Match Ratings – Livingston 0-1 Rangers

folder_openMatch Ratings

This was a rough and tumble affair at Almondvale (I refuse to give their stadium it’s sponsored name as it changes on a weekly basis) as Rangers advanced to the semi finals of the League Cup in less than pretty circumstances. From head gashes to studs up challenges, Rangers were tested in a way that we should be used to by now from a side who set up the way Livingston do, but an early deflected strike was enough. But a tough watch all the same.

Allan McGregor – 7
Another clean sheet and he did make an important contribution in the second half so it’s difficult to be critical of McGregor. Even more so when you consider he attended the funeral of his ex teammate Fernando Ricksen that day. It was a surprise to see him start over Foderingham anyway, seemed to make sense that Wes could play this competition, but even more so in those circumstances.

James Tavernier – 6
Yet again, too many times where you look at him and say that he struggled in the defensive role. But there wasn’t much offered offensively either, and you would be forgiven for asking what it was he did as captain, in a circumstance that required real leadership.

Connor Goldson – 6
Think he put himself about fairly well, not afraid to get stuck in, and had a rough knock on a couple of occasions. But strangely his game felt quite…elusive once again, and it’s been quite a few games now since we last saw a game from him where you could justify the phrase “he is our best defender.”

Filip Helander – 5
It was bound to happen, but we saw the first proper stinker from our Swedish centre back. He really struggled against their big striker, could well have been sent off in the first half, and played some wayward passes and made odd decisions in the second half that suggested he was a man who was struggling. I wonder whether we may see a change for the weekend?

Borna Barisic – 6
First of all, I’m so chuffed that he has a song that fans are happy to sing about him, and I think he is too, I saw a wee smile from him when he was taking a shy and the fans were cheering his name. We didn’t see much from him offensively, had we done so he may well have a higher mark, but I thought he looked OK defensively, and came through the the plastic pitch unscathed.

Ryan Jack – 6
The game just passed him by to be completely honest, very little impact, but that was more the way the game flowed as opposed to what he did or didn’t do specifically, so I won’t criticise him.

Glen Kamara – 6
He gets the goal early on, granted the deflection is key to the ball finding the net, but good attacking intent early on. After that, there wasn’t anything to speak about as an attacking threat and, other than a couple of tackles, not much else to speak of in general. I’m growing more confused by the fact he hasn’t been able to mirror his international form at club level.

Joe Aribo – 6
Never had a chance to do much in this game after being subbed off just after 20 minutes, having taken a nasty cut to the head having been elbowed by the Livingston defender. Albeit this was an unintended consequence of Lamie’s challenge, it was dangerous and the fact that not even a foul was given felt hugely surprising. It’s a shame we will likely not see Aribo for the next few weeks, but maybe the rest will do him the world of good.

Scott Arfield – 6
When Arf came on at St Johnstone, he made a real impact on the game. So we maybe thought that he would be able to do the same in this game. Sadly, he couldn’t, and once again we look back on a Scott Arfield game and struggle to look at anything he did that made a difference. One shot aside, he had no attacking joy.

Alfredo Morelos – 6
This might seem harsh, but it’s not his fault due to lack of service. And never was there a more appropriate description of how bad a game it was to watch when you consider how little touches of the ball Morelos actually got. I did like seeing him looking like the happiest kid in the sweet shop in the warm up though!

Sheyi Ojo – 6
There is a temptation to just call Ojo’s game clueless and without clarity nor composure. And there are points that you can look at and absolutely say that, and say it fairly. However, we shouldn’t forget that on a few occasions when we were under the cosh, he would go on a dribble that would leave the ball much further up the park. I will give him credit for helping stop the flow of their game, but we do need him to show more than just fleeting bits of brilliance.

Steven Davis – 7 – Man of the Match
Came on much sooner than he would have expected, if at all, but in a way his presence actually proved very important. He made another goal line clearance, and showed a proper calmness that was required at times. A proper leader. And fitting of being described as our best player in this game.

Andy King – 7
This is another player who would merit being called a game changer. He comes on at a time when the game was getting very nervy for us, but he, like Davis, offers a calmness in the middle and makes good, sound decisions.

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