Rangers 1 v 0 Kilmarnock
Saturday 14th February 2021
By Mark Dingwall
Rangers emerged from a hard-fought match at a snow-dusted Ibrox today with another three points secured.
In the first ten minutes Killie had three half chances all involving the craft of the impressive Mulumbu.
In the 16th minute a neat move started by Hagi worked through Itten saw Tavernier put the ball in the net only for it to be ruled offside.
Later Tavernier would be involved in taking a ball won by Aribo on the right and serving it up to Goldson who ended the move with an ineffectual glaring header.
The breakthrough came in the 37th minute – a corner from Tavernier found Ryan Jack about 25 yards out and he hit it on the volley straight into the net.
In the second half it took six minutes to get into the action when Aribo again started the move and passed to Steve Davis who provided a chip to Kent who then sent the ball back across the face off goal before Haunstrup cleared.
Shortly thereafter Kent went on a mazy dribbled before passing to Jack to placed it for Itten who shot strongly but straight to the Killie keeper Doyle.
Rangers had a bit of drama in the last minute when Balogan took down Killie substitute Whitehall but it was shown later to be just outside the box.
After the match Tommy Wright was honest in his appraisal of his own team – he said they got into some goal-scoring areas in the first half and the eealy part of the second but didn’t get a clear shot on goal.
He praise his team for their effort, workmate and shape but bemoaned the lack of action in the final third of the pitch.
Steven Gerrard afterwards praised Man Of The Match Steve Davis raring him as “outstanding.” He revealed he still has to have a one on one chat with him about his plans for next season – noting he still has plenty to offer.
He said he reckoned his team’s play rated a bigger win but it was definitely a reaction to the previous week against Hamilton. Ryan’s goal was exactly what he had been calling for from his midfielders – take the opportunity to shoot from outside the box.
Gerrard praised Killie saying they came with a new manger and a clean slate and were very stubborn without troubling Allan McGregor.
Looking forward to next Thursday’s game away in Antwerp he hailed it as a great tie but pointed to the return of Alfredo Morelos to the group as a major positive.
RANGERS: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic; Jack, Davis, Aribo; Kent (Arfield, 88), Itten, Hagi (Wright, 79)
SUBS NOT USED: McLaughlin, Bassey, Helander, Defoe, Patterson, Kamara, Stewart.
KILMARNOCK: Doyle, McGowan, Haunstrup, Dikamona, McKenzie (Whitehall, 79), Dicker (Burke, 64) Kiltie, Kabamba, Mulumbu, Medley, Tsibola (Dabo, 80)
SUBS NOT USED: Rogers, Oakley, Ibsen Rossi, Pierrick, Pinnock, Millen.
REFEREE: Don Robertson