It was a game of high stakes for Rangers who had to overcome at least a one-goal deficit from their 2-1 first-leg defeat against Malmo. The Ibrox crowd created the atmosphere Steven Gerrard was seeking for at the start, and the players woke up from their weekend setback against Dundee United. Alfredo Morelos drew the first blood early into the game, but what happened next left the home crowd shell-shocked.
Despite going down to ten men, Malmo staged an incredible comeback in the second half and claimed an identical 2-1 victory to shatter the Gers’ Champions League dreams.
Below are the Rangers players rated in their shocking 2-1 defeat against Malmo.
Allan McGregor: 5
Made a mistake in the first half by handling the ball outside the box. The resulting free-kick did not trouble the custodian, but he could have done little to stop Antonio Colak’s brace early into the second half.
James Tavernier: 5
The visitors looked sharp while forming counter-attacking threats and the skipper, though effective with his overlapping runs, struggled defensively once again. His lack of concentration at the back is proving costly time and again.
Connor Goldson: 5.5
Not the fastest of centre-backs in this part of the world and the swift moves from the opponents kept him on his toes every time. Could not make much of a difference at the other end of the pitch despite frequent corners.
Leon Balogun: 4
Gerrard’s decision of dropping Filip Helander backfired badly. The veteran Nigerian was lined up for his ability to initiate the press faster, but his defensive lapses cost the Light Blues severely even after having the numerical supremacy at Ibrox.
Borna Barisic: 5
Nothing special from the left fullback who spent his time high up the pitch but lacked the creative spark with his crosses, cut insides and final balls.
Steven Davis: 6
Operated from the deep and tried his level best to stretch the Malmo defence by switching the game down the wide. Could have tried to penetrate more with down the middle runs, one-twos and through balls.
Scott Arfield: 5
No impact once again except for passing sideways. Slowed down the tempo and was eventually taken off to be replaced by Ianis Hagi midway through the second half.
Joe Aribo: 7
Worked tirelessly to be innovative with his movements, link-up play and deliveries. Covered a lot of ground and carried the ball out from the deep to operate in the advanced areas.
Scott Wright: 5.5
Had a bright first half but was largely disappointing after conceding twice. Had no real impact down the wide areas and was taken off to be replaced by Fashion Sakala just over the hour mark.
Ryan Kent: 5.5
His brilliant cross was headed home by Morelos to earn an early lead. Operated from the left, right and middle in search of comeback goals, but his wild attempts from the distance were the reflection of an utterly frustrating night.
Alfredo Morelos: 6.5
Found the net to put Rangers in the driver’s seat. But he had no answer to Colak’s double as the Colombian could not convert the half-chances to turn things around.
Rangers Subs Vs Malmo
Fashion Sakala: 5.5
Had some decent runs and attempts, forced the keeper to make one spectacular save in the closing minutes, however, his inclusion did not work out either during the final half an hour of the contest.
Ianis Hagi: 6
Looked sharp with his movements since coming on to replace Arfield.