A look at how I rated the players last night in the win over Partick Thistle
Jak Alnwick – 9
Made a fantastic save in the first half from Sammon, and at least 2 other good saves aside from that. The pundits on BT Sport seemed to focus on his selection and almost wish for a mistake to talk about, but he proved he has the ability.
Rangers conceded almost as many shots on target in that one game than they have in the rest combined. Alnwick has probably made more saves than Foderingham this season. That sums up the nature of the tie, and how well he played.
James Tavernier – 8
Both full backs played well. Tavernier wasn’t at his best during the 90 minutes, but seemed to thrive in extra time. His fitness levels and strength were key to the way Rangers turned the game around. He would have finished the game with a couple of assists if our players had read his crosses better also.
Bruno Alves – 6
It wasn’t a great night for Alves before he came off with a worrying calf strain. Both him and Cardoso struggled to deal with Sammon’s strength and pace. Thistle are a team with many tall, strong players and they got a lot of joy from crosses.
Alves’ passing was also a little erratic, with a number of long balls not leading to anything. Despite this, his presence and experience will be key in the upcoming games, so hopefully his injury is of no concern.
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Fabio Cardoso – 6
Cardoso seemed to really struggle in the first half. When a striker gets space in the channel and can run at him, he doesn’t look comfortable. Whilst this is a situation most defenders don’t like, it’s something he should definitely improve upon.
As the game went on, Cardoso seemed to improve. He grew in confidence, and took more responsibility when McRorie came on. He showed that a slow start doesn’t put him in a panic. Not his best night, but could have been worse.
Declan John – 8
In the first half, Declan John was one of our best attacking outlets. He’s very quick on the ball, and good at finding space in behind the opposing full back. A few of his crosses should have led to more, but that was due to movement in the box rather than the quality of cross. It was telling that when John went off injured, our attacking play for the rest of normal time really suffered.
Daniel Candeias – 8
It was a real enigmatic performance from Candeias. A number of set pieces and passes were poor, he missed an absolute sitter, yet he finished the game with two assists and a goal. He also ran for the 120 minutes with no seeming let up in pace or energy. I’m worried that letting him stop moving might mean we can’t start him back up again!
His impact upon the game means that he has to be rated highly, but he’s played better.
Ryan Jack – 7
For the most part, Jack kept us on the front foot. He was a key reason why we dominated possession. In the last 20 minutes of normal time, he looked absolutely wiped, and that contributed to our struggle to get up the park. Somehow, his energy lifted in extra time, with one strong run starting the move which led to the third goal.
Graham Dorrans – 8
Showed a lot of desire and energy. He seemed to prefer the system we were playing and got forward a lot more. A couple of efforts from the edge of the box may have been better, but he caused Thistle problems whilst battling well in midfield. In extra time, he seemed to step up even more, and provide real leadership.
Josh Windass – 6
Windass looks every inch the inconsistent winger. He missed a real sitter in the first half, and never really got going after that. A few moments of nice play was mixed with poor decisions and frustration. His run and cross which led to the third goal was an example of what he can offer on the break. That was all too fleeting on the night though. He certainly offers a good attacking threat, but last night wasn’t his best.
Carlos Pena – 7
It was also a bit of a mixed performance from Pena. That could be what we have to expect from someone making his first start in a while. There were some cracking passes and good movement, and also some loose touches and passes that were never going to come off.
His header for the goal was a good finish, and he showed enough to suggest he could be a good signing. With so much focus on everything he was doing, it’s fair to say judgements either way aren’t going to be balanced yet.
Alfredo Morelos – 8
In those rare games where Morelos doesn’t score, you get to see just how much he contributes overall. His hold up play, pressing and link-up (especially with Pena) was excellent. He created a few chances by winning the ball or holding off defenders. Playing in a more isolated role meant that he didn’t get as many chances to score. He ran himself into the ground, and it was lucky we were allowed the 4th sub in extra time, because he had nothing left.
Jason Holt – 6
Came on and gave us a lot of energy in midfield. Looked pretty good on the ball for someone who hasn’t played much this season. Had a good chance to score which was blocked.
Ross McCrorie – 6
Never really put a foot wrong. His rating would have been much higher had he been on the park for longer. Rarely lost a header, was aggressive in the tackle, and stood up to the Thistle pressure well.
Lee Hodson – 5
Solid enough defensively, but struggled a little going forward on his weaker side. Our attacking threat switched from left to right when he came on.
Eduardo Herrera – 6
A cracking finish for his goal, and a good lay-off for the Candeias strike. His energy and intelligence changed the game for us. The confidence he’ll have gained from that extra time performance will be key.
What are your ratings from last night? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!