Match day at Ibrox as Rangers play catch up thanks to a week largely to forget. Dismal in Dingwall, followed by things getting lifted with the arrival of Aaron Ramsey, meant we headed East on Wednesday and it turned into a night to forget. No point dwelling or commenting on that, I covered it and it’s been done to death but fair to see we have to see a response.
Rangers must win and Giovanni has made four changes today to try and turn this slump around, 5 points out of 12 is a slump and not good enough for this club.
Allan McGregor keeps his place in goals, Defence consists of Tavernier, Balogun, Goldson and Bassey who replaces the dismal Barisic. In the middle it’s Ryan Jack and John Lundstram with Scott Arfield. In attack it’s Joe Aribo, Ryan Kent and the returning Alfredo Morelos. Kamara, Amad and Roofe join Barisic, deservedly, on the bench.
I run the risk of this backfiring but the selection is defensive and exactly what he could have picked for the game on Wednesday. He went attacking team then but played defensive, today he seems to have gone the opposite. I’m not sure John Lundstram should start after being a bit part for so long and it screams of a defensive move.
However, we will see how this pans out. I’m still angry, I hope the players are and show it this afternoon.
3 points is the minimum requirement Rangers…
First half action –
1 min – Alfredo almost in from McGregor long kick. Corner and Aribo trademark near post flick is blocked and Balogun heads over retake.
5 mins – Good break from Rangers, pressure on the ball and Kent goes just wide from the left.
8 mins – More good pressure from Rangers and Jack wins it to Morelos but his shot from Right hand side is angled low and hard but easily saved.
11 mins – GOOOAAAALLLL! It’s the Buffalo! Brilliant from Jack to get it out and he feeds Bassey who produces an inch perfect pass for Kent who’s passes cross is perfect for Alfredo to finish! 1-0 Rangers and it’s deserved!
13 mins – Half chance for Hearts as McEneff gets in but no contact and McGregor grasps, he was untracked there.
17 mins – Good pressure from Rangers and Aribo is wide left to drill a shot wide on the angle.
24 mins – CHANCE! Should be 2! Ryan Kent puts it narrowly wide after good work from Aribo but as he cuts inside he should finish!
26 mins – CAUTION 📒 Calvin Bassey wins the ball but follow through catches Devlin who goes down like he has been halfed!
32 mins – Baningime fouls Alfredo, not even spoken too and resulting FK is bent wide by Tavernier.
34 mins – Jack shot straight at Gordon.
37 mins – Kent down the left and he is blatantly pulled back, he stays on his feet but no excuse it’s a penalty not given, poor by Collum.
39 mins – SAVE! Gorson keeps out a low Morelos left foot drive after excellent work by Arfield, Tavernier and Alfredo to press.
45 mins – BLOCK! Goldson with a brilliant block as Hearts try to pressure, Rangers defend the corner.
HT RANGERS 1 HEARTS 0
Half time summary –
Should be out of sight in a excellent powerful first half. Rangers pressing at the right time and both Jack and Lundstram have been excellent in the first half engine room. Pressing, tackling and driving the team on we have definitely seen a response. For being out so long Jack is bossing it and playing really well.
Morelos has been excellent and led superbly from the front. His goal capped a fine team move and he has pressed excellently. Kent has been unlucky, should have had a couple definitely but Rangers well worth the one goal lead.
Only complaint is it isn’t more and should be out of sight. More of the same in second half please!
Selcond half action –
46 mins – CHANCE! Atkinson sneaks in and narrowly across face of goal, Bassey sleeping!
48 mins – CHANCE! Bassey messes up his header and Devlin lobs it just wide.
Wakey wakey Rangers, yet to start!
53 mins – CAUTION! 📒 Leon Balogun with a superb tackle and he’s cautioned by official. In danger of losing the plot. That’s poor!
59 mins – CAUTION! 📒 Atkinson and Manager Neilson see yellow.
65 mins – GOOOAAAALLLL! Morelos gets the break of the ball and bends a beautiful left footed strike into the top corner, what a goal that was! The king is back!
68 mins – CHANCE! Morelos 1-1 with the GK and Gordon saves! He deserved that, he’s been brilliant. 2-0
Subs – Outstanding Ryan Jack off, Glen Kamara on.
72 mins – GOOOAAAALLL! Brilliant press and Kamara goes clear, he takes his time to cut back in and squares it past Gordon for a deserved third! 3-0 Rangers!
75 mins – GOOOOAAAALLLL! The superb Kent plays Arfield in and his shot is saved before he lashes in the rebound! This is more like it! 4-0
Subs – Aribo and Arfield off, Ramsey and Fashion on
84 mins – GOOOAAALLLL! Magnificent from Kent down the right as he gets behind and picks out Fashion superbly for a 5th and that’s a superb finish! 5-0 Rangers!
Subs – Amad and Davis on for Lundstram and Kent
87 mins – CAUTION 📒 Kingsley
90 mins – Alfredo shot saved by Gordon.
FT RANGERS 5 HEARTS 0
Full time reaction –
Commitment, intensity, desire and commitment. It had everything we wanted and the response we needed. Superb in the press and tackle, aside of a few minutes after first half, Rangers were well on top.
It should have been three or four in first half but made up for it in the second with an outstanding performance. Led by Alfredo who was terrific and followed by a midfield of Lundstram and Jack who were terrific. Rangers surprised me today, I wasn’t sure on selection and player selection but to a man they were brilliant. That’s the response and standard.
A word for Ryan Kent. He’s had his doubters but bang on it today, easily could have been motm as could a few. Much more like it, only lacked a goal in a sensational display.
Brilliant response and life in the Champions yet. Was I too hard on them midweek?….
Stadium Man of the match Alfredo Morelos
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