Michael Beale’s Rangers regime got off to a good result but with the most unscorable ratings possible from a game of two halves.
So we’re not going to rate by points tonight, just with comments.
McGregor showed both sides of his game – not coming off his line for the opening goal, but making two big and huge saves which played huge roles in the result. We saw the best and worst of our aging stopper.
Meanwhile James Tavernier was struggling to defend at all in the first half, but was getting in the crosses at the other end, being also hugely culpable for the opening goal along with Tillman, before upping his game and being a big part of the win in the second half.
As for the middle? James Sands and John Lundstram was a non-existent defence – two midfielders as the rearguard was exposed repeatedly, and if not for the post and McGregor, Hibs would have put this out of sight in the first half. Sands can’t read the game and Lundstram struggled desperately as a full defender. So, the backline was a mess, and that remained the case for the second half too.
Adam Devine did alright, but we saw his limitations, and he is only a kid after all, but he stood off the ball too much even if he got some good interceptions in.
In midfield Kamara probably had his best match this year – he wasn’t outstanding, but the effort was lifted and we saw some intent on his part to work and play football. This was better from him, if still not at the level he can be. Meanwhile Jack played a solid one, quietly effective and scoring the huge equalising goal. Midfield was definitely alright.
Kent was mixed. Got a lot of the ball and some good use of it, but lacked the beating of a man still. His night was summed up when he drove at goal and blazed wildly over from 25 yards but nailed an assist.
Fashion Sakala did ok on the other side, scoring a great goal to get the side on terms, but overall we can’t say he did enough to prove he’s good enough to play weekly. We’re not big fans of him and that hasn’t changed.
Meanwhile Malik Tillman was also having a mixed one. Struggling in the first half to make anything stick, he improved significantly as it went on and played a big role in the winning goal, which won the 3 points. He managed two assists.
As for Alfredo? He worked. He definitely put in more of an obvious shift, winning a lot of fouls and making good runs. He deserved his goal, even if he is still not at his best.
The subs didn’t really change the game, but they did help to mostly cement it, albeit Hibs got a couple of chances late on.
Overall Michael Beale will be happy to come away with a win – a big win, dare we say it a ‘Celtic-esque’ win, where Rangers didn’t play great, but came back from a shocker of a first half to probably deserve the three points.
His team selection at Ibrox was initially bizarre – Lunny is no defender, and we were surprised Colak didn’t start (he’s got a calf strain) while there was no Goldson after all the talk. But there was no lack of effort out there, from anyone. They did fight, even if they were often second best to the physical effects of Hibs in the first. But the half time talk clearly worked, and Rangers took over in the second half, justifying the win.
End of the day the defence doesn’t exist, but the new tactics were better overall – overloading the opponent with bodies and actually attacking. It’s a risk at the moment, because we have no defence for insurance, but hopefully more stoppers will be back in due course to help solidify the team plan.
A good start? Well, it ended up much better than we feared at half time anyway.