Rangers dig it out to return to top of the table

It’s matchday once again at Ibrox stadium as Rangers begin, albeit interrupted by internationals, a run of three vitally important home games. Hibs and Hearts both threaten to challenge us and both, who have started well this season, come to Ibrox next. That is followed by the vital European home game against Brondby in a trilogy that could help lift the form of the team.

It’s that form that has given some cause for concern but despite this, victory today will put us in a very good position domestically. Hibs will be tough, they have good players in Boyle and Nisbet as well as a tough midfield. Josh Doig will test the returning Nathan Patterson and we know of the passing ability of Scott Allan.

We have had our fair share of problems so far, with the manager unable to find consistency in his selection. Indeed injury, suspension and covid unavailability has meant using 12 different back 5s (inc gk) combinations and 8 midfield 3s, as well as 12 different front 3s. If we are struggling for form then this is certainly a contributing factor. Once again today he makes six changes to freshen the side.

Despite this, victory today will see us top the league and continue a fairly decent domestic start to the season. Europe has been poor and another slow performance on Thursday means we have to start picking up form quickly on that platform, that is for another day however.

Hopefully a brighter and sharper performance ahead this afternoon, with Rangers making changing to this afternoon’s team and a few surprising ones at that. James Tavernier is benched, Nathan Patterson is in alongside the returning Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun and Borna Barisic. The outstanding Allan McGregor, who was back to his best on Thursday, retains his position in goals.

Steven Davis returns to the bench with John Lundstram sitting in the middle of Glen Kamara and most Likely Joe Aribo. Scott Wright, Ianis Hagi and Alfredo Morelos all start for Rangers in attack. A total of six changes again for Rangers, which will hopefully bring the freshness required but again a lot of rotation in the squad.

Rangers do have a strong bench to call upon, with McLaughlin, Tavernier, Bassey, Davis, Bacuna, Roofe and Sakala all available should we need them.

It’s also the final game with the mic for Union Bears ‘Capo’ Ross McGill. Ross has been the mainstay now for ten years and the lads, who provide the noise, will move on to someone new. One things for sure, Ibrox would be a quieter place without all his and the UB’s efforts as a whole. Let’s hope we give him a performance today as his efforts deserve it.

Good luck Rangers 🔴⚪️🔵

First half action:

9 mins – Goal from Hibs. Doig emerges on the left unchallenged and ball works it’s way to Cadden who easily passes Barisic and Nisbet rises to head home unmarked. Just such a poor goal all round. 0-1 Hibs.

30 mins – RED – Porteous is shown Red for a wild tackle on Aribo, off the ground in a reckless motion.

33 mins – Rangers first real chance, breaks to Balogun after Goldson plays it back but he drags it wide.

37 mins – McGinn is cautioned for fouling Wright, Balogun heads it high and over.

45 mins – Rangers pressure, Patterson fizzes a few crosses in and causes problems but no real efforts. A few corners come from it but wasteful.

45 mins + 3 – late pressure and Scott Wright tamely fires over.

Half Time – Rangers 0 Hibs 1

Summary –

Miles away from being good enough. Nothing happening up front and team is badly unbalanced with Hagi struggling to get in the game. We lost a really poor goal from a standard cross which Barisic fails to stop, Nisbet unmarked to head into the corner.

Rangers really need a shake both individually and collectively. There has been a few crosses fizzed in but zero real danger and a total failure to properly test the goal keeper. It’s slow and ponderous with too many touches. Can’t get Alfredo into the game and Wright although bright hasn’t offered a threat near the goal.

I’m extremely frustrated. We are so far away from being the team we were and now needs a massive second half against a team who will time waste, defend and try to hit on the break (which is their right now they are ahead).

Rangers need more from Aribo, Hagi and Morelos, they also need to start moving it quickly and with purpose.

Second half –

46 mins – Early pressure and Barisic shot is saved by Macey, resulting corner is cleared.

47 mins – Lundstram drives a weak effort wide.

50-52 mins – Three Rangers corners, Morelos shot deflected wide and a Goldson effort wild and over.

55 mins – Kamara off and Kemar Roofe on.

60 mins – GOOOAAAALLL! Lovely ball by Nathan Patterson and Kemar Roofe heads it home! 1-1


65 mins – More pressure and Patterson fires wide, he was wasteful with that.

68 mins – Hibs Free kick wide on left after Barisic wipes out Boyle. Both players down a long time. Hibs waste the opportunity and both players back on.

73 mins – Hagi cuts inside and shoots but a great save by Macey, resulting corner see’s Hagi cautioned for a pull on Boyle.

78 mins – GOOOOAAAALLLL!!! ITS THE 🐃! Borna with a lovely cross and Alfredo powers it home. 2-1 Rangers!

Sub – Joe Aribo off, Juninho Bacuna on.

Sub – Scott Wright off, Steven Davis on.

83 mins – Penalty claim as Roofe goes to shoot and is clipped. Ibrox is cheering for it but nothing doing.

86 mins – Hagi is dangerous from the Right as he cuts in but comfortable save for Macey.

89 mins – Brilliant sliding interception from Borna as Hibs try to break.

90 mins – Barisic Caution for foul. Hibs free kick wasted.

FULL TIME Rangers 2 Hibs 1

Superb turnaround from Rangers and they ground it out superbly. I wasn’t sure at HT but they picked up the tempo and two lovely full back assists for goals was a huge sigh of relief.

John Lundstram turned in another superb 90 mins and dictated the whole game, passed it well and managed to keep it well, especially when we turned it round to go ahead.

Kemar Roofe also put in a great performance when he came on, a lovely header to equalise but the headlines taken by goal hero Alfredo Morelos whose bullet header won the game. Credit to both full backs, the deliveries were top class.

Champions find ways. At the moment we are miles away from form but we got there and now we regroup at the top of the league. International games mean we have time to get better but that’s a huge win for us.

It can be better, but we are winning and long may that continue!

Man of the match – John Lundstram

Attendance – 49125

Ignore the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise 🔴⚪️🔵