Greig beat Dynamo Dresden at Ibrox.

In all, Symon would win six League titles, five Scottish Cups and four League Cups and it is his record of 28 European victories that Gerrard now has in his sights as he looks for an extended Euro run and prepares for his first crack at the Champions League next term.

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