In review: Alfredo Morelos’ crazy European goalscoring stats
Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos came off the bench last week to notch a brace against Gibraltar minnows Lincoln Red Imps, as the Scottish giants ran out 5-0 winners in the second qualifying round of the Europa League.
The two second-half goals meant that the Colombian international took his European goal tally for the club to 20 and is now just one goal behind the club’s leading goal scorer in Europe, Ally McCoist, with Dutch side Willem II to face next.
Morelos, who is, unsurprisingly, often backed to score in the bet exchange, joined the Glasgow side from HJK Helsinki for just £1 million in 2017, but failed to make an instant impact in the Europa League, playing in both legs of the second qualifying round, as Rangers got embarrassingly knocked out of the tournament by Progrès Niederkorn.
In 2018/19, Morelos’ second season with the Gers, he scored against NK Osijek and NK Maribor in the qualifying rounds, as Rangers reached the group stages for the first time since 2010. The 24-year-old scored just twice more in the groups, with both goals coming against Rapid Vienna in a 3-1 win at Ibrox, as Rangers came third in the group with just one victory, and three draws.
It was in last year’s Europa League campaign that Morelos made his presence known. The Colombian scored in Rangers’ 4-0 first round, first leg victory over St Joseph’s, before netting a hat-trick in the second leg 6-0 trashing over the Gibraltar side.
Morelos failed to find the net, as Rangers got their revenge on Progrès, progressing to the third round, where the 24-year-old was back on the scoresheet, scoring once in a 4-2 victory over FC Midtjylland away from home in the first leg, before bagging twice in a 3-1 win at home.
In the final qualifying round, the Gers faced Polish side Legia Warszawa, and, after a goalless draw away from home, Morelos scored the only goal of the game at Ibrox, sending Steven Gerrard’s side into the group stage for the second season running, and taking his tally for the season to eight.
The Colombian’s good form continued in the groups, with the opening win over Dutch side Feyenoord, the only game in which he failed to score. A goal in each of the home and away ties against Young Boys and Porto, as well as a double in the second fixture against Feyenoord, meant that Rangers progressed to the knockout stages, and Morelos became the fastest ever player to reach 14 goals in a Europa League campaign.
The Gers talisman failed to score, as Rangers beat Portuguese side Braga 3-2 in Glasgow, and picked up a yellow card, meaning that he missed the second leg – which the Gers also won to progress to the last 16. Morelos failed to find the net again, against German Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, and Rangers crashed out of the tournament 4-1 on aggregate.
However, despite his impressive goal scoring ability in Europe, Rangers gaffer Gerrard believes that Morelos, who is yet to help the Gers get their hands on a trophy, still has a long way to go before he can be compared with Ibrox hero McCoist, who won 20 medals with the club.
“Alfredo is a top striker and an incredible finisher,” Gerrard told RangersTV. “You see that especially with the second goal, but the first is just as good for me as he attacks the goal frame.
“I’m sure Ally McCoist watching that will be very happy. But there’s a big difference between Alfredo Morelos and Ally McCoist and it’s that Ally McCoist won trophies here.
“He was successful here so we can’t talk about those two players in the same breath – not yet.”
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