Rangers crashed to an embarrassing defeat in their first match under interim boss Steven Davis after losing to Aris Limassol.

Goals from Alex Moucketou-Moussounda and Shavy Babicka earned a famous win for Aleksey Shpilevsky’s side as the Cypriots stunned the Group C top seeds.

Davis will remain in the dugout against St Mirren on Sunday after replacing Michael Beale. Once again, there are more questions than answers over where Rangers are heading.

Rangers got what they deserved

The warning signs were there from the first whistle. On a dry, uneven surface, Rangers looked unsure and out of sorts and Aris would have believed their visitors were there for the taking. Jack Butland had to make a smart save to deny Mihlail Mayambela. Within seconds, he was picking the ball out of his net as Moucketou-Moussounda beat Connor Goldson all too easily and headed home. Had Leo Bengtsson not scooped his strike over when he seemed destined to score, the game could have been done inside a quarter of an hour. Aris are far from an outfit to be feared but they had Rangers spooked when they attacked, and Davis’ side had very little to offer at the other end as Vana saved a tame effort from Sam Lammers and a Sima header. The defending for the second goal was just as woeful as it was for the first. John Lundstram was left trailing in the dust of Bengtsson down Rangers’ right and Babicka beat Ben Davies to score from six yards. Rangers had hope when Sima produced an accomplished header from a Lundstram cross. It was to prove in vain as another unacceptable performance was produced and another unacceptable result was marked down.

Players need to carry the can now

A penny for the thoughts of those that are in the running to succeed Beale on a permanent basis. The job is perhaps even more significant than they realised at first. The quartet of names – Frank Lampard, Pascal Jansen, Philippe Clement and Kevin Muscat - that have been most prominently touted for the position are not miracle workers. Right now, that is what Rangers look in need of. So much has been said and written about the value for money and the quality of those that Beale brought to Ibrox this summer. The older guard, the stalwarts of the squad, are an issue in their own right, however, and Beale’s replacement has some big calls to make on his biggest names. Too many of these players have been involved in too many failures now. Most of them have been complicit in the downfalls of Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Beale, while others have seen a handful of managers off the premises. On a night when a reaction was needed and demanded, when the fans were owed a performance at long last, Rangers produced an appalling showing. If this was all that they could offer in such a circumstance, it certainly doesn’t bode well for the future and for the next boss. The finger of blame cannot be pointed at the man in the dugout. This one, once again, was on the players.

Davis played his limited hand

Those that were expecting Davis to rip it up and start again were always going to be disappointed in Limassol. Quite simply, Davis didn’t have the time or the personnel to go back to the drawing board and implement a new blueprint. He took his first session as manager on Monday, jetted out to Cyprus on Tuesday and had time on the pitch after his maiden media conference on Wednesday. He did mix it up slightly in terms of the team as Borna Barisic, Nicolas Raskin and Scott Wright came into the starting line-up. But the lengthy injury list – which still includes the likes of Todd Cantwell, Rabbi Matondo and Danilo – limited Davis in terms of what he could do here. The return of Raskin was welcomed pre-match, while Kemar Roofe was fit enough to take a place on the bench. Alongside him, the names and faces told their own story as a handful of academy kids were named in the matchday squad and Ross McCausland was introduced late on. Davis spoke on Wednesday about allowing his players to play with freedom and play to their strengths. That proved to be easier said than done. This was not how the Ibrox legend would have envisaged his first match in charge unfolding. He will look at himself but there was little that he could have done differently on a night when he was let down by those that he put his faith in.

Midfield at the heart of Rangers’ problems

There was no place in the side for Jose Cifuentes and no spot in the squad for Ryan Jack. The Ecuadorian was overlooked for the returning Raskin and Lundstram, while the Scot has not recovered from the knock that forced him off at the break against Aberdeen. The pairing of Raskin and Lundstram should have been good enough to control the tempo and direction of this fixture. Yet this was an error-strewn, sloppy showing from both midfielders. It would not have been lost on the travelling support that they could have done with Davis in the middle of the pitch rather than in the dugout. Indeed, many would have been pleased if Rae had been able to roll back the years and pull on his boots once again. The mistakes – from a series of misplaced passes to poor decision making – would have infuriated Davis and Rae. Neither would have stood for them, either, and it would have been intriguing to have been a fly on the wall inside the away dressing room. Raskin, who was replaced by Cifuentes with 20 minutes left, remains a rated and respected part of the squad and his recent injury issues must be taken into consideration. He has failed to improve as expected and required in his first full season, however, and much better is needed from the Belgian if he is to retain his credit in the bank. Lundstram’s standing amongst supporters has been a rollercoaster ride throughout his Ibrox career. He has been a solid, steady presence at times this term but this certainly wasn’t his finest night. When he ballooned a wild strike straight over the top of the away support during the warm-up, it should perhaps have been taken as an ominous sign.

Another night to forget for Dessers

The Nigerian has become the lightning rod for much of the anger that has come from the supporters so far this season. Some of the criticism has, as ever, been over the top but much of the comment surrounding Dessers has been fair as he has failed to justify his price tag or his place in the team. If Danilo had been fit and if Roofe hadn’t picked up a knock against Livingston, Dessers would not have started here. His selection was through necessity rather than on merit. He looks devoid of confidence. A spell out of the side would arguably be the best thing for him right now but he was asked to go and lead the line once again as he started in Cyprus. The first stages of the match passed without him really being involved. When he did get a chance, he did what he had to do and beat keeper Vana with a low finish. At first glance, he looked offside. A VAR check that took several minutes to complete finally ruled the effort out as Dessers was denied his fourth goal of the season. The offside flag spared his blushes early in the second half. Vana parried a Sima shot and Dessers – who had again strayed beyond the last defender – made a complete mess of a header. A booking for diving summed up another appalling night for Dessers. His Rangers career is only going one way right now.