Although Celtic are once again leading the race in defending their Scottish crown, Rangers, their age-old rivals, have exhibited significant resurgence under Steven Gerrard. The Boxing day clash at Ibrox against Kilmarnock proved to be a hard-fought outing for the Teddy Bears as they claimed a narrow 1-0 win to stay relevant in the title hunt ahead of weekend’s Old Firm derby.
Below are the Rangers players rated in their win against Killie.
Allan McGregor: 7
Was having a quiet afternoon until the 56th-minute mark when Alan Power forced him to make a diving save against the run of play. A well deserved clean sheet for the veteran custodian.
James Tavernier: 6.5
Has improved his defensive game but failed to pose a persistent threat with his marauding runs from the right flank. Created a few chances though and combined well with Aribo down the wide areas.
Connor Goldson: 7
Kept his composure at the back even though the visitors offered little threat in the attacking third. Was in the right place at the right time and played the ball out from the back to instigate moves from the deep.
Nikola Katic: 7
Did well to partner Goldson in the heart of the backline. Made some crucial no-nonsense clearances along with timely tackles and interceptions.
Borna Barisic: 7.5
Was relentless with his overlapping runs as he kept on troubling the Killie defence from the left-hand flank. Linked up with Ryan Kent and forced Laurențiu Brănescu to make a majestic save early in the second half.
Ryan Jack: 7
Dominated the game in the centre of the pitch and kept on winning the ball back and carried it forward to form attacking threats. Tried his luck at times, but struggled to break down the opponents’ defensive resilience despite an array of through passes from behind.
Glen Kamara: 7
Hit the woodwork late in the first half with an effort from the edge of the box. Kept on moving the ball across the pitch as he tried to stretch the Killie defence to open up space for the likes of Kent, Defoe and Morelos later on.
Scott Arfield: 6
Had an underwhelming show as he failed to leave an impact barring a few down the middle runs and swift one-twos. Made way for Greg Stewart seconds before Morelos’ match-winning goal.
Joe Aribo: 8
Impressed once again from the right flank as he was direct with his runs and whipped in timely crosses inside the box. Fed Morelos from the wide to break the deadlock.
Ryan Kent: 7
Dribbled past the Killie backline time and again but failed to find the net despite being close on several occasions. Was taken off to be replaced by Steven Davis for the final 12 minutes of the match.
Jermain Defoe: 6
Had a lively start as he created a few chances of his own to break down the visitors’ resistance. Faded off with time and was eventually taken off to be replaced by Alfredo Morelos around the hour mark.
Alfredo Morelos: 7.5
Returned to the squad after serving a one-game suspension and turned out to be the saviour once again as he fired in to seal the deal after coming on as a second-half substitute in place of Defoe.
Greg Stewart: 6.5
Enjoyed his time on the pitch as he kept on combining with his teammates to hold possession and frustrate the opponents.
Steven Davis: 6.5
Calmed things down in the middle of the park when Alex Dyer’s men were pushing for a late equaliser.
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