Rangers’ cup victory soothes their Europa League misery

Rangers won the Scottish Cup after defeating Hearts 2-0 in extra time in the final on Saturday, capping up a turbulent week.

Rangers lost the Europa League final on penalties on Wednesday night, and it went into extra time on Saturday because of Craig Gordon’s foot stop from Joe Aribo towards the conclusion of normal time at Hampden Park.

They dug deep again, though, as two goals in three minutes from replacements Ryan Jack and Scott Wright earned them the Scottish Cup for the first time since 2009.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst won the cup with Rangers in 2000 and earned his first trophy as manager after succeeding Steven Gerrard in November.

There were concerns about Rangers’ reaction to their European setback. They were devastated by their shootout loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the heart of Seville, and they returned to Glasgow to attend the burial of former kitman Jimmy Bell.

Rangers with cup title

Van Bronckhorst made five changes to the lineup and praised the players for their toughness.

“We had personality,” he remarked. “We stand up, rise up, and go again in terrible times. That is critical for us as a club.

“We had a really tough buildup to the final.” The setback was also significant psychologically since we lost on penalties.

“We had to fly back, we said goodbye to Jimmy yesterday, we trained in the afternoon, and we had a discussion this afternoon about the game we wanted to play and the lineup.”

“I persuaded them once again that it was a chance to win something. All of the hard work over the previous several weeks and months has been rewarded.”

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