Rangers were denied a midweek win when St. Johnstone star Liam Craig equalized from the spot in the closing moments of a dead rubber league encounter. But the fixture this evening had huge significance when these two sides locked horns at Ibrox in the Scottish Cup quarterfinal. Skipper James Tavernier’s header late in the extra time could have been the winner, but the Saints had other ideas and netted a dramatic equalizer to stretch it through to the tie-breaker.
The visitors exhibited their determination and the heroics of Zander Clark stunned the Scottish champions.
Below are the Rangers players rated in their disastrous 1 (2)-1 (4) defeat against St. Johnstone.
Allan McGregor: 7
Did well to save Scott Tanser’s volley early into the game. Denied Michael O’Halloran at the near post with minutes remaining from the full-time whistle. But the custodian was majestic in the second half of the extra time and stopped O’Halloran one-on-one who almost stunned the Light Blues against the run. Was beaten though in the closing seconds when the opponent custodian Clark’s dramatic header (the last touch came off Christopher Kane) earned Callum Davidson’s men a well-deserved equalizer.
James Tavernier: 6.5
Had a slow start but settled down gradually and kept on whipping in crosses from the right-hand flank. Headed home in the closing minutes which, however, was cancelled out by St. Johnstone moments before the final whistle prior to the tiebreaker. His poorly taken spot-kick got denied by outstanding Clark.
Connor Goldson: 6.5
Did not allow the Saints to cause enough menace in terms of creating chances from in and around the box. Played it out from the back to instigate attacking movements. Struggled to deal with the long balls since Kane’s arrival.
Filip Helander: 7
Did well to partner the Englishman with his smart positioning, timely blocks, clearances and interceptions. Dominated aerially, also kept composure with the ball at his feet. Was forced to leave the pitch with an injury late in the extra time. Jack Simpson came on and replaced him in the heart of the backline.
Borna Barisic: 6
Made some marauding runs from the left-hand side of the pitch and created a few chances with his crossing and set-piece traits. Not his best outing though in Rangers colours. Converted from the spot though.
Steven Davis: 6.5
Looked a bit worn-out, lacked the pace at times but his experience and expertise helped him attune to the demands and dictate the tempo. Made way for Jermain Defoe before the tie-breaker.
Glen Kamara: 6
Was far from his best as the midfield ace failed to create anything spectacular from the middle of the park. His runs were predictable and the final balls were not threatening enough. Got denied by Zander Clark in St. Johnstone goal early into the game.
Joe Aribo: 6.5
Should have done better with his finishing. Linked up well at times to create space high up the pitch but was well contained by the visitors who were spot on with their strategy. But the Nigerian made his impact with a perfect cross that got converted by Tavernier.
Ianis Hagi: 5
Had a few half-chances while operating from the wide. Scored the only goal of the game during their February meeting, but the Romanian failed to make any notable contribution this evening before making way for Scott Wright midway through the second half.
Ryan Kent: 7
Improved his display with time and continued to trouble the Saints defence with his pace, power and directness from the left-hand flank.
Alfredo Morelos: 6.5
Was denied by the woodwork once. Missed a few chances and got stopped by Clark on a few occasions. Steven Gerrard opted to take him off to introduce Kemar Roofe late in the second half.
Rangers Substitutes Vs St. Johnstone
Scott Wright: 6
Made a quick impact with his speed and swift footwork. Clark, like each time, was alert between the sticks to frustrate the former Aberdeen man.
Kemar Roofe: 4
Failed to offer anything spectacular since coming on, also failed to convert the penalty to ruin Rangers’ night.
Jack Simpson: 5
Should have done better to defend ‘that’ corner moments before the final whistle.
Jermain Defoe: 6
Converted the spot-kick.
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