It wasn’t a hugely impressive performance in an attacking sense from Rangers against Osijek. It was, however, a great result, and a strong defensive display. The team worked hard, and there were no passengers anywhere on the pitch. Here’s how I think the players rated on the night.
ALLAN McGREGOR – 8
McGregor made a few comfortable saves in the first half. In the second half, one save in particular was excellent, blocking a shot with his feet from close range. His experience and game management made a huge difference as the match wore on, and he was able to dictate the pace of the game when required.
JAMES TAVERNIER – 7
Tavernier had a few loose moments defensively. One chance in the first half caught him out as the defence tried to step up. In the second half, a ball that went under his foot led to the great save by McGregor. Overall though, he defended well. His cross for the Morelos goal was inch perfect, and he looked to get forward as often as possible.
JON FLANAGAN – 7
Flanagan as a left back likes to tuck in defensively. It means that teams can find some space out wide against him, and in some spells that gave Rangers problems. He did win a number of strong tackles, and was composed in defence. He’s now had three different players playing in front of him in three matches, so may be a bit affected by the lack of continuity in that regard.
CONNOR GOLDSON – 8
Goldson was excellent on the night. His positioning and reading of the game was spot on. He never had to make a last-ditch tackle or foul someone who got past him once. A block at the start of the second half was vital, as was his covering of through balls throughout. There was also a lot of communication to other players from him, which helped the team defend well. Showed real leadership, and a desire to not concede.
NIKOLA KATIC – 7
Katic was solid throughout the game. There were a few headers he lost because he wasn’t strong enough in going for them. Aside from that, it’s hard to say he made any mistakes. His pace allowed him to cover well, and his pass for Kent led to the chance which ultimately got us the goal.
RYAN JACK – 8
Jack had a really good game playing deep in midfield. He won a lot of second balls, kept the play simple, and provided easy options for his teammates. A few loose passes going forward in the second half came after he received a very heavy challenge which almost forced him off. It’s easy to forget that Jack missed so much of last season as he looks very comfortable already.
LASSANA COULIBALY – 8
Given it was his debut, with no game time in pre-season, Coulibaly was excellent. Won the ball a lot through pressing and strength. He was able to rotate the positions in midfield when required, and was composed in possession. Whilst he gave away a few fouls, he also won a number which helped at certain points in the game. His tackle on the 90th minute, which wiped out the Osijek player but won the ball fairly, will have made him a favourite among the fans already.
OVIE EJARIA – 6
Ejaria is certainly good on the ball. He can see a pass easily and is very composed. At times in this match, he slowed things down just a bit too much. When the game was going against Rangers, he worked hard defensively, but was somewhat marginalised. There’s plenty of positives from this performance, and hopefully more to come.
JAMIE MURPHY – 6
Murphy worked really hard, but a couple of decisions in attacking areas let him down. He should have played a ball wide on one great break which looked like it would have led to a good chance. His pressing and defending was good, but that’s now 3 different positions he’s started in. As such, he’s still looking to find his consistency.
RYAN KENT – 6
Kent had a few good moments on the ball. He was also very good at tracking back and helping out defensively. As the game wore on, you could see that he’s just signed, as teammates struggled to link up with him. His run and deflected shot won the corner which led to the goal, but he never really got much else going that way. There were also a number of loose passes and lost duels. Certainly, though, given how short a time he’s been at the club, there’s signs he could be an exciting player.
ALFREDO MORELOS – 8
Morelos not only scored the only goal, but put in a very strong performance. He won fouls, held the ball up well, and created chances for others. Large spells of the match saw Osijek on top, but he never let that dishearten him. The header for the goal was a smart finish, as was the play which set up Coulibaly in the second half. Morelos could easily have found that game frustrating. Instead, he showed why so many still back him to be a good player for Rangers.
JOSH WINDASS – 3
Windass came on with around 25 minutes to go. The team was struggling to get the ball to him, although he was unlucky with one run and cross.
ROSS McCRORIE – 2
McCrorie replaced Ejaria late on, and helped the team see out the win.
Glenn Middleton also came on, but only got the last 2 minutes.
How did you see the ratings for the players? Tweet us @abouttherangers with your thoughts.