Rangers today ‘welcome’ Aberdeen to Ibrox on a monumental day for the club with our 150th anniversary celebrations planned. A day long in waiting with pre match entertainment and a Tifo display from the Union Bears.
All it needs is a Rangers performance and more importantly three points.
St Johnstone wasn’t the best performance but ultimately a game we were well in control of, on a pitch which was turgid and almost unplayable. Certainly not a night for the skillful players to get the ball down on the ground that’s for sure. As Gio said, three points and get home.
That’s not the biggest news this week with the somewhat controversial decision to go to Australia but on the day of our celebrations that is better left alone for now, I feel like we have said everything we need to say.
Four games to go before the split and our fourth last home game, it’s a real disappointment that we have dropped points on two occasions to today’s opposition, so this is one we owe them and we also need to start showing title form as we get to the time of the year when mistakes really count.
I’m hoping for a good strong performance and to be fair we have been very consistent at home so far under Gio, last weeks second half aside. I hope that a few players have a point to prove, thinking Ryan Kent, after what unfolded last time. Make no mistake this will be a cup final for Aberdeen as one of only four (hopefully three this year) occasions where they raise their game.
Rangers go with McGregor in goals, defence of Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey at centre back with Borna Barisic at left back. Middle of Jack, Kamara and Aribo with a front three of Kent, Morelos and Fashion Jnr. Lundstram, Balogun and Arfield drop to the bench which also includes Aaron Ramsey.
It’s an interesting selection, Bassey again at centre back, most likely managing Balogun after 90 mins on a hard pitch on Wednesday. Lundstram on the bench is a surprise but rotation is expected to freshen the squad.
The front four of Fashion, Kent and Morelos backed by Aribo should create and cause problems if we move it quickly.
C’mon the Rangers!
First half action –
2 mins – Alfredo drags a shot wide as Rangers try to push on early.
21 mins – Alfredo with a shot which is deflected wide.
23 mins – Good by Kent and his cross is wide by Sakala on the stretch.
24 mins – CAUTION 📒 Gallagher who hit Alfredo in the face as he turned.
25 mins – Great play by Fashion and his cut back is easily cleared as no one in the box.
26 mins – Joe Aribo drags a shot meekly wide.
32 mins – CHANCE! Borna wins a throw with reaches Morelos and his touch to Kamara is deflected onto to post by Bates and out for a corner.
45 mins – Sakala fires a shot high and wide.
RANGERS 0 ABERDEEN 0 HT
Half time summary
Very poor first half. Nothing of note at all for either goalkeeper and struggling to recall much to discuss. Aberdeen having lots of the ball but Rangers incredibly flat throughout the first half, slow in the build up and struggling to keep the ball when they do get it.
Haven’t seen enough of Ryan Kent and Joe Aribo, Kamara looked bright but I’m struggling to even be positive as there wasn’t much at all to discuss.
Need a whole lot more in this second half because that was a half offering very little.
Title to win Rangers, wake up eh?
Second half action –
50 mins – Sakala diving header high and wide from Barisic cross.
57 mins – Sakala drives ones high and over from Aribo chest down.
58 mins – Sakala header into side net from deep Kent cross.
60 mins – Subs Sakala and Barisic off, Arfield and Balogun on.
62 mins – CAUTION 📒 Jim Goodwin and then Lewis Ferguson booked in quick succession.
70 mins – Yet to have a shot on target. Turgid. On that Jack with a low drive easily gathered.
This has been slow, totally devoid of ideas and tough to watch.
78 mins – Subs for Rangers. Off Jack and Morelos, on Roofe and Lundstram. Changes not met well by the support.
80 mins – CAUTION 📒 Tavernier.
81 mins – GOOOAAAALLLLL! KEMAR ROOFE! Ball swung in and header by Tav is bundled home by Roofe! Thank Goodness! 1-0 Rangers!
89 mins – CAUTION 📒 Besuijen.
FT – RANGERS 1 ABERDEEN 0
That was a hard afternoon with very little to report on. It didn’t look like it was ever going to happen, very little happening in front of goal until Kemar Roofe popped up to stab home a Tavernier header finally breaking Aberdeen resistance.
It was all Rangers in the second half without doing much but that one moment brings home the points, a brave change from Gio as no one was happy Alfredo went off.
Not a massively great performance but a vital three points and these wins are the ones that win titles.
That’s what I’ll hold on to this evening as I eat my curry and watch the Wall.
3 points and home.