The disappointment of the result against Celtic summed up just how much Rangers have progressed in the last year. The fans went into this match believing a win was possible, and the performance suggested that was the case. Ultimately, a little lack of experience and quality told. Below are my opinions on how the players rated.
WES FODERINGHAM – 6
Foderingham made some great saves in the first half to keep Rangers in the lead at 2-1. However, he was poor at the second Celtic goal. His decision to step out made the decision for Dembele. In the second half, he didn’t have a lot to do as Celtic were forced to play on the break. Due to the way Celtic pressed high up the pitch, he was unable to play the ball short or quickly out to defenders. Like most of the team, something of a mixed performance.
JAMES TAVERNIER – 6
Tavernier had something of a strange game. He was pretty good on the ball, but couldn’t get his usual quality of cross in. He seemed to receive the ball from a standing position far more than on the run, which hurt his attacking threat. In the second half, he had a great chance to shoot in the box but tried to cut the ball back. It was little decisions like that which seemed to sum up his game. He wasn’t poor, but certainly not anywhere near his best either.
DAVID BATES – 3
Bates only lasted 12 minutes as he got injured trying to block the shot which led to Celtic’s first equaliser. A still picture of the injury suggests it could be a bad one.
BRUNO ALVES – 6
Alves was a concern for many fans before the match. His lack of matches of late, and his performance against Falkirk, found many worried about how he’d play. Overall, he done ok. He won plenty of headers, especially at set pieces. His passing often turned the Celtic defence and gave the forwards something to work with. However, neither team can claim to have defended really well, and Alves was part of that.
DECLAN JOHN – 6
John played well in the first half, often causing the Celtic right hand side problems. It was his run and cross which eventually led to the second Rangers goal. He was also dealing with the threat of Forrest quite well, often showing him inside and letting him run into trouble. In the second half, he had similar issues to Tavernier. Too often, he would be given the ball high up the pitch and not on the run. Any time he tried to make something happen, he would be crowded out. A game he’ll have found frustrating despite a good first half.
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GREG DOCHERTY – 6
Docherty showed plenty of energy and fight. His creative play wasn’t on show, though. He seemed undecided in the first half as to whether he should press or sit. That meant that Brown and Ntcham got a bit more space than they should have. When he had chances to make runs on the ball, he was often too deep to hurt the opposing team. This was a match where his performance was hurt by indecision, and he’ll have learned a lot from it.
SEAN GOSS – 5
A frustrating game for Goss. Like Docherty, he couldn’t quite work out how best to play defensively. On the ball, he wasn’t finding his passing range as well as normal. He was easily brushed off when challenging for the first Celtic goal. The decision to allow Edouard to cut inside for the third was also a mistake. Even the set pieces he was taking, which are usually spot on, were poor. Like Docherty, this will be a game he feels annoyed by.
DANIEL CANDEIAS – 7
Candeias scored the second goal, and worked hard throughout. His pressing was often solitary, though, as the team struggled to force enough mistakes. Almost all of his crosses were low, and cut out at the front post. However, he deserved his goal, and certainly kept trying to make things happen.
JOSH WINDASS – 6
This was a game where we saw the best and the worst of Windass. He scored the early goal through good pressing and a great finish. He was also constantly looking to run into space. However, the fact that Rangers couldn’t dominate in midfield meant that he was required to do something a little different. His tracking back and defensive work wasn’t quite as strong as needed, and it left the midfield under pressure. I don’t like to judge attacking players on defensive work, but sadly in the context of this game, Rangers had one too many attack minded players on the park. Due to the position Windass starts the game from, he’s a focus for criticism when that happens.
JAMIE MURPHY – 7
Murphy was outstanding in the first half. He beat players easily, won free kicks, linked up play well, and was at the heart of everything Rangers done well. His excellent pass to John led to the second goal. Celtic didn’t seem to know how best to deal with him. That changed in the second half, sadly. Murphy was nowhere near as effective in that half, and made some poor decisions with shots from distance when a pass would have led to a better chance. The red card meant that Celtic defended deeper, and led to Murphy having less space to play in.
ALFREDO MORELOS – 5
This feels harsh. Morelos created good chances through his hold up play and strength. He was unlucky with one chance just before Celtic scored to make it 3-2. However, his sitter at the end and poor decision just before Celtic scored their first have had a huge influence on the result. Had he stayed onside on the counter, there was a chance to go 2-0 up. His sitter at the end will be remembered for years. Despite some good all-round play, he’ll be judged on those more than anything else.
FABIO CARDOSO – 5
Came on for Bates after 12 minutes, and done most things ok. He was caught out at the second goal, though, and didn’t do very well at the third either. He’s not played a lot of late, so mistakes would be expected, but in a big match they’ll be punished. The injury to Bates looked quite serious, and Martin may be injured for a while, so he may need to play more before the end of the season.
JASON CUMMINGS – 3
Cummings came on with around 15 minutes to play, but struggled to get into the game as Celtic defended well.
Any ratings you disagree with? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!