It’s been a long seven years but Rangers are finally back to the summit of the Scottish top flight. It came around due to a 2-1 victory against Hearts at Tynecastle. Unfortunately, Gareth McAuley’s own goal put the home side in front, but it was turned around by goals from Connor Goldson and Alfredo Morelos before half-time.
Despite Scott Arfield’s red card, Gerrard’s men saw the game out for a massive three points.
After the opening half hour, Rangers were in control
There has been lots of post-match chat about Alfredo Morelos’ winner being offside and Hearts being hard done by. However, they made a great start and got in front, but after that, they were well beaten. Rangers showed great character to get back in front. Also, it was a big plus for the team to manage the game and see it out as well as they did in order to come away with a victory, especially after a similar scenario at Aberdeen on the opening game of the season where it ended 1-1. However, Rangers had a few more chances to increase the scoreline while Hearts couldn’t muster a shot on target in the entire second period.
Morelos, Goldson, Tavernier were excellent and Grezda showed great signs of promise
Alfredo Morelos just gets better and better. He turned in a match-winning performance yet again. His physical battle with Christophe Berra was a joy to watch. He came out on top and took his goal really well despite the deflection. He’s maturing into a player that you can rely on in these vital matches.
Connor Goldson was super all day. During the early spell of Hearts pressure, he was getting his head to everything. And of course, he got the all-important equaliser. He seems to have benefited from being left out of the Motherwell game and not only that, playing alongside McAuley. McAuley takes up the senior role and allows Goldson to focus on his own game.
James Tavernier’s display was one any captain would be proud of. He drove the team on, and his delivery from set-pieces was outstanding bar one over-hit corner in the first half. He also defended soundly.
Having given those players credit, Eros Grezda deserves some. We were treated to a great show of work rate from him and up until Goldson’s leveller he was our most dangerous, industrious attacking player. He was the out ball on the left. It’s very encouraging from him.
The win is bound to give the squad a psychological boost
Mentality. It’s a word a refer back to a lot. This Rangers team over the last few days have shown a great level of mentality. However, winning this one so comfortably with 10 men is bound to make them feel 10 feet tall. Not only the players but the coaching staff will take great heart from this result, knowing the 4–3-2 and their use and timing of the substitutions helped the team get over the line.
That’s something that impressed me. The game management in the last half hour was immaculate and that was helped by bringing on Kyle Lafferty to pin Hearts back. It certainly worked a treat. So well done to Steven Gerrard and his team. Great maturity from the bench and on the pitch in the last half hour.