Despite the result being a solid win, and plenty of chances being created, it’s fair to say Rangers could have performed better in the first leg against Shkupi. Here’s a look at how I felt the players rated during the match.
ALAN McGREGOR – 6
McGregor had very little to do in the match. No notable shots on target from Shkupi meant it was a quiet night on his competitive return for Rangers. He moved the ball quickly when required, and tried to raise the tempo at all times.
JAMES TAVERNIER – 8
Tavernier was the main threat for Rangers throughout the match. He set up the first goal with a great run, finding Murphy in space. Numerous free kicks and crosses were unlucky not to lead to goals. In particular, he found both Morelos and Windass who should have done better with the headers. His penalty was taken well under pressure to get the second goal.
CONNOR GOLDSON – 7
Goldson largely strolled the match. Shkupi didn’t offer much of an attacking threat, but any time they tried to, Goldson seemed to cut it out with ease. Unlucky with an effort in the first half as well. Bigger tests are yet to come, but he looked very comfortable in this match.
NIKOLA KATIC – 6
Like Goldson, Katic wasn’t really stretched. He had a couple of moments in the opposing box where he was close to causing problems. Overall, he wasn’t quite as impressive as Goldson, but had very few issues.
JON FLANAGAN – 7
Playing at left back despite being right footed, Flanagan was solid. He won most tackles, kept the ball moving, and was calm under any pressure. Going forward, he didn’t look to get too involved. One shot in the first half almost deflected into the net, though.
DANIEL CANDEIAS – 6
Candeias pressed and harried really well, and some of his crosses caused real issues. Sadly, it just wasn’t his night overall, and he found himself struggling to make an impact when Shkupi settled into a defensive shape. His booking early in the second half meant he was substituted.
ROSS McCRORIE – 7
McCrorie won the ball numerous times in midfield. His passing was somewhat conservative, but his energy and pace kept Rangers on the front foot. As the team progresses with their pressing play, his contribution will be vital. In this match, he could be caught out as he almost pressed alone at times, but it was rare.
SCOTT ARFIELD – 6
Arfield clearly has a good touch, and sees the game quicker than most. On this night, most of what he tried didn’t come off. Passes through the lines would be a little long or not quite accurate. Shkupi were better on the ball than expected, so he gave away a few fouls when trying to press them into making mistakes.
JOSH WINDASS – 6
Windass was involved in a lot of the attacking play. He linked up well with Tavernier and Candeias on the right, and his tracking back started the counter attack for the opening goal. Had he scored one of a few chances that fell his way, he’d have had a good game overall.
ALFREDO MORELOS – 6
Like Windass, Morelos should have scored. In the first half, a great cross by Tavernier was headed over by him when it should have at least hit target. He worked hard and pressed throughout the match, with some good link up. As he tired, though, he was less effective.
JAMIE MURPHY – 7
Murphy was a real threat throughout the match. His goal was well taken, and he created a couple of threatening attacks with his running. He won the ball high up the pitch more than once, and linked up well with the team. Seems to be in good form in front of goal already, and unlucky not to add a second late on.
RYAN JACK – 5
Jack done well when he came on, and helped get the team back in control of the match. Involved in the move which led to Murphy winning the penalty.
OVIE EJARIA – 4
Ejaria was comfortable on the ball. He should have had a penalty, and showed great skill in a late move. Possibly slowed play down a little too much, but a promising start.
GLENN MIDDLETON – 4
Middleton added loads of energy and directness to the team when others were struggling in that regard. Unlucky with a couple of crosses, and a great run at the end.
How did you rate the players? Tweet us @abouttherangers with your thoughts.