Match Ratings – Rangers 2-0 Porto
Rangers once again produced a historic night at Ibrox after defeating Portuguese giants Porto. Sergio Conceição’s side played a whole lot better here than what they did in the Dragão, clearly showing a lot more respect to their opponents, making the first half a very nervy one for the Ibrox faithful. Yet, as a side we persevered, and 2 goals in the space of 5 minutes secured the victory which in turn puts us in an excellent position in the group. When you really observe the quality of play that Porto showed, and properly examine the size of club that they are, this is a magnificent result, and the players who played their part in it deserve a great deal of praise for their efforts.
Allan McGregor – 7
In an odd quirk, McGregor’s highlight was a moment which, in the end, didn’t matter. He pulled off a magnificent save in the first half but the play was called back for an offside, I wonder if Allan was annoyed that it was given as such? Having recently talked about how good his distribution is, he actually was quite poor in that aspect in this game (in comparison) but he did his job to keep a clean sheet.
James Tavernier – 7
The way things have gone for Tav of late, it’s actually not that bad a thing to say he got through the game without any major incident. He plays an important part in the opening goal, winning the ball and giving it to Jack, and he continued his marauding runs up and down the right flank. So, not spectacular, but whilst he takes time to rekindle his old self, playing like that in a game like this is not to be sniffed at.
Connor Goldson – 8
I really thought that Goldson stood out at the back for us. He looked really solid, both in the air and on the ground, and gave a really good front man in Soares very little joy. What’s interesting is how the responsibility of “leader at the back” can change between him and Helander, but this night was all about Connor in regard to that.
Filip Helander – 7
That’s not to say that Helander had a quiet night, I think he still showed some good pieces of defensive work. He maybe has a bit of a bad habit of making things a little more complicated for himself that what is necessary, or perhaps that is just the way he moves on the field that makes me think that, but he should be praised for his part in the clean sheet.
Borna Barisic – 7
It’s so great to finally have our 7/10 left back from an area formerly referred to as Yugoslavia. And we are seeing him put in some really good defensive shifts within that as well. Just look at what he was up against, and imagine a Borna Barisic at the start of this season going up against that, it doesn’t bare thinking about. He did exactly what was asked of him and, though not spectacular, it was exactly what we needed.
Ryan Jack – 8
There is a temptation to say that this was not as good a display from Ryan Jack as what has been witnessed lately. Now, it would be very tough to replicate that time after time, but make no mistake, this was still a really good performance from the midfielder. He has taken on the Kevin Thomson mantle of putting in a challenge that gets the crowd going, and his really smart cut back to Morelos sets up the crucial first goal. Players around him put in the stand out shifts, it’s absolutely fine for Jack to let others take that on now and again.
Steven Davis – 9
What a way to make your 250th appearance for Rangers. One thing that we rarely see from Davis is that goal scoring touch, but he can certainly pick his moments! Receiving the ball from Morelos, with the crowd still absolutely buzzing from the opener, Davis takes the chance with the 20 yard shot. The deflection is a huge help of course, but let’s not underestimate the thought process from Steven, “a second goal here kills this so let’s have a pop”. And he deserved the goal for the way he has continually put in a shift in that role.
Glen Kamara – 8
Best game he has played for us this season? I really think so, because it showed the best parts of his game. He helped us win the midfield battle, he drove on with the ball at his feet, he looked at home at this level. He also is in the right place at the right time to clear the ball off the line early on, man that would have made it such a different game otherwise, so I really believe Glen should hold his head very high.
Brandon Barker – 5
Sadly, the one down mark of the night is absolutely the performance of Brandon Barker. He REALLY looked out of his depth, which is strange considering he looked better in Portugal. I guess what we are finding out is speed only gets you so far, and right now he only has speed and to an extent work rate. But he did not handle the pressure that was put on him from the support (justifiable pressure I might add) and I think, for now, this level of game is not for him.
Alfredo Morelos – 9 – Man of the Match
I’m seriously at the point now with Morelos that, if we get a few trophies with him at the club, I’m getting a tattoo of him. My god he is a top quality forward, who wants us to be successful, and takes on that responsibility to be the guy to make us successful. He demands more from his teammates, you can see him telling the players that the crowd are demanding more and “we should give this crowd what they want”. As soon as Pepe went off, and Morelos was still winning that battle anyway, Buff was always going to get a good opportunity. And when it came, he took it, an excellent half volleyed finish with the left foot. What’s more, he plays the ball back to Davis for goal 2, and he looked the best played on the pitch and has absolutely looked the best player in our group. He is simply magnificent.
Ryan Kent – 8
This is why we paid the money. That extra bit of quality that forces a high calibre of opposition really think about what they need to do. He was quick, he was tricky, he did exactly what we all knew he would do. He is so important in these kind of games, and he makes even more of a difference when he cuts inside, so let’s see more of that and let the magic happen!
Scott Arfield – 7
His introduction makes such a difference to how we attack. Rather than speed, we needed intelligence and, say what you will about Arfield’s reduced level of performance so far this season, he remains a very smart player. He nullifies the threat of Alex Telles, a fine left back, and his natural instinct is to cut inside more which was clearly a better route for our attacking play. He may not have done much, but his presence really changed things in our favour.
Joe Aribo – 7
It might seem quite harsh to say, but I was relieved that we did not see him in the starting line up. He is a very good player but his languid style is not what you need in a game of this magnitude. However, by the time he came on, he was an ideal out ball, because he is very capable of taking a high ball down and keeping a hold of it. This was his task, and he performed it.
Jermain Defoe – 6
Not much to really do, but he was on the park for a famous night for our magnificent club, so I would give a lot to be in his position for this game!