The Champions League is football's most unforgiving arena, something Rangers are being reminded of on an all-too regular basis at the moment.
The Ibrox side's return to UEFA's top table has been a chastening one thus far and a surprisingly meek defeat away at Liverpool means it's now no points and no goals from three groups stage outings. Giovanni van Bronckhorst has lamented the gulf in resources between his team and the expensively assembled ensembles who rule the roost at this level and while that gap is an indisputable fact, more was expected of Rangers on their first-ever competitive visit to Anfield.
Were it not for the colossal Allan McGregor, set-piece strikes from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah would have been added to over and over by the Reds. That it took Rangers until five minutes from full-time to register an effort on untroubled Allison Becker's goal told its own story.
This was another brutal lesson on life in football's fast lane and the reviews pouring in from around the world have pulled no punches. Here's a selection of reaction to Tuesday night's clash on Merseyside.
El Informador (Colombia)
"The Colombian strikers (Rangers' Morelos and Liverpool's Luiz Diaz) played the entire game for their teams, being protagonists, despite not being able to score. The duel of European runners-up, between Luis Diaz's Liverpool and Glasgow Rangers, in which Alfredo Morelos plays, was decided by the glove of Trent Alexander-Arnold and the coldness of Mohamed Salah 2-0.
"The 'Reds', with the victory and the rout of Napoli in Amsterdam, add two wins in a row in the group stage and outline their pass to the round of 16, at the mercy of a match in which they should have scored many more goals, especially by a very misguided Darwin Núñez.
"Alexander-Arnold showed why he is one of the best in attack and gave Liverpool a peace of mind that he had hardly enjoyed in this Champions League. He allowed him to go ahead and break at will a Rangers who had lost Alfredo Morelos up front. Salah, from eleven meters, did not miss and converted his second goal of this Champions League, with which he sentenced the match."
The Guardian (London)
"Rangers offered next to nothing as an attacking threat. Their opponents have been vulnerable defensively all season yet were rarely tested on that score with Alfredo Morelos, preferred to leading goalscorer Antonio Colak, isolated by a Rangers’ midfield that lacked the legs and the quality in possession to stem the tide."
"In this unprecedented duel on the continental scene, the first period was one-sided, the Reds finding the fault in the 7th minute on a sumptuous curling free kick from Alexander-Arnold in the top corner of McGregor. If the doorman accused his 40 years on the spot, he then multiplied the parades to keep the Scottish formation afloat.
"He thus disgusted the Uruguayan Darwin (3rd, 34th, 41st, 43rd) and diverted with the end of the glove a shot curled at ground level from Salah (15th). It was only a postponement for the Egyptian. After Mr. Turpin had whistled a penalty for the Reds sanctioning a foul by King on Luis Diaz in the area, Salah deceived McGregor with a shot from the left full axis (52nd)."
Fiji Times (Fiji)
"The so-called “Battle of Britain” clash underlined the gulf in quality between the top flight divisions in England and Scotland. Rangers looked drained and exhausted trying to stem Liverpool’s attacks as the intuitive Thiago Alcantara blocked attacks and fed through balls from midfield.
"Virgil van Dijk, who has been in the firing line for Liverpool’s leaky defence of late, was barely troubled at the back, although Rangers substitute Rabbi Matondo did force a goal line clearance from Kostas Tsimikas in the dying minutes."
"As early as the seventh minute, a foul by Ben Davies on Nunez gave Alexander-Arnold a free-kick from 20 yards out. It was struck over the middle of the wall, dipped sharply and offered McGregor not the breath of a chance. You wonder how many players England possess who can do this sort of thing.
"It was impossible to judge the basics of Alexander-Arnold’s defending because Rangers did not muster a serious attack until five minutes from the end when Rabbi Matondo opened up Liverpool’s right flank and forced a fine save from Alisson Becker. By then Luis Diaz, wriggling through the Rangers defence, had won a penalty that Mohamed Salah had emphatically converted. That was pretty much that for the Battle of Britain, 53 minutes in.
"The financial disparity between the English and Scottish Premier Leagues are such that Douglas Bader might as well have sallied forth to meet the Luftwaffe in something designed by the Wright Brothers rather than a Spitfire. Ben Davies and Ryan Kent, Rangers’ two former Liverpool players, had never actually started a game at Anfield during their time on Merseyside.
"Aside from Rangers’ hopelessly late flourish in front of their own supporters, who launched into a chorus of God Save the King on the final whistle, the second half lacked any sense of drama."
The Gleaner (Jamaica)
"Liverpool created a slew of chances but needed two set pieces to beat Rangers 2-0 at Anfield in the Champions League yesterday. The game between last season’s runners-up in England and Scotland was a one-sided contest that could have seen Jurgen Klopp’s team rack up a much greater margin of victory.
"It was only Rangers’ veteran goalkeeper Allan McGregor who kept the score respectable, repeatedly keeping Liverpool at bay. The 40-year-old engaged in a personal dual with Darwin Nunez in the first half – and after the break produced a spectacular fingertip save to push away a goal-bound effort from Diogo Jota.
"But he couldn’t prevent Trent Alexander-Arnold from scoring with a perfectly struck free kick after just seven minutes and Mo Salah netting from the penalty spot early in the second half. There were no signs of the issues that have seen Liverpool struggle in the early weeks of the season – but that was in the face of meagre opposition in Rangers. The Glasgow club looked out of its depth from the opening moments as Liverpool completely dominated the ball and the chances."