Despite the strong scoreline, not many Rangers players impressed in the match at home to Dundee. In midfield, Docherty and Dorrans struggled to play to their best levels. Moussa caused a few issues for the centre halves, and Declan John wasn’t able to get into the game as much as he can. Alfredo Morelos was effective enough without being great. Even Wes Foderingham had some issues with his distribution despite having little to do in terms of making saves.
For man of the match, there were two candidates who were a bit above the rest. One of those was Jamie Murphy. He assisted the first goal with a great run, and scored the third which killed the match. His ability to beat players at ease, whether he’s already on the run or from a standing start, is vital to any sort of attacking threat Rangers have at the moment. He had a cross in the first half with his left foot which almost went directly in. The ball just evaded Morelos and rebounded off the post. Just when it looked like Rangers were really struggling, he took three defenders out of the game to find Miller in space and get that opening goal.
It was also his pressing which led to the third goal. Morelos was the one to nick the ball from the defender, but Murphy occupied him with smart defensive positioning. His finish was a routine one, and he has now scored 4 goals in the league. Added to his 5 assists, his start has been very impressive.
Man of the match in this game, however, was Daniel Candeias. It’s often the case that the player picked by the match sponsors isn’t one most fans agree with. This time around, they were spot on when picking the Portuguese winger. Another assist came in the form of a perfect cross for Morelos, a real moment of quality. His goal was deserved, an easy enough finish as he showed composure in the box. Overall, he had a real effect on the match.
In the first half, Rangers were struggling to link up well in forward areas. Candeias had seen one cross turned onto the post by Miller. Despite that, his passing wasn’t quite working, with moves between him, Tavernier and Docherty breaking down. The winger kept working hard, as he always does, and showed that his attitude is spot on by improving in the second half. At 1-0, his break from a Dundee corner led to him getting into the box and hitting the post with an effort. Miller missed something of a sitter from the rebound. He started to link up play better and find more space to run into. One ball through for Miller was just a little too far ahead of the striker, but showed that he was seeing the runs very well. That was evident in his cross for the second goal, as was Morelos’ confidence that Candeias could spot the run.
In a match where many didn’t play as well as they’d have liked, the man of the match was pretty clear, and Candeias had the biggest effect on the scoreline overall. It’s no coincidence that players like Murphy and Candeias, who are at their peak as such and have a good mix of experience and fitness levels, were the ones who made the biggest differences in a somewhat mediocre performance.
Do you agree that Candeias was man of the match? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your opinions!