Rangers fans have criticised the performances of two key players in their Europa League playoff second leg against Alashkert.

The Gers drew 0-0 with the Armenian champions, which was enough to progress to the group stages of the competition for a fourth consecutive season.

Rangers are through to the Europa League proper but two key players – Morelos and Barisic – struggled against Alashkert. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It shouldn’t have been as close as it was, though, particularly given that the hosts were reduced to ten men before halftime.

No one really excelled for the Gers but plenty of supporters have expressed concerns about the performances of two players in particular.

Alfredo Morelos and Borna Barisic.

Morelos scored the only goal of the tie in the first leg and had netted three times in four appearances prior to the game, but he was off the pace and missed three clear-cut opportunities.

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Twice in the first half and once in the second, he spurned glorious chances to put the tie to bed and fans weren’t happy.

Barisic was similarly off colour.

The Croatian international struggled to produce quality from wide areas, was wasteful in general possession and his decision-making was poor when he was called upon to defend.

 

The 28-year-old had been replaced by Calvin Bassey for the previous three fixtures and didn’t even make the squad at Ross County at the weekend, and it’s clear that he’s struggling.

There’s no doubt that both players were far from at their best in Yerevan and that’s naturally concerning ahead of the first Old Firm of the season on Sunday.

However, the important thing was progression to the group stages and that has been achieved.

Morelos and Barisic have both been top contributors over the past two seasons and neither has become a bad player overnight.

They have had very disrupted starts to the 2021/22 season, with Barisic in particular clearly not yet fully fit following a back injury and possibly still mentally fatigued from an immensely disappointing Euro 2020 from an individual and team perspective.

Meanwhile, a £4m-rated player has spoken out after it was claimed he had a ‘verbal agreement’ with Rangers.

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