Scottish Premiership 2018/19: Rangers vs Livingstone Tactical Analysis Statistics
Artwork by @chapulana

Rangers recorded a routine 3-0 victory over Livingston at Ibrox. The goals came from a Daniel Candeias header, Alfredo Morelos and Scott Arfield on what was a routine win for Steven Gerrard’s men. Furthermore, it moved Rangers to second in the table with a chance to go top if they manage to beat Hearts next weekend.

However, back to Livingston as I will go over some of the main talking points from the win:

Third league win in a row

It was last season’s ‘thing’ – the constant failure to win three league games in a row. Now, Steven Gerrard’s side have managed it. Hopefully, that will give the players their confidence back – especially as they seemed to be lacking some after the last international break. With Hearts and Aberdeen back-to-back next week, I think those two games will tell us if this Rangers side are the real deal in terms of challenging for the title. If they keep churning out wins like this one when they weren’t at their best, they may find themselves right in the mix come the business end of the season.

McAuley and Morelos the standouts

If ever a game was made for Gareth McAuley, it was this one. The aerial bombardment that comes with Livingston was easy for him to handle. He also showed a superb level of calmness and was assured in everything he had to do. It was a faultless performance, and I also felt it led to Connor Goldson becoming more confident without having to talk his partner through the game.

Half an hour or so for Alfredo Morelos. Yet again, he proved why he’s the main man. He replaced Kyle Lafferty, who, in my opinion, did just fine. But Gerrard made the sub at the right time. Morelos brought a newfound energy and buzz to the play, his hold up play was excellent and his finish was one of a man playing with supreme confidence.

Despite a few good individual displays, Livingston’s style would get football stopped 

Hoofball, playing for set-plays, be stuffy and hard to beat. That’s Livingston. However, if you actually pay to watch this kind of football week in, week out, it must be brutal. I wonder if they give away a free duvet and a pillow with the season tickets because it would put me to sleep.

If Livingston didn’t play in the UK, they would be stopped. Their style is atrocious. Having said that, I was impressed with a few of their players. Liam Kelly in goal had a good afternoon and made some good saves. He looked really comfortable and generally impressed.

Keaghan Jacobs’ quality on the ball in the early stages of the second half and his general energy was impressive. The spell the second period – where he was at the heart of the play – was the highlight of the away team’s performance. It was a real pity the ball was mostly played over his head.