Steven Gerrard wanted a reaction from his Rangers players after a tepid 0-0 draw against St Johnstone on Saturday. That result saw his side move eight points behind Celtic in the title race and has given them a mountain to climb if they are to get back into any kind of race for the league title. However, it’s fair to say Gerrard got the reaction he was looking for from his players as they smashed Kilmarnock 5-0. A dominant Rangers performance saw Alfredo Morelos hit four goals and Andy Halliday came off the bench to find the net. Rangers will now head to Pittodrie for the third time this season for a quarter-final tie against Aberdeen.
As usual, there was plenty to get everyone talking from the match at Ibrox and that was just in Steve Clarke‘s post-match rant. I reckon the on-field stuff should take centre-stage on this occasion.
Alfredo Morelos was magnificent
He’s now on 27 goals for the season after this performance, and he’s yet to take a penalty kick. Yet again, the Colombian proved how vital he is to this side, and from the first few minutes, you could see he was in the mood. His goals had plenty of variation to them: from the first which was a tap-in to the second which was a wonderful header from a great Daniel Candeias cross to the last two: his third was a typical Morelos goal, head down and smash it towards the front-post gap and the fourth where he capitalised on hesitant defending firing in low past MacDonald.
It was one of those performances that highlight how much he’s improved since this time last year, especially in regards to his finishing. Darren Lewis of the Mirror was on TalkSport praising him, saying he could play for one of the top clubs in the EPL. If he keeps this up, that will be sooner rather than later, but it is certainly performances like this that will catch the eye of any potential suitors.
Glen Kamara was impressive; he set the tempo
The midfield three of Jack, Arfield and Kamara were excellent. However, it was Kamara who stood out the most in that area for me. Against teams like Kilmarnock who will sit deep, it’s pivotal your deepest midfielder becomes the playmaker. Kamara was comfortable doing that, kept the ball moving and there was much less, sideways passing in the midfield area.
Of course, his job was made easier by Arfield’s willingness to break the lines and having Morelos to hit at every opportunity. Furthermore, the way he physically stood up to Mulumbu was pleasing, for a slight-built guy, he’s deceptively strong. Top 80-minute showing from the Finn.
Gerrard vs Clarke: Clarke’s strange selection cost him dearly
Whilst I would usually comment on Steven Gerrard’s tactics, I found Steve Clarke’s tactics and team selection utterly bizarre. Starting with a diamond in midfield was, with the benefit of hindsight, a colossal failure. Rangers are strongest down the flanks, so playing without Jones to occupy Tavernier was weird, it was left to Alan Power to play on the right of a diamond. It failed. It possibly didn’t help that he was banking on Mulumbu getting the better of Kamara, which didn’t happen. But it was bewildering that he completely moved away from the systems that have worked against Rangers twice this season.
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