Match day at Ibrox and the last one before Christmas in what has been a very productive period under the new management team. I’m excited to be here today, after missing the last few games, so an added excitement to be back at Ibrox. It’s always special being here but I’m a wee bit more excited than usual.
I have been very impressed with Rangers recent form and the subtle changes to the philosophy has really helped the team and individual performance. There is no doubt that the likes of Barisic and Morelos has thrived under the management, but there is a new sense of application and attitude which has been welcomed. All of a sudden that rampaging Buffalo is back and the snarling McGregor has returned, the team have their zest back so to speak.
So looking forward to today and I’m hoping for a few more goals in a strong performance although three points is always the priority. We could temporarily, at least, extend the gap for a few days with victory against a young looking United team who are struggling for results outside of today’s covid hit selection issues. They still have experience in Carson, Sporle, Mulgrew, Clark and Edwards but youth in likes of Glass, Mochrie, Watson.
Few changes for Rangers in selection today, Barisic drops out the whole squad and suspension threatened Joe Aribo is on the bench. I expect Nathan Patterson deputises at left back along side captain James Tavernier at right back. Goldson and Bassey centrally with Allan McGregor in Goals. John Lundstram is next to Glen Kamara and Scott Arfield in midfield with the front three forwards picking themselves in, Kent, Morelos and Hagi. It could be a slight change of formation with Lundstram and Kamara deep which would Arfield to push on in a 4-2-3-1 but should be relatively straight forward tweeks if any.
So looking forward to a strong performance and hopefully a good win to extend our lead at the top. There is no doubt we have our ‘spring in our step’ back so now it’s trying to finish strongly.
Good luck to team and management today, I’ll go for a Hagi inspired Rangers victory by two or three goals. If we could score early then it could be a long afternoon for the young United side.
C’mon the Rangers 🔴⚪️🔵
First half action
4 mins – Clark with a low drive which McGregor saves, bit of space but a weak effort.
15 mins – Tavernier shoots straight at Carson after good work by Kent on the left.
CHANCE! Utd work it short from that save but lose it and Hagi slips in Morelos, he take a shot and drags it wide. Really poor effort and not like the buffalo we have seen recently.
24 mins – Kamara drags a shot wide and it’s all a bit too slow and lethargic from Rangers.
26 mins – Penalty shout as Kent goes down after attempting to go past two men, nothing given.
27 mins – Tavernier drives over after Lundstram effort deflected wide.
34 mins – CAUTION 📒 Meekison is cautioned for tripping Kamara who was breaking in the middle.
45 mins – Morelos header well saved by Carson who tips over, good cross by Patterson who overlapped Kent who played him in.
Corner is headed well over and wide by Goldson.
HT – Rangers 0 D Utd 0
Half time summary
Dull and uneventful first half, Rangers have been slow and passive. Knocking the ball between Bassey and Goldson, there isn’t anything coming from anywhere in the middle as Arfield has struggled to get into the game.
Hagi is having an afternoon to forget and it’s all too slow, far to many touches and Rangers need to be a lot sharper and move it better.
I’d love to say it has been fast and entertaining but it hasn’t and they have started the game how they ended the match on Wednesday night.
Needs to be a lot better in the second half to get the three points.
Second half action
Scott Wright replaces John Lundstram
51 mins – Wright into action down the wing and squares for Alfredo Morelos who riffles over.
61 mins – CAUTION Mochrie 📒
63 mins – Kent drives in but weak shot trundles wide.
Aribo on for Arfield
66 mins – CHANCE! Wight and Morelos 1-2 and Wright is in, Carson stays big and it stays 0-0, he has to score! Moore is injured for Utd in the aftermath as Hagi bundled into him.
70 mins – PENALTY! McMann handles as the cross is fizzed in!
GOOOAAALLLLL! Tavernier expertly tucks it away and the champions lead 1-0!
82 mins – Alfredo has the ball in the net from Tavernier free kick but it’s offside. 1-0
86 mins – Hagi weak shot after 1-2 with Wright, sums him up today.
90 mins – Morelos and Aribo combine and are in but Aribo overplays and the chance is gone, wasteful from Rangers.
92 mins – BAR! Utd hit bar with looping header, aye that was great for the heart rate!
FT Rangers 1 United 0
Rangers overcame a stubborn and youthful United side but made it difficult for ourselves. It was a slow performance and we should have been a lot better and certainly sharper on the ball, we weren’t and certainly didn’t create as much as previous games.
Credit to United but it’s another big result against a stubborn United side but Rangers need to be better. Seven points clear is welcomed as we win our seventh game straight in the league and that’s form we need to continue but perhaps a reminder that fresh blood should be the aim in January to freshen the squad for games like today.
Seven clear for a few days at least and St Mirren up next Week on boxing day but definitely a case of should be better for the champions.
Onwards we go, better it could certainly be but a massive three points!