Despite making it to the knockouts of the Europa League, Rangers were aiming for a victory tonight against Lech Poznan to finish as the group winners over Benfica. Steven Gerrard, however, rested a lot of his first-team stars and yet fielded a formidable lineup at INEA stadion. The Premiership leaders are unstoppable in Europe too as they clinched a commanding 2-0 to make it through to the knockouts in style.
Below are the Rangers players rated in their commanding against Lech Poznan.
Jon McLaughlin: 7.5
Was handed a start over Allan McGregor and made an immediate impact with an early save to deny Pedro Tiba. Was spot on again in the second half as he stopped Tymoteusz Puchacz’s powerful freekick en route to grabbing a well-deserved clean sheet.
Nathan Patterson: 6.5
The youngster got the nod over James Tavernier and was decent overall with his defensive duties, concentration and calmness down the wide areas. Lacked impact in the attacking half yet tried his best to leave an impression before making way for the skipper around the 65th-minute mark.
Connor Goldson: 8
Had a few nervy moments early into the game when the hosts came close to finding the net on a couple of occasions. But Itten’s opener turned things around completely, and the Englishman showed his sheer dominance from the heart of the backline. Played the ball out from the back to build up moves while his stunning header in the second half hit the woodwork before Ianis Hagi put it into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Leon Balogun: 7.5
Covered a lot of ground, was in the right place at the right time and showed his experience in destroying the opponents’ moves with timely tackles, blocks and clearances. Made way for Calvin Bassey late in the game.
Borna Barisic: 8
Was a constant threat from the left-hand flank as he kept on making overlapping runs and whipping in crosses inside the box. Was alert at the back as he made one crucial clearance in the early minutes when the Polish side almost punished the Bears’ mistake at the back. His freekick led to Hagi’s goal following Goldson’s header.
Bongani Zungu: 6.5
Earned a start in the centre of the pitch. Was solid barring one early occasion when he gave the ball away dangerously. Worked hard, combined well with Kamara, Arfield and Aribo before making way for Brandon Barker with 14 minutes remaining.
Glen Kamara: 7.5
Was excellent in terms of link-up play and possessional football. Never allowed the hosts to dominate the midfield game as he maintained almost 94% passing accuracy during the contest (stats via Fotmob).
Joe Aribo: 7.5
Aribo was handed a free role as he was almost everywhere across the pitch. Often operated as the Gers’ chief ball carrier as his footwork and dribbling traits helped in maintaining a persistent pressure.
Ianis Hagi: 8
Arguably his best performance this season following a high-profile summer transfer (a January loan was converted into a permanent deal). The Romanian came close to firing in on several occasions before grabbing one with a header into an empty net. The youngster had been desperate for a goal in recent weeks and should now be relieved to get into the scoresheet. Was taken off to be replaced by Ryan Kent late in the game.
Scott Arfield: 7.5
Operated centrally with his great range of passing, vision and the ability to switch it across the park. His orchestration often opened up space in the Lech Poznan set up allowing the likes of Itten and Hagi to have down the middle runs through the pockets.
Cedric Itten: 8.5
Started as the lone ‘number 9’ and showed his exquisite scoring attribute with a thumping strike capitalising on the home side’s defensive howler. Had a few more chances as well, and he impressed thoroughly with his will and work ethics. Made way for Alfredo Morelos with 10 minutes remaining.
Rangers Substitutes Vs Lech Poznan
James Tavernier: 7
The skipper, as always, had a lively presence since coming on in the second half.
Brandon Barker: 6
Some crucial minutes for the youngster who showed glimpses of his finesse and flair.
Ryan Kent: 6
Kent, too, was comfortable with the ball and played his part in seeing it out.
Alfredo Morelos: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
Calvin Bassey: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.