Rangers are out of the League Cup after a disappointing 3-2 defeat by St. Mirren ended the Light Blues hopes of lifting the season’s first piece of domestic silverware – and brought a halt to their 27-game unbeaten start to the campaign.
There were four changes to the side that faced Dundee United – with Calvin Bassey, Bongani Zungu, Scott Arfield, and Cedric Itten replacing Borna Barisic, Steven Davis, Glen Kamara, and the suspended Alfredo Morelos. [RangersTV]
It only took seven minutes for the Gers to surge ahead as Connor Goldson made it two goals in a matter of days when he fired home a fantastic finish to cap off an excellent run from deep.
The Light Blues saw plenty of possession as they looked for a second goal before half-time but struggled to really test former Ibrox keeper Jak Alnwick in the Buddies goal for long spells of the opening 45.
Just before half-time, the host drew level after they won a penalty as a result of a clumsy challenge by Calvin Bassey allowed Jamie McGrath to convert from 12 yards.
The Buddies took a shock lead seven minutes after the restart, Bassey again looking poor as Connolly got a cross away before McGrath fired home and put the hosts infront.
Rangers thought they’d bought themselves a further 30 minutes to seal their place in the semi-finals when Steven Davis lashed the ball home after Tavernier’s free-kick crashed off the woodwork but it would only last a matter of minutes before McCarthy made it 3-2 and sent the Saints marching on to Hampden.
Here’s how Steven Gerrard’s side performed as their 27-game unbeaten run ended in Paisley:
Allan McGregor – 6
Could’ve stayed inside before Bassey gifted St. Mirren a penalty. Well-beaten at the second and busier after the break. Couple of really good saves and done brilliantly just before the winner.
James Tavernier – 6
The skipper almost grabbed a late equaliser but – like many others – lost any real grip on the game after the break as Rangers struggled to break St. Mirren down. Far from the worst performer but not his best night recently.
Connor Goldson – 6
Fantastic run and finish to open the scoring but cold have done a bit better at the second goal. Posed a real threat going forward in the first half and could have scored a couple.
Leon Balogun – 5
St. Mirren tried to force errors from the Nigerian but had little joy in the first half. Could have done better at the seond goal before he took a sore one which ended his game. Replaced by Ianis Hagi.
Calvin Bassey – 4
In the side ahead of Borna Barisic and his clumsy challenge gifted St. Mirren a spot-kick just before half-time. Didn’t cover himself in glory at the seond before being replaced by Barisic soon after.
Bongani Zungu – 6
Appeared every time the Buddies tried to break forward to intercept before showing a fantastic range of passing to try propel the Light Blues forward before half time but faded after the break before being replaced by Glen Kamara with 20 minutes left. Still a bit to go before being able to be considered for a start.
Scott Arfield – 5
Bundle of energy but not enough attacking threat from the Canadian international as Rangers tried to find a second goal. Replaced by Steven Davis just after St. Mirren went ahead.
Joe Aribo – 5
Used in a deeper role but nowhere near influential enough as the Gers looked for a second goal and hasn’t come close to replicating his early season form recently. Lots of energy.
Ryan Kent – 6
Tried to get at the Saints defence but not enough in the final third before being booked for simulation just after the hour. Lots of effort from the wideman but not enough end product.
Kemar Roofe – 5
Struggled to really get into the game and cause problems for the Buddies defence as Rangers huffed and puffed in search of a second goal. Thought he’d set up an equaliser but hadn’t kept the ball in.
Cedric Itten – 5
Handed the chance to lead the line with Alfredo Morelos suspended and didn’t do near enough to stake his claim for a regular start before being replaced by Jermain Defoe.
Rangers fans were furious after the defeat – although some did still see the funny side despite watching the Gers lose for the first time this season