Rangers eased to a comfortable 4-1 win over Dundee United this afternoon at Ibrox ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Royal Antwerp – and Ibrox midfielder Joe Aribo put in a fantastic performance for the Light Blues.
Gerrard made four changes from Thursday’s Europa League win over Royal Antwerp as Leon Balogun, Ryan Jack, Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent came into the side for the injured duo of James Tavernier and Kemar Roofe while Glen Kamara and Scott Arfield dropped to the bench. [Rangers TV]
After a disappointing open 30 minutes which saw the visitors have several chances to open the scoring, Hagi and Kent scored twice in a matter of minutes to give the Gers a comfortable lead.
Shortly after the restart, it was 3-0 when Aribo fired home an unstoppable effort to cap off an excellent performance from the former Charlton star.
Alfredo Morelos would deservedly get his name on the scoresheet to make it 4-0 before Borna Barisic missed a penalty, won by Morelos, to make it 5-0 and put a sheen on the result.
United would grab a consolation through Marc McNulty but there was little to worry about for Steven Gerrard’s side as they eased to a comfortable three points.
The win sends Rangers three points closer to the title and keeps the Gers on course for a title party at Parkhead next month.
Here’s how Steven Gerrard’s Gers performed against the Tannadice side:
Allan McGregor – 8
Veteran shot-stopper had kept an incredible 14 clean sheets in 20 league games before today and was called into action early on with an excellent save to deny Shankland. Two more saves in the opening 30 minutes kept Rangers in the game before Hagi made it 1-0.
Leon Balogun – 7
Given the nod at right-back after Tavernier limped out in Antwerp and continued there this afternoon against the Arabs. Was never going to be able to replicate Tavernier’s attacking output but gave it a good go. Certainly seemed to impress fans.
Connor Goldson – 7
The defensive rock has been imperious for Rangers this season so far, playing every minute of every game, and was handed the captain’s armband in Tavernier’s absence. Bit of a sluggish start but looked comfortable as the game went on. Equalled the 21st-century club record for consecutive starts with 73.
Filip Helander – 7
Taken out the game early on as Appere and Shankland broke through but settled into the game and strolled through it as the Light Blues kept yet another league clean sheet and Helander extended his own personal record of having never lost a league game as a Rangers player. Replaced by Jack Simpson.
Borna Barisic – 8
Penalty hero against the Belgians on Thursday night and Barisic looked to build on that. Constantly getting forward up the left and poses such a threat from free-kicks and corners. Missed a penalty with the score at 4-0.
Steven Davis – 7
Kept everything simple in the middle of the park as he pulled the strings yet again. The veteran never lets himself get flustered and was key in the Gers finally taking control of the game. Replaced by Scott Arfield after 62 minutes, likely with an eye on Antwerp.
Ryan Jack – 4
Back in the starting XI in place of Glen Kamara but the Scotland international only lasted 26 minutes before being replaced by Glen Kamara with an apparent injury.
Joe Aribo – 9
Deployed in a more central role than in midweek and Aribo was involved in everything positive for Rangers in the opening half. Came close to opeing the scoring after 20 minutes but was denied by an excellent save. Massive hand in both first-half goals as the Gers stepped up a gear. Got his goal just a few minutes after the restart.
Ianis Hagi – 7
Hagi returned to the side in place of Scott Arfield and took up his usual role on the right of the front three as the Gers took the three points. Scored the opener after a fairly quiet opening half-hour. Replaced by Scott Wright after 62 minutes.
Ryan Kent – 7
Kent returned to the side after a knee niggle but showed little sign of it affecting him as he scored the second goal just before the break. Surprised he played the full 90 with Antwerp on the horizon.
Alfredo Morelos – 8
Morelos was unplayable on Thursday night and the Colombian striker worked himself into the ground again in another impressive performance. Could’ve made in 3-0 before the break but was denied by Siegrist. Got his goal after the United keeper battered his clearance off his. Replaced by Jermain Defoe after winning a penalty a few minutes after scoring.
Read our match report as the Gers moved another step closer to 55 this afternoon at Ibrox with a comfortable win