The Rangers win against Kilmarnock on Sunday was a real indication of just how much the team has improved since last season. Key players were not involved, an early injury threatened to derail the team, and some early mistakes by the officials could have led to a frustrating performance. What we actually saw was a team in determined mood and good form who wouldn’t allow these things to hold them back. Here is my opinion on how each player rated on the day.
WES FODERINGHAM – 8
Foderingham must be somewhat frustrated with how things have gone of late. With him not being involved in pre-season matches, it seemed his time at Rangers was over. With that in mind, his performance in this match was excellent. One save in the first half was outstanding as he somehow turned the ball past the post despite seeing it extremely late. He also made a good save from Boyd in the second half to deny Kilmarnock any sort of late encouragement.
JAMES TAVERNIER – 8
If this was only about the attacking play, this would be a 9. Tavernier set up all 3 goals, with his play for the third particularly nice. He was a constant out ball and was never dealt with defensively by Jones at all. However, in the defensive sense, he had a few loose moments. There were daft fouls given away around the box and times where he would be beaten by Jones. For the most part, he did fine but got some luck in that some of these mistakes didn’t lead to anything damaging.
CONNOR GOLDSON – 7
The usual solid performance from Goldson, although he did look a little more uncomfortable due to the surface than we’re used to. His presence and composure at key times gave the team good possession under pressure. He defended well at set-pieces and was rarely caught out in any scenario.
NIKOLA KATIC – 7
Like Goldson, Katic was solid in this match without needing to be spectacular. He was involved in a clash of heads which could have seen him come off or lose focus, but after being patched up, he continued to do well. A couple of moments saw him lose physical battles, but those moments were rare.
BORNA BARISIC – 6
Barisic was extremely unlucky to concede the own-goal. He had a decent game, although he looks like he’s playing within himself somewhat, so far. He never really got forward as much as you’d expect, although that may have been a tactical move. There were a couple of times that Chris Burke beat him with his dribbling, but only once did it lead to anything of substance. Certainly looks a good addition with more to come from him.
OVIE EJARIA – 7
Ejaria was good on the ball, keeping Rangers in possession and moving Kilmarnock players out of position. He fought hard in the middle of the pitch when pressing or tackling as well. It was his ability to spot a pass which led to the third goal as he played a great ball to Arfield in space.
ANDY HALLIDAY – 7
Halliday was moved into the defensive midfield role where he’s been used in recent seasons for the most part. This was a good performance from him as he won tackles, kept the ball moving, and offered an easy pass to players at all times. He read the game pretty well, knowing when to press or to sit a bit deeper. His confidence looked good and his decision-making was key to how well Rangers played.
SCOTT ARFIELD – 7
Arfield seemed to enjoy the match. He clearly loves a physical battle, and that was what was offered for large spells. Never held back in any sort of tackle, but also showed quality on the ball when required. His passing led to the Tavernier assists for the first and third goals. He was unlucky not to score himself due to a great save from Bachmann in the second half. Arfield is proving to be a good signing so far.
RYAN KENT – 6
Kent had one of those matches where he didn’t really do anything which was memorable, but he was effective in the way the team performed. He offered pace and a direct threat when he got on the ball. He also pressed the game in advanced areas well. His corners on the day weren’t his best, and he never really got many chances to run at the defence. Even though that could have led him to become frustrated, he never let his head go down and gave a hard-working performance.
ALFREDO MORELOS – 9
A hat-trick, a clear goal not given, outstanding link-up play, good saves from the goalkeeper preventing even more goals – this was a simply brilliant display from the in-form striker. After not being given what should have been his first goal, he didn’t let his head go down. Kilmarnock were looking to frustrate him, and the referee seemed intent on helping them out. It didn’t stop a player who has been extremely impressive of late. Great movement for his all of his goals showed his sharpness. He was very good at creating chances for others and loved the physical battle up front. Whoever is finding a way to help Morelos improve is doing a great job.
JAMIE MURPHY – 2
Murphy had to be taken off after only 13 minutes. His injury looked like a bad one, and he was in visible distress on the stretcher.
DANIEL CANDEIAS – 6
Candeias came into the match early to replace Murphy. He was as busy as ever, showing his fitness and energy levels given how he played only a few days before. Created a couple of really good chances and done well defensively.
ROSS McCRORIE – 2
McCrorie came on quite late in the game, by which point it was largely winding down. Barely got a touch of the ball.
UMAR SADIQ – 2
Sadiq also came on with McCrorie. He tried to get involved and give the defence some problems but didn’t have enough time to get up to match speed.
How did you rate the players on the day? Tweet us @abouttherangers with your thoughts.