Rangers welcomed Malmo to Ibrox tonight with everyone hopeful that the last minute Steven Davis strike last week, would prove to be a huge huge moment in this tie. At 2-0 we had everything to do, but that one moment may have just changed everything.
Rangers were flat in Sweden, we lacked a spark and we lacked an intensity that we carried last season. Injuries has hurt us without a doubt, it’s now that we really realise what the likes of Roofe and Hagi bring going forward. We need to bounce back and United was similar.
Selection wise we line up with changes to the first eleven from Saturday. McGregor is back in goals, Leon Balogun replaces Filip Helander, Arfield is back in the middle and Scott Wright returns on the right hand side of the attack.
0-2 – Malmo start well, knock the ball about without troubling Rangers
2-5 – Rangers get up the park and Alfredo wins it to cut back, Aribo is blocked. Corner Rangers
19 – GOOOOAAAALLLL!!! What a noise in Ibrox, It’s the main man and cometh the hour, cometh the man. Rangers have the lead! The 🐃 on the end of Kents cross and the trademark knee slide! What a moment!
30 – Malmo start moving it around, Rangers are comfortable in shape but giving up a lot of possession.
31 – The wine gums are out, it’s a bit nervous, definitely Malmo’s best spell.
33 – McGregor is judged to have carried the ball outside his box, he is cautioned and resulting dangerous free kick is blocked by Aribo.
37 – CHANCE! Tavernier caught deep as rest pull forward, Berget is in and his cross is headed over the bar by Antonio Colak! That was an opportunity!
41 – Caution! Innocent is holding onto Alfredo as he tries to break away, it’s a deserved yellow.
44 – RED! Innocent is not so innocent as he is high on Goldson, the referee took his time but a second yellow and he is off. Malmo down to ten and this tie is now firmly in Rangers grasp.
45 – Rangers lead 1-0 at HT.
Half time thoughts –
Well we have the break through, what a noise welcomed that goal! I think it may have went in off his shoulder but what a cross by Kent. That’s why he is quality, is he playing his best? Not yet, but he is always dangerous.
Malmo being down to ten is a huge bonus but we have to capitalise. Rangers are pressing well and look dangerous but Malmo clearly are good on the ball also. We need to be careful but I would be going for them as soon as this second half starts.
48 mins – Chance, bouncing ball and Morelos blasts over, difficult opportunity. Remains 1-0.
51 mins – Morelos cautioned.
53 mins – GOAL and it’s been coming. Reverse ball and Balogun is too far off Colak who drills it in the corner. It’s such a poor goal to give away. 1-1
58 mins – GOAL and that is nothing short of scandalous defending, a long throw, Colak takes a touch and spins to score. Absolutely criminal defending by Balogun and Aribo is slow also. The decision to drop Helander gets more baffling by the minute. 1-2 to ten man Malmo. Awful.
61-64 mins – A series of Rangers corners leads to nothing as Fashion replaces Scott Wright.
67 mins – Chance, Morelos gets free but Reichs blocks for a Rangers corner which comes to nothing.
71-74 mins – several corners again come to nothing.
79 – 81 mins – two Kent shots are easily dealt with and it’s all very ominous. 1-2 Malmo.
89 mins – Fashion gets free and his looped effort is tipped over, no luck at all.
90 mins – Kent fires over after Davis cut back and we should be level.
FULL TIME – Rangers are out after an absolutely dreadful second half. Absolutely awful collapse and serious questions are now to be asked of not only Gerrard’s selection but also the players who look a shadow of theirselves. Three defeats in a week is not good enough and this is a catastrophic result.
Several first team players need to look at themselves, Barisic and Tavernier in particular who all struggled to beat a man with a cross all night.
This very much looks like a team who have slipped into bad habits of previous years. Passive on the ball, not moving it quick enough and side to side passes which produce very little.
It’s an awful result and against ten men.
Rangers and the management team deserve every bit of criticism after that. The players need to seriously up it and quickly otherwise the stop start performances of previous years will be flung at them rapidly. Too many players are underperforming and look way off the levels they produced.
The fans brought the noise, the players haven’t responded and they need to sort it quickly.