With Rangers opponents in the next qualifying round of the Europa League confirmed to be Gibraltar’s Lincoln Red Imps, we think back to the last time this team had a Scottish connection
Sometimes in life you just can’t make it up. Of all the teams with unpronounceable names in this years Europa League second round qualifier that Rangers could have drawn, we end up getting the Lincoln Red Imps.
Name sounds familiar? I’m guessing it’s not because you’ve been to Gibraltar recently. No, the connection between the two clubs runs much deeper, you see, back in 2016 the Red Imps made history, news headlines, and many, many memes, after beating Celtic 1-0 at home. The glorious defeat of Rangers cross-city rivals was dubbed “The Shock of Gibraltar”, a play on the famous Rock on which it sits, and has rightfully gone down in the history books as one of the biggest, and most wonderful, upsets in football.
In any case, this should also serve as a lesson for Rangers too, don’t underestimate the opponents
Scott Brown, not one for taking defeat like a gentleman, bemoaned the state of the pitch and poor conditions he and his fellow professionals had to cope with. Nonetheless, even he had to admit that the result left “a scar on the club that may never disappear.”
In any case, this should also serve as a lesson for Rangers too, don’t underestimate the opponents and, since we’ll also be travelling to Gibraltar, don’t underestimate the playing conditions. Nowadays, thanks to COVID-19, European games are single match elimination affairs. None of this “we’ll get them next time” stuff that teams of yore, and Celtic when they played the Red Imps, could rely on – Rangers need to win.
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The Red Imps themselves are unquestionably the best team in the territory, the Rangers of Gibraltar if you will. In 44 years of playing they’ve won the local league some 23 times, including an insane 14 in a row, and are so far the only club to get even a sniff of the Champions League. In fact, they hold the record for the longest unbeaten run in Europe at some 1959 days, or 5 whole seasons of football. That’s, frankly, bonkers.
Nonetheless, it’s up to the Gers to do the business and see them off. This could have all the hallmarks of a banana skin game, but the Blues are looking dominant and hopefully, in the future, when we think of the Licoln Red Imps, it’ll continue to be because of the Celtic game and not this one.