It was never going to be easy for Rangers, particularly at McDiarmid Park against St. Johnstone. Callum Davidson had a plan as always similar to previous meetings, and the Gers paid the price when Michael O’Halloran punished his former employers early into the second half.
The Bears, however, have been a resurgent force of late recovering from an early blip. They depicted their supremacy soon after conceding and scripted an incredible comeback to make it 2-1, thanks to Kemar Roofe’s spot-kick and James Tavernier’s stunner.
Below are the Rangers players rated in their edgy win against St. Johnstone.
Jon McLaughlin: 6
Steven Gerrard opted for McLaughlin between the sticks ahead of Allan McGregor’s experience and Robby McCrorie’s Old Firm expertise. Received an early booking for fouling O’Halloran outside the box but was mostly untested until being beaten by the Saints forward.
James Tavernier: 8.5
Has often been criticised for his lethargic defending, but the skipper proved his attacking mastery this afternoon when it mattered the most. His late long-ranger staged the comeback and secured all three points from this tricky away fixture.
Leon Balogun: 7
Featured in deep defence due to the absence of ever-present Connor Goldson who has been in self-isolation. The Nigerian did well overall by winning duels and playing it out from the back with a quick passing game.
Filip Helander: 5.5
Was completely outdone by O’Halloran during St. Johnstone’s goal. Won duels, also made some no-nonsense clearances, but his lack of pace put the Light Blues under pressure while dealing with swift counter-attacking threats. Could not continue due to an injury late in the game and was forced to make way for Jack Simpson in the heart of the backline.
Calvin Bassey: 6.5
Was energetic down the left with overlapping runs, crosses and cut insides to threaten the opponents. Made a number of recoveries by covering the pitch behind, however, could have done better to block O’Halloran’s attempt minutes after the break.
Steven Davis: 7
Was not effective enough in terms of pressing and physical presence. Yet he dominated the show from the base of the Gers’ midfield and kept on overturning possession with his timely movements.
Joe Aribo: 7.5
Worked his socks off as always with dribbling attempts, down the middle runs and link-up play. Kept on drawing fouls and creating space by dragging the Saints players. Should have offered his presence more often in the attacking third.
Glen Kamara: 8
Another great display from the Finnish international who controlled the momentum with his smart runs, one-twos and ball-carrying ability. Covered a lot of ground to have more possession and dominance in the centre of the pitch.
Kemar Roofe: 8
Forced Zander Clark to make a smart save at the backend of the first half. Kept on causing menace across the frontline and maintained his composure while finding the net minutes after O’Halloran’s strike from the penalty.
Ryan Kent: 7.5
Had an effort off target but his incredible footwork earned Rangers the spot-kick which helped them script the comeback under difficult circumstances. Made way for John Lundstram late in the contest.
Alfredo Morelos: 7
Was not at his best as he failed to convert a few half-chances. But he left his mark with his movement inside the box and aerial superiority from crosses and set-pieces. Was replaced by Fashion Sakala moments before Tavernier’s winner from outside the box.
Rangers Substitutes Vs St. Johnstone
Jack Simpson: 6.5
Kept things under control and defended the narrow lead in the closing minutes.
Fashion Sakala: 6
A good few minutes for the forward as he is still attuning to the demands of the Scottish game.
John Lundstram: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
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