Austin Benson rates our players from Sunday’s match at Tannadice.
Fresh off the back of a stunning 4-2 victory away to Borussia Dortmund, Rangers would return to Premiership action against an ambitious Dundee United side. Rangers lost 1-0 at Tannadice in the reverse of this fixture.
Allan McGregor – 5.9 (6)
Allan McGregor didn’t have too much to do in the initial stages, despite Dundee United piling pressure on Rangers from the off. However, once called into question, he yet again performed poorly. Defender Ross Graham would head past a hapless McGregor, who could only watch as the ball nestled in his net. Undoubtedly, McGregor will be frustrated with the poor defending leading to the goal, however he’ll be kicking himself for conceding like that. Despite this, McGregor would make an athletic save in the 50th minute, diving across to stop Marc McNulty from sneaking a tap-in goal.
James Tavernier – 7.0 (7)
James Tavernier began the match as he tends to, pressing early and forcing mistakes from his opposing full-back. As the game went on, his crossing capabilities would really be put to the test, with Rangers having earned 10 corners throughout. Unfortunately, Tavernier’s delivery was poor more often than not, with multiple crosses flying over everyone. Regardless of that, he would link-up positively with Joe Aribo mainly in the second half, with them both interchanging passes with ease down the wings. However, James’ chemistry with Amad Diallo left much to be desired, although that is not entirely his fault.
Connor Goldson – 6.5 (6)
Connor Goldson would begin the game decently enough, though today he looked more reserved in terms of moving up the park, with his passes mainly being directed to either side of him. He was lucky not to have been at fault for a possible United second, as he failed to slide in time to prevent Marc McNulty’s shot on McGregor, which was thankfully saved.
Filip Helander – 5.5 (5)
Filip Helander was playing it safe to begin with, preferring to pass from side to side, rather than progressing forward. His hold-up play in the early stages was positive, as he brought calm to Rangers’ defence against Dundee United’s initial presses. In the 29th minute, Filip would lose out to Ross Graham in the air for United’s first goal, which was a bewildering watch. Helander would be brought off late into the second half for Amad Diallo, following a slight error in possession which nearly saw him lose the ball and United have a possible 1-on-1 opportunity.
Calvin Bassey – 8.1 (8)
Calvin Bassey looked progressive from start to finish, with his movement off the ball bringing him into opportunistic positions, and his chemistry with Ryan Kent on the left flank is a particular highlight of today’s game. Bassey would link-up with Kent to produce Rangers’ equaliser, as the full-back would eventually cut it across for Joe Aribo to smash home past Siegrist.
Ryan Jack – 7.6 (8)
Ryan Jack once again brought composure to Van Bronckhorst’s midfield, with an overall passing accuracy of 88%. For me, he really dictated the tempo from deep, often turning defensive plays into attacking opportunities. Ryan’s defensive prowess would also be tested throughout the match, with him cleaning for our centre-halfs at times.
John Lundstram – 7.4 (7)
John Lundstram is really starting to compliment Ryan Jack well, and their partnership yet again saw no mistakes. Lundstram would often recycle the ball in midfield, recovering possession and sending everyone forward. Overall, a positive display.
Scott Arfield 6.0 (6)
Scott Arfield looked anonymous throughout the match, with him completing the least passes out of our starting midfield. Initially on the right flank, Scott would drift more into his preferred central position as the match progressed, yet he still wasn’t receiving the ball as much as he would’ve liked. He performed a vital clearance for us following a Charlie Mulgrew free kick, which would remind everyone he was still on the pitch. Arfield was substituted for Fashion Sakala early into the second half, as energy was in demand for Rangers if they were to grab an equaliser.
Joe Aribo – 8.5 (8)
Joe Aribo was the bright spark in what was a sub-par Rangers performance today, grabbing the equaliser after lashing Calvin Bassey’s low cross into the roof of Siegrist’s net. His hold-up play was fantastic, and along with silky skills to get by the United defenders, he was causing problems throughout. I really enjoyed his interchangeable passing with Kent and Bassey, as he moved seamlessly along either wing, though his goal would come from the left flank. Joe Aribo is my man of the match.
Ryan Kent – 8.4 (8)
Ryan Kent looked creative down the left flank, as alongside Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo they managed to be quite a troublesome trio for the United defenders. Kent would complete the most dribbles in the match, with him beating his ability to spot an effective through ball putting Bassey through to set up Aribo for our equaliser. Hopefully, we will see more of this Bassey-Aribo-Kent pairing in the coming games.
Alfredo Morelos – 7.1 (7)
Alfredo Morelos was unlucky in this game, as his hold-up play in the box was effective, and he would surprisingly miss an excellent opportunity following Calvin Bassey’s low cross, as his effort was saved by Siegrist. His movement off the ball was positive, as he drifted across the wings and would cut inside when necessary. At one moment, he would earn a booking for engaging with Charlie Mulgrew, who had been provoking him physically.
Fashion Sakala – 6.5 (6)
Fashion Sakala was brought on for Scott Arfield, and added a fresh breath of life to our attack, bringing his energy and enthusiasm to beat a man and cut inside was a smart decision from Van Bronckhorst. I often wonder why Sakala does not start games, as I feel if he had been playing over Arfield from the beginning, our result may have been different. He would be at the centre of a penalty shout, as his shirt was pulled whilst standing in front of an empty Dundee United net with the ball falling to his foot. Sadly, he could not connect with it fully, and no penalty was awarded. I didn’t know you can now pull players’ shirts in the box legally. Interesting.
Amad Diallo – 5.9 (6)
Amad Diallo came on for Filip Helander, which was a clear sign of intent from Giovanni Van Bronckhorst that we were after more. Not long after being brought on, he would bear through on goal from the right flank and miss a golden opportunity, hitting the post. Many Rangers fans are frustrated with Diallo after shrugging off a through ball from Tavernier, which he was perceived as being offside; yet he was actually onside. While this is annoying, I don’t feel that so much blame needs to be put on Diallo, however, this was a poor showing from him.