Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Ejaria Gets 9, Morelos Gets 2 | Rangers Players Rated In Their Dramatic Draw Vs FC Ufa

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Who would have thought a new-look Rangers side, under a rookie manager, will be contesting the renowned European forces in Europa League main round! But the incredible Teddy Bears have sensationally made it while maintaining an unbeaten streak from the very first round of qualifiers as Steven Gerrard guided his Rangers boys to beat past the hurdles one after another with grit and determination. Their final test held away in Russia against FC Ufa where they travelled with a narrow 1-0 win at Ibrox in the first leg tie and had to defend the same to avoid a late misfortune.

Although they earned an early goal via Ovie Ejaria, the hosts equalised around the half-hour mark. Ufa had to score two more goals and were in the driving seat when the Gers went down to 9 men following the dismissals of Alfredo Morelos and Jon Flanagan. The Gers managed to get the job done showing exemplary resolution and came out Invictus 2-1 on aggregate.

Below are the Rangers players rated in their deserved draw against FC Ufa.

Allan McGregor: 8

The veteran Scotsman could have done little to deny Dimitri Sysuev’s equaliser and was lucky to see the hosts hitting the woodwork a few times. But the veteran was standout ever since his side went down to 9 men as he kept on making crucial saves in the closing minutes to grind out a result.

James Tavernier: 7

The skipper played Sysuev onside when they notched the equaliser but delivered a determined defensive display. He crowded the defensive half alongside his teammates to deny the constant attacking threats from the Russian outfit.

Connor Goldson: 8.5

Made a few mistakes against Motherwell but turned up today with some encouraging show deep down the backline. He blocked and cleared plenty of goal-bound efforts and made the job look comfortable with his great sense of positioning.

Nikola Katic: 8

Katic, too, partnered Goldson exceptionally well in the heart of Gers defensive third as the duo displayed their great chemistry when it mattered the most.

Jon Flanagan: 6.5

Had a lion-hearted display with high work ethics following the early sending off of Alfredo Morelos. Was unlucky to receive his marching orders when he jumped high to win a header but was judged to have fouled Zhivoglyadov. 

Ryan Jack: 8.5

Ran all over the pitch and chased the opponents whenever they had the chance to press the Ufa midfield. Mostly helped his defence to protect the scoreline and was successful with yet another towering display in the middle of the park.

Ovie Ejaria: 9

The Liverpool loanee was unlucky on the weekend as his probable winner was cancelled out by Motherwell in closing seconds of the Premiership contest at Fir Park. But the Englishman continued his recent blistering run and scored a stunner in early minutes which proved to be decisive in extremely adverse circumstances. Was denied a second by custodian Aleksandr Belenov but held the ball well with his excellent footwork and often carried it forward from deep to release pressure from the defensive line.

Scott Arfield: 7

Offered little offensively following the dismissal of Morelos but helped to shield the goal to deny the hosts who were desperately chasing the match in the second half. Looked worn out later on and Gerrard decided to bring in Andy Halliday to inject fresh legs in the middle of the park.

Daniel Candeias: 6

Started the game with promises down the right flank but was mostly busy in defensive duties after Morelos’ red card. Was taken off at half-time and was replaced by Kyle Lafferty as the gaffer opted to shuffle the set-up.

Ryan Kent: 8

Was brilliant whenever he had the opportunity to run with the ball and set it up for Ejaria who scored a stunner. Was denied by Belenov spectacularly early in the second half and should have done better with his finishing and decision making towards the end when he had a free run. But his work rate was stupendous as he tirelessly worked out down the left flank to provide defensive support following Flanagan’s dismissal midway through the second half.

Alfredo Morelos: 2

He is talented, has been productive in front of goal since his move to Ibrox last summer. But it is high time the Colombian brings maturity to his game as his unnecessary confrontation could have cost his side’s all hard work after such an encouraging ride. Gerrard issued him warning regarding his attitude weeks back, but the player seems not to have taken it seriously at all.

Substitutes

Kyle Lafferty: 7

Was introduced at half-time to utilise his maturity and holding ability to buy some time and the veteran centre-forward did his best to offer the same. 

Andy Halliday: 7.5

Was brought in later on in place of Arfield and did exceptionally well to deny the late threats one after another.

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