Rangers earned a first away victory in the Europa League group stage under Steven Gerrard after Kemar Roofe’s outrageous halfway-line goal capped off a fine win in a rain-soaked Liege.
The Ibrox club rode their luck at times after James Tavernier’s 19th-minute penalty broke the deadlock.
Jackson Muleka twice headed against the bar in the first half and Standard pushed hard for a leveller after the break. But Gerrard’s men held firm in front of more than 3,000 fans in Belgium to start with a win.
Poland’s Lech Poznan travel to Glasgow next Thursday for the second game in the section, having started their campaign with a 4-2 home defeat by Benfica.
Both sides enjoyed their share of possession early on, but the only real sight of goal fell to Tavernier, who failed to connect with a volley after Borna Barisic found his fellow full-back charging into the box.
However, the Rangers captain made no mistake after 19 minutes, placing a penalty perfectly into the bottom left-hand corner after Nicolas Gavory handled a Connor Goldson header.
The goal sparked Gerrard’s men into life, and they came close to doubling their advantage almost immediately as Ianis Hagi’s speculative long-range effort whistled just wide.
However, it was Standard who finished the half strongest, with two efforts crashing off the frame of Rangers goal. First, Muleka’s glancing header came off the bar before the Congolese international had a second effort – which appeared to strike his hand – hit the woodwork.
The Ibrox club could have put the contest out of sight in the second half, with Alfredo Morelos having two close-range efforts saved by Arnaud Bodart, and Scott Arfield failing to hit the target from the edge of the area.
With the game poised at 1-0 heading into the closing stages, the risk was always there for Gerrard’s side, and Duje Cop should have made them pay. However, the Croat let the ball slip under his boot with the goal at his mercy before Roofe capped off the game with a truly stunning goal.
The former Leeds United and Anderlecht striker picked up the ball in his own half before knocking it past Gavory and unleashing an unbelievable strike from the halfway line which left Bodart helpless.
Man of the match – Calvin Bassey
What did we learn?
Gerrard has instilled a steeliness into his side that was perhaps missing at times before.
In seasons gone by, the Ibrox club have dropped points from similar positions in Europe but, despite spending spells of the game under pressure, they prevented the Belgians registering a shot on target.
They did the same against Celtic in last weekend’s Old Firm derby victory and have now kept 12 clean sheets in 15 games this term.
Rangers earned their second away win in 11 attempts in the Europa League (D5 L4).
This was Standard’s first home defeat in Europe in 15 games since in December 2014.
Since their last defeat in August against Bayer Leverkusen, Rangers have won 12 and drawn two.
Tavernier is Rangers’ top scorer in all competitions this season with nine goals.
Roofe has scored three goals in his last five games.
Rangers resume league duties on Sunday as they welcome Livingston to Ibrox (15:00 GMT).
21FaiSubstituted forCarcela-Gonzálezat 64′minutes
6DussenneBooked at 18minsSubstituted forJansat 78′minutes