Having taken a two goal lead in the first half hour of the game, our team seemed to have thoughts placed elsewhere as Aberdeen pulled the game back to all square, by which point Rangers simply could not regain control. A really poor hour of football from the team, made all the more frustrating by the fact we looked so good early on. It can only be hoped that lessons from this game will be learned in time for a monumental match at Hampden.
Allan McGregor – 6
His is not the issue regarding the first goal, but he is completely out of the picture when the shot got away which is annoying. He doesn’t command his box enough in regard to the second goal either, another example of him being very much against leaving his goal line. But he did have to be big on one or two occasions to prevent things being even worse for us.
James Tavernier – 6
Got forward well in the first half and his low cross into Arfield for the first goal was excellent. Needs to close down the Aberdeen attacker for their goal rather than standing on the line, and is absent for the equalising goal. He really needs to let others have a go at set pieces when he continually takes them and they continually do not work, albeit he was unlucky not to score a free kick late on.
Connor Goldson – 4
Woeful performance. He got away with a lot of things in the first half due to the fact Cosgrove kept fouling him, but his “challenge” in the build up to their first goal was frankly pathetic. He doesn’t do anywhere near enough with their second goal, and far too often put us in unnecessary danger with slack passes or switching off.
Filip Helander – 4
Needs to be stronger dealing with Wilson in the build up to their first goal, and like Goldson he is so weak with their second goal. He is painfully slow and that can be exposed by opponents if they want to, and he just did not perform anywhere near the standard that we require from a centre back.
Jon Flanagan – 4
Comes in to replace Borna Barisic, rested for the cup final having dealt with a knock, and he was supporting forward runs well in our good spell of the game. But we saw a lot of occasions that remind us of why many do not see him as a viable first team option. Gets his footing all wrong whilst failing to deal with the first goal, makes a completely unnecessary intervention which ultimately costs us the second goal, and very nearly sets up a third Aberdeen goal with a frankly stupid attempt at a clearance. He looked like a competition winner to be out there in a Rangers shirt.
Scott Arfield – 7 – Man of the Match
Buzzing around all over the place, offering attacking options, and finishes off brilliantly for the first goal which he fully deserved. Was surprised to see him come off when he did, it’s the best he has been for us for a good while, and certainly proves his worth as a central midfielder. A bright spark in an otherwise poor evening.
Steven Davis – 6
Looked really cool in the early stages of the game, good cross field passes, controlling the game when we were in control. He failed to regain any of that control once we began our bad phase of the match, and I’m sure the knock he took for a ridiculous challenge didn’t help matters for him either.
Ryan Jack – 6
Looked slack and a bit more quiet than of late, but wins the ball and plays it to Kent and keeps on running, is on the end of the second goal as a result after tapping in from close range. Even with the goal however, this was not a strong display from the midfielder, and whether it was down to being back on his old stomping ground, coming back into the side after a rest or simply playing on the left of the three rather than the right, he was lacking a lot of his usual strong attributes.
Joe Aribo – 7
Looked really excellent when it came to closing down and creating opportunities, really great lay off to Tav in the build up to the first goal. Also looking a lot quicker, but like the rest of the side he slumped in the second half and I would question why he doesn’t close down Considine when he had all the space he could want to equalise.
Alfredo Morelos – 6
Wasn’t afraid to take a shot on, had a few decent efforts at goal, but he is now held to a standard where by we expect him to score in these kind of games and he did not do that. Sadly, he seemed to let the frustration get the better of him and his effectiveness weaned as the game went on.
Ryan Kent – 6
Was showing up in loads of different areas of the park and wanting to be at the centre of what we were doing well. Linked up very well with Morelos in the move that ultimately led to our second goal. Could have done a lot more in regard to dealing with Ferguson in the move that saw the game level, and seemed more jittery than what we would expect.
Sheyi Ojo – 5
Came in with the specific task of making an impact on the game and he simply did not do that, and when you have other players on the bench who are on form or more experienced, the fact that the management team continue to persist with Ojo can, to many, seem rather baffling.
Nikola Katic – 5
An extremely odd substitution to come on so late, clearly with the idea of winning a header from a set piece, which is simply getting into desperation territory. To be fair, we were desperate but this particular throw of the dice did not pay off.