After their 3-1 success at Rugby park, we look at three things we learned from Rangers’ win at Kilmarnock.
A perfect hat-trick from Alfredo Morelos secured progression to the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup. Rangers were 2-0 ahead when an own goal from Borna Barisic briefly brought Killie back into the game. However, Morelos had the final say with a late third to seal his trio of goals.
It was yet another positive outing for Gerrard’s men, who just seem to be growing every week. Another successful display has supporters truly reaching for the stars this season.
However, what was learned about the team today that perhaps wasn’t previously? Here’s three things we learned from Rangers’ victory in Ayrshire.
MORELOS IS THE MAN
If ever there was any doubt about what Morelos brings to this Rangers side, this should be the end of it.
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The Colombian forward was simply sensational – bullying the Killie defence and constantly getting goal-side of Steve Clarke’s men.
Kilmarnock have been well known to be a tough side to break down. However, Morelos seemed to be doing it all on his own at times with some stunning movement. His hat-trick certainly didn’t flatter his overall performance in a stunning display.
It’s the kind of display that Morelos has been threatening since joining the club. That it was today will absolutely delight Gerrard and supporters.
It also calls into question where the potential acquisition of Kyle Lafferty would fit in. Morelos simply can’t be dropped at the moment, regardless of who comes in at Ibrox.
Should a new striker come in before the end of the window, Morelos firmly made his mark with a sensational display at a notoriously tricky venue.
Many would’ve questioned the future of Andy Halliday when Gerrard walked into the door at Ibrox. Teased by the Celtic support and suffering a torrid end to the previous campaign, his time at Rangers was surely numbered.
Former Livingston man Halliday was thrust in at left-black against Maribor and was solid. He was then drafted in today at Rugby Park in a defensive midfield role. Once again, Halliday performed assuredly.
This allowed Lassana Coulibaly to have that long-awaited rest Gerrard had been planning.
However, it’s perhaps also just given Halliday a life-line regarding his Rangers career.
His versatility could be a key tool for Gerrard as the campaign roles on. His composed displays also suggests a player who’s recovered from his tough end to last season.
Another solid display in Killie has surely given the manager yet more food for though. However, it remains to be seen how Halliday progresses from here.
It may be something that Celtic supporters can’t stand to accept, but belief is growing at Ibrox. There’s no reason to not believe a title-race could be on the cards this season.
Supporters will have learned a lot about their side today. Many seen the trip to Ayrshire as Gerrard’s trickiest match of his tenure so far. Clarke’s Killie have, after all, provided as tough an opposition as anyone in the division for the Gers.
Yet, it was with relative ease that Rangers dismissed Killie today, even on their much-maligned synthetic surface.
Each week Rangers continue to grind out results both domestically and in Europe. There’s no reason to think a title race can’t be on, as they continue to pass each test provided to them.
A return to the glory days may be a bit closer than many would have you believe. Whilst those of a green-and-white persuasion may try to scoff at the idea and the claim the club are miles away, that may not be the case after all.
It’ll take a lot more consistency than Rangers have managed to show over the last few years. However, this isn’t the last few years. Consistency will be key, but Gerrard has shown that since coming through the door in June.
Rangers are next in action on Thursday night at home to Ufa of Russia.