Rangers will hope history is ready to repeat itself in Eindhoven next week when they will once again head to the Philips Stadium. Just like this time last year, the first leg of their Champions League play-off at Ibrox with PSV ended all even.

After a first-half with little in the way of chances, Abdallah Sima sparked Ibrox into ecstasy with a curling effort from the edge of the box that earned a lead going into the break.

PSV earned what they’ll feel was a deserved equaliser on the basis of play through Ibrahim Sangare but the home side found a way to reinstate their lead, as a composed Rabbi Matondo continued his Ibrox redemption arc to make it 2-1. The tie, like last year, would be drawn 2-2 through a visiting corner as Luke de Jong rose highest to head home, setting up next week’s match in Eindhoven as winner takes all.

Our writers discuss the big talking points below.

First-half that turned on a moment

Ibrox was a frustrated arena as the clock hit 44 minutes. There was little to offer encouragement on the ball and a growing, nagging sense that a PSV goal was inbound. The visitors hadn’t offered much in the way of true, meaningful opportunities and their half-time xG stood at just 0.27xG, but the number of box entries, crosses and cut-backs was starting to spell danger. What irked the home crowd the most was the fact that gaps were visible, but due to Rangers’ ownership of the ball not really exploitable. Too often they looked unsure in possession, chopping back and looking to build play slowly rather than transitioning forward quickly but then proceeding to play directly into space the visitors had long since protected. Before Sima’s curling effort into the top corner, the on-loan forward’s touches were loose, runs off the pace and threat in behind limited - but doesn’t football just have a way of pivoting on a moment? Sima found an area of the goal that Walter Benitez was not reaching with a looping side-footed effort, earned off the back of a moment of pressure Rangers got right. Dessers shaped play to one side, Sangare received with his back to goal and Raskin made up yards of ground quicker than PSV’s number No.6 had bargained for. That allowed Dessers time to pick out his strike partner and Sima did the rest. Suddenly, the half-time mood was one of jubilation rather than frustration.

Joshua Barrie

Indecision in transition

European games provide Rangers with a different test compared to what they regularly face domestically when teams adopt a low block. PSV boss Peter Bosz is known for his attacking philosophy and while that can be extremely effective, it does leave space to exploit in transitions. A major factor behind Abdallah Sima’s starting role was the attempt to utilise his pace on the counter-attack but the Senegalese attacker produced a frustrating first-half performance, minus his incredible finish to break the deadlock. The plan to unleash Sima in transition worked well early in the first half but he under-hit passes to Barisic on the overlap and momentum was lost. There were numerous examples of Rangers failing to provide support to the ball carrier in transition - Todd Cantwell excelled in relieving pressure after being left isolated on numerous occasions. Around the half-hour, Raskin won the ball and looked to launch a counterattack, but there was no Rangers player in his vicinity. The Belgian midfielder was forced to dwell on the ball until Barisic offered a support run on the left and the Ibrox crowd voiced their displeasure as Beale’s side passed up another promising transition opportunity. Matondo’s moment after the break was an example of Rangers attacking space effectively. Cantwell moved out under pressure, with options to find, Dessers played a perfect pass and the substitute finished emphatically.

READ MORE: Rangers player ratings: Rabbi Matondo dazzles in PSV cameo

Euan Robertson

A fight for control

Normally in football the team in possession of the ball are perceived to have control of the match, but sides can also have the game by it’s handles without constant possession. Suggesting Rangers were in control throughout this tie would be far too generous. On one hand, the visitors felt ever-dangerous and started to access the box with real regularity as the game wore on but on the other, PSV’s xG at the break amassed just 0.27xG. For their possessional, and sometimes territorial, control, the visitors were not creating an abundance of glaring opportunities and often lost the battle in Rangers’ box. Their goal after half-time was a rare moment when Peter Bosz’ men outmanouvered a defence that had found all the answers to that point. Generally, James Tavernier and Borna Barisic enjoyed good performances against two of the most dangerous wingers they’ve come up against at Ibrox, Nao Lang and Johan Bakayoko. The goal conceded will frustrate Beale and his staff because Rangers had defended more dangerous moments in a better fashion but equally, keeping the talent they faced quiet for a whole 90 minutes was always likely to be a tough ask. Although Jack Butland couldn’t keep out Sangare to equalise he commanded at crosses, took the ball under pressure and got out quickly to snatch crosses that came close to his vicinity. Increasingly, it looks as though Rangers have recruited a goalkeeper who can guarantee them at the back. Conceding a set-piece goal to level the tie and prevent a lead heading to Eindhoven will frustrate, especially following Matondo’s big moment from the bench, even if on the basis of who dominated proceedings PSV would argue it to be a fair reflection of events.

Joshua Barrie

Rabbi Matondo’s redemption arc

“I’m not stressed and I’m not panicking because I know how good I can be. I know my qualities but I’ve got to stay humble enough to take my opportunities.”

Matondo was full of confidence when he faced the media last Friday and he’s certainly taking the opportunities afforded to him by Beale in recent weeks. The winger made a blistering cameo off the bench in the 4-0 win over Livingston and he backed that up with another impressive display against Morton on Saturday. His Rangers career looked over earlier this summer and few fans would’ve disputed his departure, however, the Welshman has provided encouragement in recent weeks that he can turn his career around at Ibrox and tonight was the biggest step he’s made yet. Beale drafted him into his European squad to face PSV, in place of Ianis Hagi, and he rewarded his manager - in some style. Matondo demonstrated his electrifying pace after his introduction to race clear of a marker, before producing a composed first-time finish into the bottom corner. It was undeniably his shining moment in a Rangers shirt to date and he fully deserves more minutes in the coming weeks. It’s easy to forget Schalke paid £11 million to sign Matondo just four years ago and at 22 and the Welshman can still deliver on his significant potential. Matondo’s first season in Glasgow was extremely underwhelming, but it’s often difficult for young players to adapt to the demands of a club like Rangers. His pace and quick-feet could prove to be an invaluable weapon to Beale across the season and with a spot of confidence to match, what seemed like a flop signing last year has potential to really succeed.

Euan Robertson