Rangers 3 Aberdeen 0
Trepidation was in the air as the players emerged from the tunnel last night, as Aberdeen came searching for their second league victory at Ibrox in a trot.
Rangers line up was indeed a 4-4-2 diamond but it wasn’t Hardie who took Alfredo Morelos place, it was the Mexican Carlos Pena. Indeed Penas inclusion, the only change to the team given to us on our previous blog. So what were we to get from the charismatic Mexican?
Rangers back four welcomed the return of Bruno Alves, Ross McCrorie was the bottom of the diamond with Holt & Jack either side. Josh Windass & Kenny Miller played in front of Carlos Pena who played at the tip. So personnel not that different but new roles for Ross McCrorie & Josh Windass, as Rangers looked to avoid three straight league defeats.
Straight from the off Rangers were quick in the tackle, strong in possession & played with a zip that has been missing in several weeks. There was no shirking of tackles, we were first to every second ball & the team on the front foot from the very first whistle. Ibrox responded with the crowd noisy & behind the team in a crescendo missing from her in recent matches.
Within six minutes Rangers were ahead, A good move prompted Jason Holt to get to the ball first in the box before being wiped out by Tansey, A penalty the right decision & duly dispatched by the fabulous James Tavernier. Rangers had the vital lead.
Ibrox was rocking & Rangers were on the front foot. Constantly finding room on the wings, Pena had an effort tipped over the bar around twenty minutes, but he wouldn’t be denied for long. Fantastic work down the right, with Holt, Tavernier & Jack involved in a passing triangle which let Holt free as he scampered towards the box. Looking up he cut the perfect ball back for Carlos Pena to tuck Home from one of his trademark late runs into the box. Rangers 2 Aberdeen 0 & no more than we deserved.
Ibrox sensed blood as Rangers looked for a third, however it was a vital block on the line from Wes Foderingham which kept Aberdeen out, A scramble in the box which was the closest Aberdeen came to salvaging anything.
2-0 at HT was the least we deserved & Ibrox certainly enjoyed the first half performance. From GK to striker Rangers were excellent all over & we weren’t flattered by the scoreline.
The second half began with Aberdeen on the front foot but there was never any danger to the Rangers goal, as Wilson & Alves marshalled the defence superbly. Rangers were a different animal tonight putting the boot in when required, winning the second ball & displaying a confidence required.
Rangers sealed the game with a superb third although arguably offside. There is no doubt we have been avoid of luck this season, so when Josh Windass swept the ball across the face for the on rushing James Tavernier, We were 3-0 ahead & now in easy street. A late red card for on loan Celtic player Ryan Christie only added to our glee.
Rangers were excellent in every department this evening & worthy winners. Individually we were superb & each player deserves the plaudits. Young Ross McCrorie displaying a maturity way beyond his years in a roll he looks comfortable to make his own. We could say a lot for each individual performance but as a team we had given everything &, that for me, is definitely the most pleasing aspect.
Graeme Murty said this was the bench mark & he is correct. Rangers were excellent & deserve all the praise given to them.
Well done Rangers, lets take this forward