The Old Firm: Three Key Takeaways

Yesterdays loss was tough to take, in a game Rangers were denied a perfectly legal goal and gave away two goals with massive errors from both CBs, there were still positives.

Take away the refereeing howler and the individual mistakes and Rangers walk away with a victory. Rangers pressed excellently and looked organised defensively for the most part. The attacking play wasn’t as fluid as Michael Beale probably would’ve hoped but barring those errors the performance was a real indication that the gap has almost fully closed between the sides.

Aside from better refereeing standards there were some things that are important to discuss from the game, starting with;

  1. Nicolas Raskin is who the team should be built around.

Exactly what it says on the tin, he put in the exact type of performance you want when you play against them. He was dogged, determined and was always looking to get the ball forward.

Potentially not his best performance for Rangers so far but he showed enough yesterday to highlight he’ll be a crucial player going forward.

He finished the game with;

  • 6 Recoveries
  • 50% Tackles Won (1/2)
  • 56% Ground Duels Won (5/9)
  • 100% Aerial Duels Won (1/1)
  • 6 Passes Into The Final Third

Still only twenty-two, he has a massive future ahead of him at Ibrox.

2. The need for a new first-choice striker is more apparent than ever.

Alfredo Morelos put in a solid performance today and he was denied a goal due to a horrible refereeing decision but the chances are he won’t be at Ibrox next season. For all the good he done today when Rangers had a break in the 2nd half and Kent slipped the ball over to him, he has to get a shot away, either first time on his right foot or cutting it back to his left, he needs to get a shot away in those situations. He also had a terrific chance at the back post on a half-volley, which he controlled well but he has to be putting that back across the goal. These were huge moments in today’s game and the sad reality is, if they get those chances, Kyogo probably scores.

That’s the difference, Rangers need a threat similar to him, someone who can finish the half chances. It looked like Colak may be capable of that but he hasn’t provided it in the big games, in big moments, yet. It’s painful to type this but, Rangers really do need their own Kyogo.

3. Michael Beale got the game-plan correct.

The only criticism any fans may have of the manager today is the lack of urgency to make substitutions. Apart from that, he got the game plan spot on, they looked rattled in the first twenty-five minutes, many pundits said they were ‘slack’ but Rangers caused that.

Rangers pressed brilliantly yesterday and forced them to make a lot of mistakes with their passes and just couldn’t capitalise on those. There’s nothing Beale can do about a refereeing error or errors from each CB, he done all he could.

This performance showed that Rangers can more than compete with them and this is a side which only has two Beale signings in it, once he gets together a squad he’s happy with that all buy into his style, there will no longer be a gap and Rangers will be back.

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