For quite some time now, Rangers fans have been waiting for Borna Barisic to come good.
The 26-year-old signed for the club for a reported £2 million from Osijek last summer [The Scotsman]. In opening weeks of the season, he looked the real deal. Yet, thereafter, multiples injuries and a lack of confidence seemed to reduce him to a shadow of his former self.
Bears have watched him go on international duty and perform well for Croatia, but strong displays in a Rangers shirt have been few and far between.
Tonight, though, the left-back produced what the club’s fans had been waiting for. On a sunny Tuesday evening in Gibraltar, he excelled.
After a frustrating first half, the floodgates opened in the second period and Barisic played a big role in that change.
Goal and an assist in Gibraltar
For the first goal, he received the ball on the overlap and crossed well for Ryan Jack to volley home.
Then, after Sheyi Ojo had made it two, Barisic got himself a goal. From around 25 yards out on the right side, the full-back whipped a textbook free-kick over the wall and just inside the near post.
The flailing St Joseph’s keeper managed to claw the ball out, but it had already crossed the line before Connor Goldson prodded home the rebound. Despite it obviously being Barisic’s goal, the Rangers Twitter awarded it to Goldson. However, a raft of Bears lept to the Croatian’s defence, demanding he was credited.
Free kick went in
— 🇬🇧 𝙍𝙖𝙢𝙥𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙍𝙮𝙖𝙣 𝙅𝙖𝙘𝙠 🇬🇧 (@RampantRyanJack) July 9, 2019
What game are you watching? It was Barisics goal, well over line
— Jim (@wmcg2011) July 9, 2019
Come on now pic.twitter.com/dK1c5HVOAe
— Lachlan (LOCK-lin) (@MySportsFeed2) July 9, 2019
Barisic has been robbed
— Cameron Wilson (@W20CPW) July 9, 2019
Eventually, the Gers account admitted their error and awarded the goal to Barisic.
A telt them
— SMITHY 🇬🇧🏴 (@smithycrs92) July 9, 2019
He deserves it & Hopefully that gives him confidence to kick on – goal & assist 👏
— Four Lads Had a Dream (@4ladshadadream) July 9, 2019
Fingers crossed 🤞
— Sam (@sjs1872) July 9, 2019
— Jordan Brown (@JordanBroon_) July 9, 2019
As some of the fans have pointed out here, this should serve as a big confidence booster for the left-back.
By the back end of last season, in stark contrast to James Tavernier at right-back, he seemed reluctant to get forward. Now that he’s finally opened his account though, hopefully, he’ll get a taste for being involved in the final third.
Overall, it was a very positive showing from Barisic, and he’ll be hoping to kick on from here. Providing the club don’t bring in any competition, he has a free run at the left-back spot for several weeks.
Jon Flanagan is out after a minor hernia operation and by the time he returns, Borna Bear should be entrenched.