The local hero, Kubilay Turkyilmaz, made it a miserable night for Walter Smith's men. The Swiss international set up Murat Yakin's 18th-minute opener and scored twice himself to help Grasshopper to their first Champions' League victory. Rangers had Stuart McCall and Gordan Petric booked - and Petric will now be banned when Auxerre visit Ibrox in a fortnight.
Even after only one match, the Scottish champions look to have a mountain to climb to reach the last eight. Hopes were high after a 10-3 preliminary- round aggregate victory over Alania Vladikavkaz but all the promise shown in Russia disappeared in Zurich.
Paul Gascoigne was back after a two-match European ban and Glenn Hoddle's England assistant, John Gorman, was there to check his form, although he must have left with litte to encourage him.
Grasshopper, who like the Scots failed to win a game in the Champions' League last season, missed two early chances, but Turkyilmaz soon took charge. After being pushed over by Joachim Bjorklund, he swept over the free-kick for Yakin to direct a downward header into the net off a post.
Ten minutes later Turkyilmaz scored himself after Petric was penalised for pulling him down on the edge of the box. Turkyilmaz got up to take the free-kick and swerved a left-foot shot beyond the wall and past a static Andy Goram.
In the second half Derek McInnes replaced Alex Cleland and Ally McCoist made way for Peter van Vossen, but Rangers still struggled to make an impact and Goram remained their busiest player as the Swiss made all the running.
With 11 minutes left, Turkyilmaz scored his second with a header from a corner. Six minutes later he was substituted and departed to a standing ovation from a 20,000 crowd in the Hardturm stadium.
For the hapless Scottish champions, though, there was only gloom and despair. "I think Rangers underestimated us and came here for a holiday," Turkyilmaz said.
Grasshopper Zurich: Zuberbuhler; Gamperle, Thuler, Gren, Yakin, Esposito (Koller, 88), Moldovan, Turkyilmaz (Rzasa, 85), Vogel, Magnin (Lombardo, 73), Haas. Substitutes not used: Foletti (gk), Nemtsoudis.
Rangers: Goram; Cleland (McInnes, 59), Albertz, Gough, Petric, Bjorklund, McCall, Gascoigne, McCoist (Van Vossen, 68), Durie (Miller, 80), Laudrup. Substitutes not used: Snelders (gk), Moore.
Referee: G Aranda (Spain).Reuse content