Rangers began their title hunt at Pittodrie back in August with a 1-0 win against Aberdeen. The season opener was a massive boost for Steven Gerrard in the aftermath of a disappointing 2019-20 campaign and the outcome this afternoon proved to be even more significant as the Gers overcame yet another hurdle en route to conquering the coveted crown after a decade of darkness.
Below are the Rangers players rated in their edgy 2-1 win against Aberdeen.
Allan McGregor: 6.5
The ten-man Dons failed to test the veteran custodian during the first half. Was spot on with a majestic save to deny Jonny Hayes just before the hour mark but conceded around 67th-minute when an exquisite counter-attack was converted by substitute Matty Kennedy which brought the hosts’ back in contention out of nowhere.
James Tavernier: 6
The skipper missed a spot-kick early on but compensated minutes later by playing a key role in Rangers’ opener. Spent his time further forward to be a part of the persistent attacking threats, however, failed to make the recovery and block Kennedy’s run who maintained his composure to make it 2-1 against the run.
Connor Goldson: 6.5
Was having a comfortable afternoon until Kennedy’s goal. Goldson could not stop Hayes from making the run who set it up for Kennedy with sheer perfection.
Leon Balogun: 7
Balogun, too, did his job well whenever required until the Aberdeen goal. It was a collective failure as the Gers got punished for being over-enthusiastic high up the pitch and lethargic while stopping the rare counter-attacking moves. Made some no-nonsense clearances in the closing minutes to ensure all three points.
Borna Barisic: 6.5
The Croatian, too, posed persistent attacking threats and left the space open down the left-hand flank allowing Sam Cosgrove to play a key role in the build-ups. Focused more on his defensive duties during the final quarter.
Steven Davis: 7
Dominated possession in the centre of the pitch, kept moving the ball across the pitch and creating chances for his teammates. Looked a bit complacent though after the break as he could have done a lot more in terms of breaking down the Dons’ moves in the middle of the park.
Glen Kamara: 6.5
Was industrious with his link-up play, mobility and passing game. Could have sealed the deal with minutes remaining but was denied spectacularly by Lewis. He should have shown more urgency in closing down Cosgrove who had a free run before finding Hayes.
Joe Aribo: 7.5
Enjoyed his game with the ball on his feet as the Gers had the possessional supremacy against the ten-man hosts. Kept on playing smart one-twos to open up space in Aberdeen defence and did his part in Morelos’ second which turned out to be the decisive one after the final whistle.
Ianis Hagi: 7
Started in place of injured Kemar Roofe and had a lively start as he came close to score in the early minutes with a powerful effort from a distance. Ran out of ideas in the final phase and was taken off to be replaced by Zungu who added more depth and balance in midfield.
Ryan Kent: 8.5
Excellent throughout as he not only assisted both the goals but also denied by Lewis ten minutes into the second half. Had an effort cleared off the line midway through the first half.
Alfredo Morelos: 9
Back to his best as a foul on him brought the Dons down to ten men and earned the Glasgow giants a spot-kick early on. The opportunity was missed by Tavernier, but the Colombian was unstoppable as he showed his sheer expertise to find the net on two occasions with supreme finishes.
Rangers Subs vs Aberdeen
Bongani Zungu: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.