The Rangers team, despite off-field difficulties and on-field lack of confidence, played well against Hearts at Ibrox overall. Below is a breakdown of my opinions on how they rated, with some highlighted statistics.
JAK ALNWICK – 7
When you consider that Alnwick hasn’t played a lot this season, his performance was decent. He didn’t have many saves to make, with only 4 shots faced in the match. His passing was around 80% accurate and kept Rangers in good possession. He was put under pressure a couple of times by poor passes from the defenders but dealt with everything accordingly.
JAMES TAVERNIER – 7
Tavernier provided a constant option for anyone on the ball. He linked up well with Candeias and played a few excellent crosses which were unlucky not to be rewarded. He attempted 62 passes, the second highest of any of the Rangers players. Of those, 46 were accurate, with only 10 being played towards his own goal. Defensively, he gave away the foul that led to the Hearts goal. He was also beaten on the run just after that. Those moments aside, he defended well.
ROSS McCRORIE – 7
McCrorie would have been feeling very low after his performance in the semi-final. With Hearts not putting much pressure on the defence, he was able to play with a bit more confidence in this match. He made 6 interceptions, the most of any Rangers player in the match. In aerial duels, he was successful around 64% of the time, which kept Lafferty from making an impact. Some of his passing was a bit loose, almost presenting a chance to Naismith in the first half. That aside, he performed well and ensured Hearts didn’t create much of note.
RUSSELL MARTIN – 6
Martin defended decently well and was able to pick out players with his passing. However, he only won 27% of his aerial duels. Strangely, Hearts seemed to focus on attacking McCrorie rather than Martin in the air. A first-half flicked header went just over the bar, and there was a good block on a half-chance early in the match. It was a relatively quiet game for the defender.
DECLAN JOHN – 6
John also had a somewhat quiet match. He saw a lot of the ball in the first half but had almost half the actions in the second. In terms of dribbling, he was successful in all 5 attempts, the second highest in the team on the day. The average length of pass dropped significantly in the second half, all of which suggests that he was asked to sit deeper and allow Murphy more space to play in. Defensively, he was able to deal with anything Hearts threw at him.
GRAHAM DORRANS – 8
Dorrans was playing as a deeper-lying playmaker and thrived on the day. He attempted 74 passes, with a 91% accuracy rate. Of those passes, only 13 were played back towards his own goal. He attempted to keep the tempo high and won 6 out of 7 loose balls. With 4 attempted slide tackles as well, it was clear Dorrans was up for this match and looking to impress. One cross gave Martin a decent chance with a header, and a shot in the second half went over the bar. This was probably Dorrans best performance at Ibrox, and the fans will be hoping there’s more to come.
JASON HOLT – 7
Holt only misplaced 3 passes the entire match. He was asked to be an easy option for the man in possession and keep the ball moving, something he does very well. Like Dorrans, he was eager to win battles, with 5 out of 6 loose balls going his way. His play sent Murphy away for the second goal, and also set up Morelos late in the match. Holt has been in and out of the team of late and will be pleased with how he played.
DANIEL CANDEIAS – 8
A goal and an assist for Candeias, who was excellent in the second half. In an advanced area, he made 4 interceptions and was fouled 4 times, the most of any Rangers player. His composure to set up the first goal was excellent, as there was a chance to hit a shot. The header for the second goal was perfect, with the movement to get there impressive. He also showed fight and desire, qualities all too often missing from recent Rangers performances.
JOSH WINDASS – 6
Windass had a few moments of note. His pass for Murphy which led to the first goal was excellent technique under pressure. In the first half, a good run and pass sent Murphy through on goal. A similar move in the second half found Candeias on the run. The nature of the Hearts set up made it difficult for the central players, which led to Windass being somewhat muted. Only 22 passes and 3 shots on target are indications of that.
JAMIE MURPHY – 8
Murphy directly assisted the second goal and was heavily involved in the first. One run in the second half saw him beat 4 players and have a shot blocked. He was successful with 8 out of 10 dribbles, and 3 out of 5 crosses. The team played to give him more space in the second half and get the ball to him quicker. As has been the norm for Murphy, he was very impactful overall.
JASON CUMMINGS – 7
The striker role as deployed by Rangers at the moment doesn’t entirely suit Cummings. However, his link-up play was decent and he opened the scoring. With only 1 shot in the first half, which was blocked, there was a focus on his link-up play. Some nice first-time touches and balls around the corner saw him do well there. The goal was a nice finish, although he did miss a great chance late in the match. Like Holt, he’ll have been happy to make such an impact when not playing regularly.
ANDY HALLIDAY – 3
Halliday came on for Windass on the 76th minute and slotted in well to keep Rangers ahead in the game.
ALFREDO MORELOS – 2
A very late substitute for Cummings, Morelos was unlucky not to score. He looked somewhat despondent throughout, though.
Any ratings you disagree with? Tweet us @abouttherangers with your thoughts!