Rangers were able to record a 4-1 win away to Hamilton despite the team not playing particularly well. The match was played at a tempo which suited the home side. They were difficult to break down, and the goals came from two penalties and two quick counter-attacks. Gerrard and his team needed to get the first away win in the SPFL Premiership, but they’ll be disappointed by their level of performance. Here is an analysis of how the players rated on the day.
ALLAN McGREGOR – 6
McGregor didn’t have an awful lot to do in truth, despite Hamilton creating some decent chances. He had no chance with the goal, and no other efforts really stretched him. One poor moment in the first half, when he punched a ball out to the edge of his box rather than wide, was lucky not to be punished. A relatively quiet match overall.
JAMES TAVERNIER – 8
In open play, Tavernier had something of a mixed performance. Crosses were poor or blocked easily too often. His passing and touch weren’t quite as sharp as usual. Defensively, he was put under pressure a few times as the centre-halves didn’t play particularly well. His rating is mainly boosted by the penalties, both of which he took very well. He also had a shot just before that which was just wide after winning the ball really well high up the pitch.
CONNOR GOLDSON – 6
Goldson was given a lot of time on the ball by Hamilton. It meant that his passing had to be sharp and accurate. Sadly, all too often he took too long on the ball or misplaced a pass, especially in the first half. When defending, he let the ball bounce a few times when clearing it early would have been the better option. There was a good piece of defending in the second half which denied Miller a great chance, but overall one of his weaker performances so far.
NIKO KATIC – 4
Katic really seemed off the pace in this match. He was making the wrong decision often. Like Goldson, he saw a lot of the ball, but his passing was poor. In the second half, he was caught out in one move that meant Goldson had to do well to cover for him. He was also very weak in a challenge which almost let Miller in on goal. Substituted after 78 minutes, which almost never happens to a centre-half in such a tight match.
ANDY HALLIDAY – 6
Halliday filled in at left-back and had a solid enough match. He wasn’t particularly exposed defensively at any point. He did attempt to get the team moving with some runs from deep but was caught on the ball more often than not. Looked like he had injured his hamstring around an hour into the game, but he was able to see it out.
JORDAN ROSSITER – 6
Rossiter looked pretty comfortable for his first start of the season. He was cutting out passes and looking to be an easy option for his teammates. He saw a lot of the ball in the first half as he sat pretty deep. In the second half, he wasn’t as effective, and tiredness saw him mistime challenges. He was caught on his heels for the Hamilton goal. Despite that, it was an encouraging performance given his injury issues.
LASSANA COULIBALY – 6
Coulibaly wasn’t as involved as he usually is. With Rossiter sitting deep, he was free to get forward but seemed quite quiet for most of the match. However, his winning of the ball led to the first and fourth goals where he showed how well he can read the game and get the team forward. Still seems to be looking for consistency right now.
OVIE EJARIA – 6
Ejaria had some nice moments in the match. The shot which was well saved in the second half was the highlight of those. In the first half, he didn’t see much of the ball as Hamilton looked to kill any space he would normally play in. He grew into the game a little, but never really got to his usual level of performance.
DANIEL CANDEIAS – 6
Candeias looked frustrated in the first half. He was playing crosses in that were a bit optimistic, and got booked for persistent fouling. As always, he played with energy but was lacking a little quality. Towards the end of the match, his fitness told and he was involved in the second and fourth goals.
ALFREDO MORELOS – 8
Morelos showed why he’s the exact sort of striker Rangers need. With the team not playing well, he could have just taken the easy option and stood up-front waiting on service. Instead, he pressed defenders into mistakes, worked hard to link up play, and got rewarded for all of that. His pass for Kent to open the scoring was made to look easier than it was. He won the second penalty, and it was his presence which forced the mistake for the first. His goal was really well taken on his weaker foot under pressure. You can’t guarantee a striker will score in every match, so you need them to make impacts in other ways as well. Morelos is doing that consistently.
RYAN KENT – 7
Kent opened the scoring with a nice finish on his left foot. Much of the match never seemed to be played on his side of the pitch, so he struggled to get involved. His style means that he’ll always look to drive at players and create chances that way. A few times that worked, but not as often as it normally would.
JOE WORRALL – 3
Worrall wasn’t on the pitch for very long, and given the last 10 minutes were a bit hectic he didn’t have much to do.
EROS GREZDA – 2
Grezda was brought on at 1-1 but barely got a chance to touch the ball.
ROSS McCRORIE – 2
McCrorie also came on late and had no chance to get involved.
How did you rate the players on the day? Tweet us @abouttherangers with your thoughts.