Ryan Jack steals the show for Rangers in 4-0 Ross County thrashing
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Ryan Jack steals the show for Rangers in 4-0 Ross County thrashing

Rangers romped to a comfortable 4-0 win over Ross County in the Scottish Premiership to put more pressure on Celtic at the top of the league table.

Steven Gerrard made five changes to his side from the weekend win over Motherwell, leaving Gers fans fuming before kick-off, but the Gers boss was vindicated in his selection with an impressive performance from his team ahead of the League Cup semi-final this weekend.

The Gers almost took an immediate lead after some terrific midfield play by Ryan Jack and Glen Kamara sent Sheyi Ojo beyond the defence but the winger’s shot struck the post and was cleared.

It only took 20 minutes for the goal to come as the Gers cut through the Ross County defence with ease with some quick, slick passing before Ojo picked out Alfredo Morelos to stroke home his seventeenth goal of the season.

The build-up play for the opener was some really impressive stuff from the Gers as Aribo and Ojo combined to great effect before Morelos does what he does best.

Jack soon doubled the Light Blues’ lead as County failed to clear their lines and the Ibrox standout took a touch before unleashing a shot into the bottom corner of the net.

The former Aberdeen skipper had been the best player on the park up to that point and was a well-deserved goal to open his league account for the season.

His first goal was good enough but he topped it ten minutes later with a beautiful curling strike after showing fantastic composure to make space for the strike.

(Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

The second half started almost identically to the first as Rangers again hit the post with Joe Aribo this time being denied by the woodwork.

Jack looked keen to grab his hat-trick and almost scored an absolute worldie from distance on his weaker left foot but it went narrowly wide.

There was an injury worry for Rangers as Borna Barisic limped off after 55 minutes to be replaced by Andy Halliday as Gerrard made use of his squad with one eye on the weekend.

Halliday was already set to come on – likely for Barisic – but the Croatian limping off will be concerning after a foul by Ibrox flop Ricky Foster.

(Photo by Diogo Baptista/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Ryan Jack’s night was brought to an early end after he was replaced after an hour with Jamie Murphy taking his place – and the Gers number 8 was utterly fantastic.

Soon afterwards, it was 4-0 as Alfredo Morelos drilled home at the far post from Aribo’s clever lay-off as the Gers looked to get the goal difference up.

Gerrard made his final change of the night immediately after Morelos’ goal with the Colombian coming off to be replaced by the equally-prolific Jermain Defoe.

With four goals to their name, Rangers kept pushing forward but lack the urgency and cutting edge that was on display earlier in the game as County managed to limit any further late damage.

Here’s how Steven Gerrard’s side performed in the Highlands:

Wes Foderingham – 6

Back in the side after an injury to Allan McGregor and was barely involved. Survived a scare as County hit the post with a deflection.

James Tavernier – 6

The captain got a big cheer from the Rangers fans pre-game as his name was read out and put in a solid performance. Nothing spectacular from Tav but getting back to his best will have to see him get back to just grinding out decent showings.

Connor Goldson – 6

Shaky moment earlier on but strolled it after that as the Gers were comfortable. Rarely involved other than to recycle possession or return a long ball.

Filip Helander – 6

Also had a shaky early moment before having a pretty easy night as Gerrard’s side romped to a comfortable win. Swede will almost certainly start at Hampden on Sunday.

Borna Barisic – 7

Croatia international is really starting to find his stride now and put in another impressive shift down the left. Constantly looking to get forward and poses such a big threat from dead balls. Replaced by Halliday after 55 minutes.

Ryan Jack – 10

Ran the show in midfield and scored a lovely strike from the edge of the area to make it 2-0 after 28 minutes. Made it 3-0 ten minutes late as he put in a flawless first-half performance. Replaced just after an hour.

Joe Aribo – 8

Calm, confident and composed in midfield as the Nigerian international put in a good night’s work in the Highlands. Looked much more like the player fans have been impressed with in his handful of caps for the Super Eagles. Hit the post early in the second half and helped himself to a couple of assists.

Glen Kamara – 7

Kept it simple as he returned to the side and put in a solid shift in midfield but was, understandably, overshadowed by Ryan Jack next to him.

Sheyi Ojo – 7

Much more like it from the Liverpool loanee. He needs to consistently put in this level of effort and the performances will come. Looked really good going forward at times and had an excellent run in the build-up to the opener. Drifted out of the game at times but, hopefully, he can kick on.

Scott Arfield – 6

Flitted in and out of the game but never stopped making himself available despite not always being the most effective. Looks like he could do with a bit of a rest to recharge his batteries.

Alfredo Morelos – 8

Scored the opener and put in a typical Morelos performance as he harried and hassled defenders throughout. Grabbed a second goal after 70 minutes before being replaced by Defoe. Can’t help but love him.

Substitutes: Andy Halliday (5) Replaced Barisic and slotted in at left-back. Jamie Murphy (5) Replaced Jack for the final half-an-hour. Jermain Defoe (5) Replaced Morelos with 20 minutes left.

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