Rangers grabbed their first win in three matches defeating St Mirren 2-0 in Paisley. Second half goals from substitute Daniel Candeias and Alfredo Morelos gave Steven Gerrard’s men a deserved victory.
I will look over some of the incidents and things that are worthy of discussion as I delve deeper into the talking points from the 90 minutes:
Allan McGregor kept Rangers in it during the first half
Good keepers make big saves at big times in matches. Allan McGregor has done this plenty of times this season but he was at it again at St Mirren Park. He showed again that his reactions are second-to-none and kept Rangers in a first half where they offered very little in an attacking sense.
Early on his save from Ian McShane’s free-kick was vital as Rangers hadn’t settled at all and were still feeling their way into the game. However, the second save from Ryan Edwards was peak McGregor: strong wrists, perfect positioning and of course he kept it out. They’re the kind of saves you would expect McGregor to make just because of how good he is, but when he makes them, you don’t appreciate them any less. The performance in that first half was going the same was as Aberdeen and Hamilton in terms of Rangers’ lack of attacking threat. They were fortunate to have McGregor on top form.
Second half was much better – Alfredo Morelos was the catalyst, Steven Gerrard is learning
The second half was much more like it. The tempo was higher and Rangers had St Mirren hemmed in for the majority. However, it was a game that Alfredo Morelos took on his back and made sure Rangers were coming away with the victory. He gave young Alfie Jones a torrid time. In fact, he rolled him to create the old-fashioned stramash where the ball got cleared off St Mirren’s line twice before Ryan Jack’s shot ended up in with the Rangers fans behind the goal. He kept going and so did his teammates, not long after Rangers scored via a Daniel Candeias cross-cum-shot, which flew into the top corner.
However, for all his effort and selfless work for the team, Morelos would not be denied having the final say in the match. Again the little Colombian took great delight in scoring one of his trademark net rippers: head down and blasting the ball as hard as he could. That’s eight goals in his last nine matches. Not only is he the focal point of the side, but he’s also becoming a consistent goalscorer. Watching him in this kind of form is not only delighting his manager and the fans, but it’s also shutting up a lot of critics who spend their time looking to have a go and pick holes in his game.
Also, it appears the manager is no longer messing about when it comes to making changes when he feels things aren’t going to plan. He replaced Grezda on 55 minutes with Candeias, who came on and scored the opening goal. Maybe it’s a sign that the manager is relaxing and is having more belief is his ability to change things, which can only be a positive to see him grow in that side of management.
Alfredo Morelos hit by a coin and Daniel Candeias’ ridiculous sending off
Following his goal, Alfredo Morelos was struck by a coin, yet I don’t see any articles or opinions floating around the web about his nationality, colour or religion being a factor. Maybe that only applies to Neil Lennon. Credit to Morelos, he got on with it – like a real man. However, the idiot who threw their pocket money at Morelos should grow up and look in the mirror.
Imagine you were Daniel Candeias for a second: blowing a kiss at an opponent who’s given you verbals, then the same opponent – Anton Ferdinand – jabs your face, culminating in you get sent off. Crazy, stupid, insane, moronic decision? Yes, it is for the normal individual, but it’s worthy of a second yellow for the non-aggressor in the situation, according to Willie Collum. Maybe Collum should stick to teaching because he’s a pathetic excuse for a top-flight referee. He’s an embarrassment to the Scottish game on a weekly basis and so are some of his decision, this one is just the latest in a long line of wrong calls.