Rangers welcome Dunfermline to Ibrox this evening with everyone hoping for a lot better than we have seen lately. I’m privileged again to be in the press gantry so I’ll bring today’s match report as if it is live and you are reading through the ninety minutes with me.
Rangers make several changes with Jon McLaughlin coming into nets. Calvin Bassey, Nathan Paterson and Jack Simpson join Connor Goldson in defence, Connor captains the side.
Joe Aribo is joined by John Lundstram and Glen Kamara in midfield, Kemar Roofe leads the line with Scott Wright and Ianis Hagi flanking him on either side.
Rangers have an extremely strong bench, should they need it, with the likes of Tavernier, Helander, Itten, Kent and Morelos amongst those listed. As much as they need game time, it would be nice to see them have the night off and Rangers come through this one without having to call on them.
I’m looking forward to seeing a reaction, hopefully the players will be braver on the ball and use it with more purpose. The chance for the likes of Hagi, Roofe and Lundstram, to name but a few, to get minutes in their legs and stake a claim in the first team.
Make no mistake though this is a huge game and we need to start turning possession into end product. Get one result and then start to kick on again before Europe on Thursday, which becomes absolutely massive.
Dunfermline are captained by former Ranger Graham Dorrans, noticeable names include Kevin O’Hara and Nikolay Todorov. I expect they will come to be organised and sit in but if Rangers play with purpose and attacking aggression then hopefully we will be too strong.
The cups are vital and we have to make a big impact this season, this club is all about trophies, so let’s hope another hunt starts tonight.
First half action
3 mins – GOALLLL! Brilliant by Bassey as he seizes on a slack Pars pass to slide it back to Lundstram who thunders a left foot strike in off the bar! 1-0 Rangers!
5-8 mins – Two quick chances, Goldson long ball and Roofe is adjudged to be offside. Then brilliant again by Bassey as he hangs up a lovely deep cross but Roofe can’t generate any power on the header, that was a chance!
15 mins – Slack by Simpson, he looks rusty but Goldson is superb and chases back to block and then clear.
17 – GOALLL! Superb pass by Ianis Hagi who plays in Scott Wright, he cuts back onto his right foot to send the goalkeeper the wrong way. 2-0 Rangers!
19 mins – GOALLL! It’s three and this is all Calvin Bassey, a superb cross right into the danger area and Ianis Hagi rises to head home. This is much better! 3-0 Rangers!
25-28 mins – three quick chances, firstly Roofe effort which goes high and over on the spin, then Patterson has a superb volley well saved after Lundstram had flicked on another superb Bassey cross. Then a penalty claim as Wright is barged off the ball, looked a weak shout but it’s Wright, so obviously it was a stonewaller.
33 mins – GOALLLL! It’s 4-0! Superb pass by Aribo as Roofe shifts it quickly from his left to right foot and fires home. That’s a top class goal and a fit on form Roofe is a superb number nine, as that demonstrates. Great goal and some cracking football! 4-0 Rangers!
43 mins – Another left foot strike by Lundstram goes over but I welcome that, shots from outside the box are somewhat a surprise in this side, more of them please!
Half time – Rangers 4 Dunfermline 0
Excellent performance, Calvin Bassey has impressed me a lot. Dynamic, full of energy and I was one who said he didn’t have an end product and was a work in progress. Two assists, at least three other cracking crosses and powerful in the run also. He’s been terrific and Aribo has flourished because he has that runner next to him. It’s his shirt now.
Elsewhere Scott Wright has been strong with an excellent goal and all round good play. Kemar Roofe has led the line really well and all round we have been excellent. Some lovely football, variation in play and whilst we have to remember the opposition are a league below, we have went about our business very well.
Better link up, better passing and better attitude.
Great first half and looking forward to the second half, I hope we keep the pressure on and take out our frustrations.
Second half Action
58 mins – PENALTY RANGERS! Roofe is tripped after good build up from Wright, Paterson and Aribo. He steps up and takes the kick, GOOALLL! 5-0 Rangers!
64 mins – SUB – Alfredo Morelos replaces the excellent Scott Wright.
Rangers have been equally good in this second, sure the tempo has dropped but they are probing and looking for more goals. Yes the opposition aren’t up to usual standard, but this has been a lot better all round.
70 mins – SUB – Scotty Arfield replaces Ianis Hagi, he’s had a great game also.
73 mins – CHANCE! Good switch by Alfredo and Arfield is in, he can’t get shot away but Paterson drills it across but it’s just behind the 🐃. Remains 5-0
78 mins – SUB – Stephen Kelly gets a deserved cameo replacing Glen Kamara, who strolled it all night.
81 mins – good run by Aribo finds Bassey who lays it off for Buff who floats an effort wide.
84 mins – Simpson heads over from a Kelly cross.
85 mins – Chance! Morelos twists and fires towards the top corner but it’s deflected over, that was close!
FT – Rangers 5 Dunfermline 0
Just like the last three games, we need to react to this in the context required, Dunfermline are quite a few levels below us with all due respect. We were good, aggressive in the press and passing more direct. There was good variation in attack and crossing which is welcomed, shows we are trying to stop the patterns we have been slipping into.
Excellent individual performances from several players. Roofe linked everything up and came deep superbly all evening. Paterson was up and down all night whilst Scott Wright enjoyed a really good evening also with a goal. Ianis Hagi caused mayhem with his movement and also bagged an assist and Goal.
But official Man of the Match, and my own, was Calvin Bassey. He’s made the shirt his own and he’s made me rethink my own impression he isn’t ready. Strong and powerful running with two lovely assists, but that’s only half the story. Fantastic all evening and really delighted for him.
Rangers need to take this into next Thursday, great chance to get on the training ground and take some rhythm into the up coming games.
Tonight was a little reminder, we aren’t Champions by fluke and we aren’t going away quietly.
Onto Thursday, well done Rangers