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Leverkusen 1-0 Rangers (agg: 4-1): Diaby seals quarter-final spot

Moussa Diaby struck his first European goal as Leverkusen completed a comprehensive 4-1 aggregate victory to set up a quarter-final date with Inter.

Highlights: Leverkusen 1-0 Rangers
Highlights: Leverkusen 1-0 Rangers

Leverkusen will face Internazionale Milano in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals on Monday after Moussa Diaby's second-half strike ended Rangers' faint hopes of a comeback.

Leverkusen vs Rangers: As it happened

Match in brief

Leverkusen set up an enticing quarter-final against Inter as Moussa Diaby's classy control and emphatic finish six minutes after the break rounded off a 4-1 aggregate victory over Rangers.

Kai Havertz in full flight
Kai Havertz in full flightAFP via Getty Images

Requiring at least three goals, Rangers struggled to disrupt Leverkusen's passing game and almost fell further behind in the tie as Kai Havertz struck the crossbar and rolled a shot wide when clean through in the first half.

Diaby, who shot wide twice before half-time, confirmed his side's comfortable win by taking Charles Aránguiz's perceptive long ball on his chest and blasting a close-range winner beyond Allan McGregor.

View from the stadium: James Thorogood, Leverkusen reporter

In the end Leverkusen reached the quarter-finals of a UEFA competition for the first time since 2008 with room to spare. Tonight wasn’t a breathtaking performance to strike fear into the hearts of opponents, but it does underline Bayer’s status as a team to beat.

First leg highlights: Rangers 1-3 Leverkusen
First leg highlights: Rangers 1-3 Leverkusen

Visitors' view: Alex O'Henley, Rangers reporter

A step too far for Rangers, but reaching the last 16 still constitutes progress for Steven Gerrard's side. The away performances at Porto, Braga and Feyenoord will live long in the fans' memories, as will that amazing comeback against Braga at home.


Lars Bender, Leverkusen captain: "I think the hard thing coming into a game like this is you're not sure where you stand. Our opponents tonight were going to seek out their chances but we stifled them. It wasn't sensational, but there were positive aspects we can take from the game."

Steven Gerrard, Rangers manager: "We are disappointed with the result. I don't think we found our level or a performance to give it a good go tonight. The best side won the game and the best side has gone through over the course of the two legs."

Connor Goldson, Rangers defender: "It was tough. They're a good side, no doubt. We had a good go in the second half but their quality showed in the end. Maybe tonight was a little bit too far but the places we've been and the things we've done in the Europa League have been brilliant."

Kai Havertz and Leon Bailey at full time
Kai Havertz and Leon Bailey at full timeAFP via Getty Images

Key stats

  • Leverkusen made it third time lucky in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 having lost out to Villarreal in 2010/11 and 2015/16. They did reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup four times, though.
  • Diaby has scored eight goals in his first season at Leverkusen. His strike was the French youngster's first in UEFA club competition.
  • Leverkusen are nine matches unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League.
  • The Bundesliga outfit kept only their second clean sheet in 12 UEFA Europa League outings.
  • Leverkusen have registered in 25 of their last 26 matches.
  • Davis made his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition.


Leverkusen: Hrádecký; L Bender (Dragović 68), S Bender (Tah 77), Tapsoba, Sinkgraven; Aránguiz, Palacios (Stanilewicz 87); Wirtz (Baumgartlinger 68), Havertz, Diaby (Bailey 68); Volland

Rangers: McGregor; Tavernier (Patterson 77), Goldson, Helander, Barišić; Aribo, Jack, Barker (Hagi 60); Davis (Arfield 66), Kent (Jones 66); Morelos (Stewart 77)

What's next?

Leverkusen face Inter Milan in Dusseldorf at 21:00 CET on Monday for a place in the semi-finals.