Rangers have been troubled by Kilmarnock time and again, particularly at Rugby Park where the artificial turf hindered them from playing their usual free-flowing football. The congestion of fixtures forced Steven Gerrard to make a few changes to the line up that hosted Lech Poznan on Thursday night, but the outcome turned out to be identical as they secured yet another edgy 1-0 win and stretched their unbeaten streak to 18 games across all competitions.
Here are the Rangers players rated from their victory against Kilmarnock.
Allan McGregor: 8
Showed why he is still the Gers’ ‘number 1’ at the age of 38. He was spot on with his saves, exhibited great reflex late in the game to deny Eamonn Brophy’s free-kick and grabbed his fifth successive clean sheet en route to ensuring three massive points.
James Tavernier: 8.5
The skipper converted the decisive spot-kick in the early minutes when Ross Millen conceded a penalty for handling the ball inside the box. Tenth goal already for Tavernier this season who has also been astounding defensively.
Connor Goldson: 8
The Englishman has been immense this season as he showcased his supremacy all throughout in such a tricky away tie. Came close to scoring as well but failed to guide his header on target despite connecting Tavernier’s exquisite cross from the right-hand flank.
Filip Helander: 7.5
Maintained his towering presence in the heart of the backline, dealt well physically and contained the like of Nicke Kabamba and Brophy with great efficiency. Lost a few duels but held the composure to defend the narrow lead.
Borna Barisic: 7
Impressed once again with his marauding runs from the left-hand flank, crosses and link-up play with Ryan Kent while forming attacking transitions. A bit rusty at times with his tackles and could have done better on a few occasions to stop the crosses.
Joe Aribo: 8
A disciplined display from the midfield prodigy who dominated possession, played some smart one-twos, carried the ball forward with his sharp dribbling traits and tried to contribute high up the pitch in terms of creativity and vision. Was taken off midway through the second half to be replaced by veteran Steven Davis. Just cannot wait to see a fully fit Aribo go the distance.
Ryan Jack: 7.5
Tidy from the Scotsman who dictated the tempo from the deep-lying midfield role. Kept the ball rolling and continued to switch the play down the flanks to widen the space for the likes of Aribo and Scott Arfield in the centre of the pitch. Frustrated the hosts repeatedly as he broke down an array of Killie moves with timely tackles, blocks and interceptions.
Scott Arfield: 8
Continues his excellent run of form with another dominating display. Controlled the pace, flow and balance of the match and used his experience well to slow it down, forcing the home side to cover extra ground during the final quarter of the contest.
Ryan Kent: 6.5
His pace, power and mazy runs were menacing for the Killie backline, but the former Liverpool youngster failed to find the target despite creating several chances on his own. Yet his presence has always been integral in terms of attacking expertise.
Cedric Itten: 6
Not an impressive outing for the Swiss professional who struggled to attune to a wide attacking role. He was deployed down the right and failed to make a notable impact barring a few crosses and cut insides. Needs to work on his shooting attribute as he skied far too many attempts.
Alfredo Morelos: 7
The midweek ‘super sub’ against Lech Poznan was handed a start this afternoon. Although he could not find the target this time around, his work ethic, directness and physicality kept Kilmarnock on their toes. Made way for Leon Balogun late in the game.
Steven Davis: 6
Was brought in for Aribo to inject fresh legs, experience as well as more defensive assurance in the closing minutes. Did his job decently, however, almost cost the Bears when he conceded a free-kick just outside the box for a wicked foul on Rory McKenzie. The Northern Irishman was fortunate though, as McGregor was majestic between the sticks to deny Brophy’s strike.
Leon Balogun: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.