The element of jeopardy in European football magnifies the stakes, providing a platform for players to step up under intense pressure. 

At half-time in Geneva on Wednesday, Rangers were in significant danger of exiting the Champions League in the qualifying stages to Servette and surrendering a ÂŁ5 million financial windfall. The pressure was on.

The away side were far too passive in the first half and fortunate to trail by a single goal in Switzerland. One player, in particular, was the catalyst for a second-half revival - Belgian midfielder Nicolas Raskin. 

James Tavernier stepped up on the European stage again with his winning goal on aggregate setting up a repeat clash against PSV in the play-off round, but it was the performance of Raskin that provided a benchmark.

After an indifferent opening 45 minutes, the 22-year-old was a man possessed. Raskin was the driving force behind huge improvements in the second half. His technical ability has shone since arriving from Standard Liege in January but it was the midfielder's all-round game that stood out on Tuesday night.

Michael Beale adjusted Raskin’s role, affording him greater licence to get forward as a No.8 with Ryan Jack providing defensive stability at the base of midfield. 

“Ryan will allow Nico and Jose to press and run forward,” Beale said pre-match. “They are box-to-box players and we want to see that tonight.”

Jack’s presence unleashed Raskin and Cifuentes to influence the game higher up the pitch. Rangers’ system didn’t work efficiently during the first half as the defence sat too deep, which created space for Servette to exploit. Danilo may well have spurned a huge opportunity but even still, the visitors were disjointed in their press and not in control of the match.

Rangers’ passing network from the game, charting the average position players made their passes from, shows that they overloaded the right-hand side of the pitch - a consistent theme under Beale. Borna Barisic impressed against Servette but his limitations in the initial build-up phase are likely a factor behind this plan. 

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With Rangers overloading the right side, Raskin only received 20 passes throughout the game, less than half his average of 45.09 since joining. Even still, he was incredibly efficient in possession, especially in the final third, and consistently provided protection to Barisic down the left after half-time.

His defensive numbers were very impressive, making 7 interceptions and winning 70% of his defensive duels. With the pitch less congested on the left side, Raskin would successfully exploit the space, which relieved pressure and took Rangers up the field.

The midfielder's defensive heat map demonstrates how active he was in his own half, while still contributing in an attacking sense. 

Beale instructed his team to play higher up the pitch in the second half and it transformed Rangers' fortunes with Raskin a shining light. 

The Belgian is often deployed as the single-pivot at the base of Rangers’ midfield but he possesses the skill set to play as a No.8, with boundless energy encapsulating a second-half improvement.

READ MORE: What it's like to manage Nico Raskin - 'He brings fire to a game on his own'

Increased attacking licence culminated in Raskin influencing the game more regularly in the final third. He attempted three shots with an accumulative xG of 0.18, a sum which outranks his xG across the first three games of the season.

Raskin displayed impressive stamina as he covered every blade of grass and, alongside Todd Cantwell, added impetus to Rangers as an attacking force. The midfielder frequently took up positions high on the left side, as displayed in the example below where he links up with Cantwell to collect the ball on the edge of the box before curling an effort just wide.

A perfect example of Raskin’s technical and physical qualities, combined with his determination, arrived after 70 minutes. Here, he again provides an option high on the left again but a poor pass from Tavernier escapes him. Two Servette players are in close attendance and look favourites to regain possession but Raskin displays his strength to knock one off the ball before evading the other player with a skillful touch that draws a foul and a booking.

Tavernier’s subsequent free-kick was under-hit and a Servette counter ended with Jack Butland collecting the ball, but the next phase of play exemplified Raskin’s dynamic display.

He collects the ball from Butland to start a move in the right centre-back position and 16 passes later, Raskin receives possession on the left wing before delivering a pinpoint cross that Cyriel Dessers headed narrowly over the bar.

Raskin is incredibly press-resistant and his ability to receive the ball under pressure has been a feature of his game since arriving at Rangers. This trait was demonstrated after 75 minutes, when he collects a pass from John Souttar and evades two markers with excellent quick feet before playing a one-two with Barisic and driving into space.

Beale wanted Raskin to provide forward running and he responded. The Belgian completed six successful dribbles, which is significantly more than his average at Rangers (2.3 per 90 minutes), and repeatedly drove Rangers up the pitch. 

In Cifuentes and Raskin, Rangers have two extremely talented young midfielders and they combined well to win possession on 82 minutes before the Belgian drove past several Servette players to take his side 50 yards up the pitch. 

Fittingly, it was Raskin who eased any late pressure by carrying the ball past three defenders in the final minute of the game.

Raskin possesses the ability to play for a top European club and Rangers will net a significant profit on their €1.5 million investment in the future. For now, the young talent is ready to make a big impact in the season ahead.