Match Ratings – Rangers 0-2 Celtic
It is important to reflect on the individual performances of our team, win, lose or draw. Up to now, I have been fortunate to only need to reminisce on happier days, but for the first time this season we must look back on a bad day for anyone Rangers minded. Taking the gut-wrenching fact that this was a home Old Firm game aside, this was by far the poorest we have performed this season, and what’s tough is we have to sit on this feeling for two weeks before another game. So, with that said, tensions will be high and I am very aware that many things that I say will likely cause disagreement. I can only urge you to remember that this is all about opinions, that your view may differ from mine, and that you are more than welcome to tell me what you would change about what I said, but not in the form of argument. I also hope you agree with my decision to not award a Man of the Match for this game. Frankly, no one deserves it.
Allan McGregor – 6
It’s hard to place blame on his shoulders for conceding the two goals, and he pulled off a few saves that kept the deficit to just two in the end. He, more than most of the players on the field, looked to be hurting just as much as we were in the stands.
James Tavernier – 5
A lot of the attacks from Celtic came down our right hand side. Of late, Tavernier has been more solid in tracking back to deal with these situations, but he reverted back to the bad old days here. Felt he was just crossing for the sake of crossing when he got forward.
Connor Goldson – 5
Caught out far too many times and struggled to deal with their striker. Makes the mistake for the first goal, and from there he couldn’t recover himself.
Nikola Katic – 6
Did his usual of getting up for high balls, and winning those aerial challenges, but even he looked way off his recent form. I don’t think he enjoyed dealing with the ball on the deck for example.
Jon Flanagan – 6
I’m struggling to remember many times when we were attacked dangerously down our left hand side. Forrest, for example, had a quiet game, and I think credit should be given to Flanagan for at least doing the job we would expect him to do, although his passing was once again leaving much to be desired.
Ryan Jack – 5
Quite a few times he gave the ball away cheaply. Tracked back, made himself a body for them to have to get past, but there was not the same level of dominance in the middle that he has been very capable of lately.
Steven Davis – 6
This looked like a player who has played many of these fixtures before and knows what the minimum requirement is. He recycled the ball well, and wanted to be busy all the time, but his set pieces were very poor.
Glen Kamara – 4
Offered nothing that was going to help us in the first half, was no wonder he was hooked at half time, it was simply not his day. It’s all fine and well being silky now and again, but there wasn’t a single pass that he played that looked threatening, nor was there a driving run or solid challenge.
Scott Arfield – 5
One thing I would love to see Scott Arfield change, when he is 20 yards out, stop trying to do the overly clever thing and back heel or nutmeg in a direction that no one is expecting, and just try a shot. Never did anything notable in an attacking sense, and there wasn’t much offered defensively either.
Jermain Defoe – 5
His inclusion was a shock, and to be honest it looked wrong about 15 minutes into the game. No pressing their back line, no shot in anger and not enough invention. Hindsight is a wonderful thing of course, but this was a bad decision to start him.
Joe Aribo – 5
What was a worse decision however, was playing Aribo in attack. He has sometimes deputised there in the dying stages of games, but he is clearly more suited to the middle of the park, and he took a bit too long to work out that we needed him to constantly press and win the ball back for us. He looked like the occasion overawed him, as even when he moved back into the middle in the second half, there was nothing like the levels we have seen from him up to now.
Sheyi Ojo – 4
Impact substitute he was not. This was a dreadful performance, after 5 minutes he looked like he wanted off, that he didn’t want to at least try to be the guy to turn the tie around. He is a divisive figure in the Rangers support, but those who worry that he is not what other think he is will have a strong case based on this game.
Alfredo Morelos – 5
The crowd truly believed that his inclusion was going to turn the game for us. I don’t think he used his energies in the right way though. He took on a shot almost straight away when he had a much better option to his left. And after another missed opportunity, you just knew that he was not going to lift himself to take on that task. Needed to be smarter with his attacking decisions.
Jordan Jones – 3
There was actually a bit of spark from Jones when he came on, he got past their right back a few times and gave us some hope that he could turn the tide. But that all counts for nothing when you put in a stupid challenge like that. The game is done, you gain nothing from going in high on a player like that, and to injure yourself in the process and be absent for at least a month makes his thinking (or lack thereof) both idiotic and, frankly, selfish.