An otherwise dull performance was lit up by two fantastic goals. Before the game opened up towards the end Rangers didn’t really create much or cause St. Johnstone constant problems.
The first came from a good ball out wide from Sam Lammers to Tavernier who whipped in a great cross which was met by a terrific header from Danilo. Unfortunately, the Brazilian striker clashed heads with Liam Gordon and had to be taken off. The club have reported it looks to be a fractured cheekbone.
You have to feel for Danilo who has waited for his chance, got a quick goal then had to be taken off. Hopefully his recovery is quick and he’s back as soon as possible.
For the second goal Nico Raskin done superbly in the middle of the pitch. His quick feet got him into space and he slipped the ball into Tom Lawrence. The Welshmen then played an incredible first time pass into his compatriot Rabbi Matondo who finished expertly.
There weren’t a lot of clear cut chances. Sima had one in the first half he probably should’ve squared. Then there was the ‘offside’. At worst, Abdallah Sima is level with Olufunwa. Another Kemar Roofe goal controversially disallowed, incredibly questionable officiating once again.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, there were a couple of positives to take away from the game, let’s discuss them.
Tom Lawrence’s 2nd Half
In the first half, he looked like a player that had been out for around 12 months. Stuck out on the left we weren’t seeing the best of him. Then he played more centrally in the second half and seemed to come alive.
He drove forward with confidence and his passing was excellent. Topped off with a brilliant assist for Rabbi Matondo. He let Raskin’s pass roll and played the winger into space first time with a perfectly weighted pass.
He could have a real impact on the team this season. He offers something different in that he’s willing to carry the ball and take a shot. He’s tenacious and has real quality on the ball.
Hopefully he kicks on from here and can stay fit.
Matondo Strikes Again
I’ve already spoken about how good the pass was from Lawrence. How good was the finish from Matondo though? The winger showed his finish against PSV wasn’t a flash in the pan with this one. He takes two good touches, at pace, to set himself up to open his body and curl it right into the corner.
These are the moments that he needs to provide on a regular basis. Rangers looked dangerous playing with pace on the wings and Matondo was a big part of that. When he’s playing with confidence he’s a constant threat for the opposition.
He needs to start doing that from the beginning of the game though. His most impressive performances, so far, have been from the bench. Can he kick on and find some consistency in the coming weeks?
It was another boring and turgid display but at least Rangers came away with 3 points. There’s still plenty of work to be done, particularly offensively. The players still aren’t clicking when trying to attack and it’s a big issue.
With Betis on Thursday it’s going to take a huge performance to take anything from the game. How do you think the manager can turn it around? What needs to be worked on in order to make this work?
How did you feel about todays performance and how does it make you feel going into Thursday?
ICYMI you can read our article on Bailey Rice here.