Allan McGregor stacked up the goalkeeping records as Rangers reached a European quarter-final for the first time since their run to the 2008 UEFA Cup final.

The 40-year-old made 11 saves to limit Red Star Belgrade to a 2-1 win in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie, giving Rangers a 4-2 aggregate victory.

That was three more saves than any other goalkeeper had managed in a Europa League game this season – Fernando Muslera of Galatasaray made eight against Marseille – and the most by a Rangers goalkeeper since the competition was launched in 2009-10, replacing the UEFA Cup.

McGregor's saves total was the highest ever by a goalkeeper aged 40 or above in the Europa League, Opta said. Only Tim Howard, who made 12 saves for Everton against Wolfsburg in 2014, has ever made more stops in a game for a British club in the competition.

Former Rangers boss Ally McCoist said of McGregor: "He's been fantastic over these two games.

"Some of these saves he's produced, you'd think he's 20 years of age again. He's been wonderful. What a servant to the football club."

It was the first time since David de Gea made 10 stops for Manchester United against Roma on May 6 last year that any goalkeeper had reached double figures in saves in a Europa League match.

McGregor was making his 50th appearance in the UEFA Cup/Europa League, becoming the first Rangers player to reach that landmark with the club.

The last player to make more saves in a Europa League game was Karl-Johan Johnsson of FC Copenhagen in their 1-0 quarter-final defeat to Manchester United in August 2020.

McGregor, who missed out on appearing in the 2008 UEFA Cup trophy match through injury, earned praise from current Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

"At moments he needs to be there, he is there. I'm really happy with his performances. Even at his age he's really important for us," Van Bronckhorst told BT Sport.

Rangers knocked out Borussia Dortmund in the first knockout round and are beginning to cut a swathe through a strong field of clubs, just as they did on their UEFA Cup run 14 years ago.

Mirko Ivanic gave Red Star an early lead on Thursday and they pushed for more, but Ryan Kent's goal against the run of play in the 56th minute put the Scottish visitors back in control.

A late penalty from El Fardou Ben Nabouhane gave Red Star victory on the night, but it was Rangers who were celebrating at the final whistle.

Van Bronckhorst added: "Our belief is only getting stronger. There are big teams left in the draw, so we have to wait and see tomorrow [when the draw takes place].

"The opponent will be stronger with each round. The result against Dortmund is one that the whole of Europe thinks is a great achievement. We're going to enjoy the night, and then prepare for Dundee on Sunday."

Rangers ended Old Firm rivals Celtic's Scottish Cup dominance and took a big stride towards completing the double with a 2-0 victory at Ibrox.

Steven Davis opened the scoring with an acrobatic strike and a first-half Jonjoe Kenny own goal put the Premiership champions well on course for the last eight.

There was no way back for the Hoops, who had lifted the trophy in the previous four seasons, and Allan McGregor saved Odsonne Edouard's penalty as they suffered a first defeat under caretaker boss John Kennedy.

Victory for Rangers ensured they have won three and drawn one of their four clashes against their fierce city rivals in what has been an outstanding season.

Davis gave Rangers the lead in style in the 10th minute, volleying in from close range when Joe Aribo's deflected shot looped up invitingly for the midfielder following a sharp turn and incisive run from Ryan Kent.

Edouard shot straight at Allan McGregor after creating space for himself in the Rangers penalty area, then Callum McGregor's drive deflected over the crossbar and Stephen Welsh somehow failed to finish as Celtic pressed for an equaliser.

Steven Gerrard's side doubled their lead 12 minutes before half-time, though, with Aribo conjuring up some trickery to beat Diego Laxalt before crossing from the right and Kenny turned into his own net attempting to prevent Kent from slotting home.

Celtic should have reduced the deficit when Mohamed Elyounoussi was superbly denied by Allan McGregor and Edouard volleyed wastefully over following up.

The Gers keeper did brilliantly to race off his line and thwart Elyounoussi soon after, the Celtic forward letting himself down with a poor first touch after Edouard set him up.

Allan McGregor then dived to his right to keep out Edouard's spot-kick 11 minutes from time after Aribo was adjudged to have fouled Leigh Griffiths, which summed up Celtic's afternoon.

 

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