With a clear victory in Germany, Bayer Leverkusen finished Rangers’ 13-month Europa League journey from the first qualifying round to the last 16.
Leading 3-1 from the first leg at Ibrox on March 12, the side of Peter Bosz was rarely troubled in an empty BayArena. Kai Havertz hit the wall, slid a shot wide, and saved an attempt, but it was the warning run and finish of Moussa Diaby that broke the impasse.
The Germans are now facing Inter Milan in a quarter-final in Dusseldorf on Monday.
Rangers-beginning with Brandon Barker ahead of Ianis Hagi-were looking to trouble the team that finished fifth at the break in the Bundesliga. But, there were scarce opportunities.
An early opening was spurned by a heavy touch by Alfredo Morelos, and it was 21-year-old German international Havertz who proceeded closest in the first half, clipping Allan McGregor’s crossbar with an angled snapshot and sliding a shot narrowly wide when one on one with the Rangers goalkeeper.
Leverkusen, playing their first match since losing the German Cup final to Bayern Munich on July 4, was clean and threatened with balls through the central defense of Rangers.
Had it not been for Florian Wirtz ‘s shot of a Filip Helander block after a four-on-three attack, Rangers would have trailed at the break.
In 51 minutes Diaby broke the stalemate when he scampered away from James Tavernier and on to a Charles Aranguiz ball before finishing high past, McGregor.
Shortly after Rangers’ best chance-Connor Goldson having a header cleared off the line by Edmond Tapsoba, the veteran goalkeeper utilized his left foot to save superbly from Havertz.
That was as good as it was for Gerrard ‘s side, though, as fizzled out a campaign that started with a win over St Joseph’s in Gibraltar on July 9, last year.