These kind of matches are always potentially tricky. Ayr, who are flying at the minute, came to Ibrox and played well for 20 minutes but after Nikola Katic got the first, followed by two from Glenn Middleton and one from Alfredo Morelos, the game turned into a glorified training session.
Rangers will now face Aberdeen in the semi-final as Steven Gerrard’s side move a step closer to picking up some silverware.
I’m going to discuss a few points that I took away from the empathetic 4-0 victory:
Glenn Middleton is on fire
It was the perfect night for young Middleton. He had a tremendous game and got the stadium man of the match. However, what’s even more impressive from a personal point of view is how he is beginning to give the manager a real headache in terms of his team selections.
For his two goals in this particular match, I have to admit that I was impressed with his level of composure and finishing ability. In addition to his gallus streak, the two goals he scored most strikers would be delighted with those types of clinical finishes. Both times he was one-on-one with the keeper and he made no mistake. However, his second was my favourite of the two because the touch to get it out of his feet from Andy Halliday’s pass was sublime.
He’s a really exciting prospect. Here’s hoping he keeps getting better and better.
The strength of the squad is coming to the fore
Six changes last night and as I said before, a potentially tricky cup tie was a cakewalk in the end. That’s all down to the strength of the squad. It was pleasing to see Graham Dorrans, Jordan Rossiter, and Ovie Ejaria come back into the fold. The latter’s performance was one that was worth the admission fee alone. His display of strength, his quick feet and him generally being a level above his opponents. It was also nice to see Eros Grezda get another appearance from the bench. He looks like he has something extra, and will be an excellent signing when he is up to full match sharpness.
It’s good signs for Gerrard and this group of players. Even more so that when he makes changes the general quality of play doesn’t diminish.
For the last hour, we played with a rotating from three of Eros Grezda, Glenn Middleton and Ryan Kent, who looked to be the central one. I felt it was a bit disjointed at times but it has the potential to be very dangerous. The pace, the directness and the finishing abilities of those three players will worry defenders. Of course, unless there is some minor miracle in Umar Sadiq’s case, Gerrard will go with the false nine in the semi against Aberdeen, given Lafferty is cup-tied and Morelos is suspended. I am looking forward to seeing how that pans out. It has the potential to be rather exciting. Furthermore, it will be another tactical string to the manager’s bow given some of the other systems we have seen this Rangers team play so far this season.