Rangers rather laboured to an underwhelming but important win over bottom side Dundee United today at Ibrox.
Ibrox Noise now gives our scores for a rather ponderous home win on the occasion of Allan McGregor’s 500th appearance:
He looked more up for it than he’s seemed in a while, with a bit of rage at some of the ghastly defending in front of him, but ultimately he had little to deal with and was basically beaten a couple of times by shots which went wide. But because he’s Greegsy, we’ll give him 7.
Goodness, he seems so jaded these days – his mood summed up by Kent’s outstanding first half cross which he didn’t make the run to meet and just left instead (as did Alfie). Got in a couple of crosses and his passing was ‘passable’ but lacked energy. He was not poor and did his job mostly at the back, but this remains well below his best. 6
Dispossessed carelessly and weakly early on, and relied on a brilliant block from defensive partner Davies to bail him out, Goldson just looks a touch jaded as well, despite that 2-month lay off earlier this season. Had tonnes of the ball, and even supported attack, but that’s mainly because he had little else to do. Did provide a superb ball in the build-up for the opening goal though. 6
He’s the shining star of the two these days, quietly getting on with his job and bailing his team mate out when needed, Davies doesn’t get as much as Goldson of the ball, but he’s tidier, neater, and he’s more reliable for actual defending. 7
Determined to prove he’s the better option than young Ridvan, the new father in the side lived up to his billing and provided plenty of overlaps, crosses and helped out at the back too. He did little wrong and even ended up with a nasty gash for his trouble. 7
He’s struggling to defend these days, with infinitely more sluggish movement and a lack of reading which he used to excel at. He looks off the pace in that regard, but equally he’s using the ball better and his passes are cleaner. He’s the inferior choice to Raskin now, but he didn’t do horribly. 6
That incredible performance at Hibs was his only good one in the shirt and was a false dawn for a return of the old Jacko. This is not to say he was poor v Utd, he wasn’t, but that domination at Hibs was a one off, and while no one had the ball more than him, it was sideways passing and not the tubthumping stuff at Easter Road. Defensively though he offered more than Lundstram with 4 tackles. 7
We’ve seen the cheating side of him (he did let himself down that day) and we’ve now seen the narky side of him – he’s human. But on a playing level? Sterling again. His assist for the opener was world class, and he dominated the middle even if a few passes went astray. He’s a class above pretty much everyone in our shirt these days. 9
A couple of good goals, first one being very clinical indeed, while the second one relied on excellent close control but a fortuitous deflection or two, Tillman can be pleased with his return to the side, and while we have misgivings about his attitude and desire to stay, on displays like this we’d pick him over Sakala every day of the week. 9
Hit the bar, played a massive role in the opening goal and assisted the second, Kent simply does not get the credit he is due and his playmaking remains the best in the country. Was heavily involved and if we took him out the side, you’d see the difference. As we have, when Wright deputised a year or so ago. 9
Poor. Did have a couple of neat touches, but did his ‘much better than Colak’ case little good with a rather meek performance which didn’t hurt Utd’s back line. Missed a chance or two that the Croatian would have buried. Well, we say that, but he’s missed the occasional corker himself. 5
None of them really made an impact and that will disappoint Michael Beale. The game was won by then anyway and proceedings were winding down.
Michael Beale gave us a few changes, namely Alfredo up top and Tillman wide, and while one of those took their chance well, the other didn’t. Beale will be disappointed in the lack of gusto from his team – there was plenty of the ball, but penetration was missing and there were a lot of patchy errors from players who didn’t look like their hearts were in it sometimes. The low block is no excuse, Celtic deal with the same thing and they’re 40 goals ahead of us. There was overall a real lack of quality, and Beale will know he’s got a task on his hand to be ready for Celtic. 5