Rangers welcomed Oxford United to Ibrox in their first home run out of the new season and Gers boss Steven Gerrard will have been happy with what was on display as they ran out comfortable 5-0 winners.
With a Europa League clash in Gibraltar on Tuesday, many of Gerrard’s expected first-choice starting XI were wrapped in cotton wool.
It didn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken when Daniel Candeias hit the net with 16 minutes played after a fantastic counter-attack involving Jake Hastie, Candeias and Greg Stewart.
The Gers broke at speed and Stewart’s lovely lay-off sent Candeias on his way before coolly slotting beyond the Oxford keeper.
Stewart made it 2-0 quarter of an hour later as the Gers made their dominance pay and started moving up through the gears.
The former Kilmarnock and Aberdeen man showed really good feet to make a yard of space before firing low into the net.
It was almost three when Niko Katic rattled the crossbar from 30 yards with the Oxford keeper beaten but the visitors were able to escape to half time without conceding again.
Jak Alnwick – 6
A surprise pick ahead of Wes Foderingham but barely involved in the game. If playing him was designed to give him a shop window and earn a move then it failed – but through no fault of anyone at Rangers. Replaced at half-time.
Matt Polster – 7
American made his first start at Ibrox since arriving in January. Dangerous early cross unlucky not to create the opening goal for Greg Stewart. Good afternoon for the former Chicago Fire defender as he looks to make his mark at Rangers. Subbed after 60 minutes
Nikola Katic – 7
Croatian defender made a key block in the first half as he put in a solid shift beside Edmundson. Will probably start against St. Joseph’s and looks like he’s ready to really push on and cement his place in the side. Replaced at half-time.
George Edmundson – 7
First Ibrox appearance for the new signing and settled in after one or two shaky moments. Distributed the ball well and looks a promising signing. Replaced at half-time.
Andy Halliday – 7
Captain for the afternoon with James Tavernier on the bench. Did what was asked of him without ever excelling. Typical workman-like performance from a player who often does the leg work for others without the credit. Subbed after 60 minutes
Greg Docherty – 8
Docherty made his first Ibrox appearance since returning from Shrewsbury and looked like someone with a point to prove. The midfielder was a driving force for Gerrard’s side and looks like a much more confident player than the one of a year ago. Replaced after an hour.
Glen Kamara – 7
The Finn looks like he’s just picked up where he left off last season. Rarely wastes a pass and always seems to put himself in the right position. Kamara is going to be so important this season for Gerrard’s side. Replaced at half-time.
Joe Aribo – 8
Impressive start from the midfielder and probably should have made it 2-0 but scuffed his shot goalward. Midfielder looks to be a really exciting signing who should look to really push the Gers forward. Substituted after an hour.
Daniel Candeias – 9
Usual hard-working performance and showed a real desire to impress. Took his goal really well and showed good composure to slot the ball home. At the centre of nearly everything for Rangers and if he can do that consistently this season he’ll have a massive season. Taken off after 60 minutes.
Jake Hastie – 7
The young winger didn’t take long to find his feet and looked hungry to show what he could do. Drifted in and out of the game a little at times but won’t have many complaints about his first appearance at Ibrox. Replaced at half-time.
Greg Stewart – 8
Energetic performance from the former Birmingham forward and his delightful pass set Candeias up for the opening goal. Grabbed a deserved goal of his own and will have done his chances of regular minutes no harm. Subbed after an hour.