Monday, September 26, 2022

Rangers Players Rated In Their Heartbreaking Defeat Vs Spartak Moskva | Goldson Gets 4

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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.

Rangers’ incredible unbeaten European run under Steven Gerrard had a massive test tonight against Spartak Moskva at Otkritie Arena where a favourable outcome would have smoothened their progress through to the knockouts of the prestigious Europa League contest defying all odds. The Russian heavyweights were favourites to grab a result at home to script a comeback to make it to the next round of this competition.

The encounter in Moscow, meanwhile, turned out to be a nail-biting seven-goal thriller but the Bears ended up on the losing side despite leading the tie thrice in the first half. Gerrard’s men witnessed their first European defeat this term, and their hopes of making it to the Round of 32 has now suffered a massive setback.

Below are the Rangers players rated in their 4-3 defeat against Spartak Moskva.

Allan McGregor: 6

Was excellent to deny Salvatore Bocchetti’s strike from outside the box but conceded twice in the first half due to defensive lapses. Did exceptionally well to deny Sofiane Hanni, but could have done little to stop Luiz Adriano’s thumping header followed by a deflected strike of Hanni that earned the hosts a lead for the first time in this fixture.

James Tavernier: 5.5

His contribution high up the pitch was notable with crosses and set-pieces, yet the skipper once again disappointed defensively and was at fault in Spartak’s early equaliser. Was unlucky as his effort in closing seconds hit the woodwork and denied Rangers a point from this emphatic encounter.

Nikola Katic: 5

Returned to the first-team action replacing Joe Worrall and had a nervy outing as the game was wide open throughout. Looked shaky while defending set-pieces and was clumsy while tackling at times, particularly early in the second half when Ivelin Popov went down inside the box which could have been awarded a penalty in favour of the Bulgarian.

Connor Goldson: 4

His towering presence at the back earned the Gers crucial points so far this season. However, the ex-Brighton and Hove Albion centre-back had a disastrous outing tonight as he conceded a shambolic own goal allowing the hosts to level the scoreline for the second time in the game.  Also, a wicked deflection off his legs earned Spartak a lead for the first time in the game. Was lucky not to concede a penalty late in the game.

Jon Flanagan: 6

Struggled defensively in recent games and could have done better at the back on a number of occasions.  But the former Liverpool fullback exhibited his passing traits finding Candeias with an accurate long ball forward which the Portuguese did extremely well to control and convert it into goal minutes before the half-hour mark. Struggled against Spartak’s wing play and got replaced by Andy Halliday late in the game,

Lassana Coulibaly: 6.5

Was dropping deep to deal with The Red-Whites’ attacking threats and also kept on making runs forward to keep the ball rolling in midfield whenever the Gers regained possession. Had an unimpressive second half and was replaced by Eros Grezda in closing minutes.

Ovie Ejaria: 6.5

The Liverpool loanee brought in calmness, slowed the pace down when required and also showcased great control over the ball. He, however, should have worked harder to support the backline against immense pressure from the hosts and needed to contribute more with off the ball movements in the centre of the pitch. Was replaced by Gareth McAuley in dying seconds of the match.

Scott Arfield: 7

Linked up well with fellow midfielders and also created chances in the attacking third orchestrating moves in both the flanks. His down the middle runs and directness allowed him to get closer to finding the net, but the Canadian was inches off the reach on a number of occasions despite his best efforts to chase the game.

Glenn Middleton: 7

The injury concern of Ryan Kent handed the teenager a start down the left flank. He should have done better defensively to stop Popov from crossing inside the box which was converted by Lorenzo Melgarejo. But he responded sharply finding the net with a neat finish to make it 3-2 for the visitors at half-time.

Daniel Candeias: 7.5

Should have continued his run to stop Melgarejo from heading home in early minutes but showed excellent control and composure to restore the lead in the first half. Worked hard to win back possession and formed a few moves to find the net after the break which, however, went in vain.

Alfredo Morelos: 5.5

The Colombian, despite a great scoring run, struggled to threaten enough inside the box and offered little barring a few one-twos and link-up football. Was frustrated and received a booking late in the game having failed to guide his stage a comeback despite an energetic display.

Substitutes

Eros Grezda: NA

Played too little to warrant a rating.

Andy Halliday: NA

Played too little to warrant a rating.

Gareth McAuley: NA

Played too little to warrant a rating.

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