Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Gerrard vs Havertz: One European clash Liverpool supporters cannot afford to miss

Rangers have been drawn to face Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League last 16 – and Liverpool supporters should set aside the date in their diaries.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 20: Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard reacts after his team score their third and winning goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg match between Rangers FC and Sporting Braga at Ibrox Stadium on February 20, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The draw was made on Friday afternoon as Steven Gerrard’s side were handed one of the tougher ties of the next round following their 1-0 victory at Braga on Wednesday.

Ryan Kent scored the only goal of the game as Rangers earned a 1-0 win over Braga in Portugal to progress into the last 16 of the Europa League, winning 4-2 on aggregate.

The Gers were tasked with avoiding defeat in Portugal after coming from two goals down to win 3-2 at Ibrox last week – largely thanks to a brace from Ianis Hagi. Although they played on the counter, Rangers boasted the best chances.

Indeed, 23-year-old Kent should have opened the scoring in the first half but he dragged an effort wide. However, his moment did come in the second half, though, after Hagi played a delightful chip over the Braga defence for Kent to run onto.

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The Gers were tasked with avoiding defeat in Portugal after coming from two goals down to win 3-2 at Ibrox last week – largely thanks to a brace from Ianis Hagi. Although they played on the counter, Rangers boasted the best chances.

 

Indeed, 23-year-old Kent should have opened the scoring in the first half but he dragged an effort wide. His moment came in the second half, though, after Hagi played a delightful chip over the Braga defence for Kent to run onto.

Taking an excellent touch in front of the Braga defender, Kent side-footed into the back of the net to put Steven Gerrard’s side into the next round of the competition. The away support went into raptures as his effort nestled into the corner.

Gerrard embraced his technical staff following an incredible European showing with the Blues now the only Scottish representative left in the competition following Celtic’s elimination at the hands of FC Copenhagen.

The former Liverpool captain will now have to face off against Leverkusen who also sent another Portuguese opposition packing following their 5-2 aggregate triumph against FC Porto.

PORTO, PORTUGAL – FEBRUARY 27: Kai Havertz of Bayer 04 Leverkusen looks on during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between FC Porto and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Estadio do Dragao on February 27, 2020 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Leverkusen are in excellent form in the Bundesliga, just six points off top spot, and dismantled Porto both home and away to book their passage into the last 16.

One player Gerrard will look to contain is teenage wonderkid Kai Havertz, who has been persistently touted with a move to Anfield.

Melissa Reddy at The Independent – recently reported that Liverpool are interested in Havertz but the Reds value him at less than half Leverkusen’s £80m asking price.

Havertz has become one of the most recognised young talents across the continent after the 20-year-old superstar netted 17 goals in 33 starts last season. Whilst this campaign has been less vibrant for the youngster who has scored eight in 30 appearances so far this season for Leverkusen he still remains a recognised talent.

With two figures very-much the topic of discussion for Liverpool supporters it certainly poses a match worth keeping an eye on.

 

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