“Pain in the neck” – Rangers player ratings v Hearts

“Pain in the neck” – Rangers player ratings v Hearts

Rangers are top of the league for the first time in seven years. It’s monumental, and it was achieved the hard way at Tynecastle in an epic encounter which saw Rangers roll their sleeves up.

Ibrox Noise takes you through our ratings for another titanic result against the odds.

Allan McGregor:

How is he managing to get better? An absolutely unreal save again early on broke Hearts’ hearts, and he produced a glut of good stops after that as well. Good reading of the play and leadership. We feel we can probably call this goalkeeper world class now. 10

James Tavernier:

While some of his defending was a tad suspect, his attacking play was absolutely mesmerising. His delivery in places was stunning, he nearly managed a world class free kick, and he dribbled nonchalantly through Hearts several times. Really top showing overall from Tav. 9

Gareth McAuley:

Extremely unfortunate own goal, but quietly led defence otherwise and while some of his range passing missed its mark, defence looked stable around him. 8

Connor Goldson:

Patchy start with a few errors of judgement and occasionally being exposed, but grew into things and by deep into the second half was making telling clearances, interceptions and tackles and of course the messiest goal you’ve ever seen! An overall good showing. 8

Andy Halliday:

Some errors and loss of concentration, but equally worked like a dog at closing down while helping in attack as much as he could. He’s not a left back and it shows at times, but you can’t fault his effort and he puts everything in for his team. 7

Lassana Coulibaly:

A pretty mixed performance from Lassana – did manage to win a few one to ones, and was seen working harder than lately, but also guilty of poor and cheap losses of the ball while his positioning was a bit all over the place. 6

Scott Arfield:

Was putting in a great mountain of work and digging in, and then he had a crazy rush of blood to the head and got himself rightly sent off. Let himself and his club down, sadly. We love Scotty but this was a big blot on his resume. 5

Ovie Ejaria:

A quiet match again from Ovie – the action mostly passed him by and he didn’t influence much in this one at all. 5

Eros Grezda:

Wasn’t deployed as much down the left as he could have been, but what there was from the Albanian was continuing his Motherwell form. He’s a player reborn – and the confidence is showing. Worked well to track back as well as cause danger for Hearts, but we do feel he was a little underused by his team mates. 7

Daniel Candeias:

A much more dangerous outing from Candeias than his ill-fated showing against Villarreal – he might not always have had the right final ball but he was a threat down the right and used his pace well – he caused problems. 7

Alfredo Morelos:

He’s such a pain in the neck to opponents (and occasionally his own team) but you can’t fault the trouble he causes and the work he puts in. Sure, his composure on these big occasions is absolutely horrific at times (three easy chances to bury it and he sclaffed the lot) but somehow he gets the job done. His goal was offside and a deflection, but who cares, it won us the match and put us top of the league. It’s almost amusing watching his value rise and fall during individual matches. A real character. 8


Ryan Jack:

Actually a subdued cameo from Jack – didn’t really get involved as much as he probably could have. 5

Ross McCrorie:

A very good brief shift from the forgotten McCrorie who’s been a fringe player in recent times – fine game management late on to help his team. 6

Kyle Lafferty:

Did nothing beyond late game management which, frankly, was fine. 5

Steven Gerrard:

The usual unpredictable selection (although we got three of the changes correct) and the usual disbelief from most quarters at seeing Coulibaly start, but the dropping of Middleton was needed and he ultimately got the defence spot on too. He’s gone to Tynecastle and put us top of the league, and his subs mostly worked too. We can’t really fault how this one went, and again, he’ll be delighted with the response to the red card. 9

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  1. Can't argue with much there.
    Coulibaly needs dropped and McCrorie or Rossiter need a chance when we're rotating the midfield.
    Disappointed to see Grezda go off but was good to see him getting stuck in and improving with each game.
    I always say we don't get enough goals from corners so it was nice to get one today. Tavs delivery is either terrible or fantastic, there is no happy medium, thankfully today he was on form.

  2. Well done Rangers. Job done once again in difficult circumstances. I personally thought Arfield was hard done by and think a yellow should've been sufficient. If you watch the incident closely you'll see the goalkeeper fumbled the ball slightly and that's what tempted Arfield to go for it.
    Well done to Morelos for keeping his head under intense provocation too. Leveins post match comments where he launched a disgusting personal attack on Morelos were a disgrace and shameful. If he doesn't get charged for those comments and on the officials then questions must be asked.

  3. Interesting once again that there are still 4 or 5 players not pulling performances out when required. We know that players like Arfield, Coulibally, Ojaria, Jack etc. are more than capable of raising their level of performance. Can we just imagine that we can pull everyone's performance level up a bit consistently, add a couple of quality players in January, and stop putting ourselves in trouble with red cards (though admittedly that is often beyond our control). We might, just might, be able to stay top of this table.

    1 Rangers 14 25 30
    2 Celtic 13 24 29
    3 Kilmarnock 15 10 28
    4 Heart of Midlothian 15 3 26

    WATP LETS GO 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧👏👏👏

  5. Another ballsy performance from the boys. determined, worked hard and stuck together when they went down to 10 men. be interesting to see who comes in for Arfield. would like to see a midfield 3 of Rossiter, Jack and Ejaria.

  6. Great all-round performance. The one thing that needs work is their passing. The amount of times our ball gets intercepted is too much. Ejaria could be a good player, but he needs to get stuck-in, more and show some bravery.

  7. The game passed Ejaria by and he should have been the one taken off.I thought Coulibaly did a lot of good work , winning the ball and covering off it but agree his passing was poor .Can`t understand why people want Rossiter straight back in the team he has done nothing to justify getting a game and McCrorie should be given a chance before him.

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