Saturday, January 28, 2023

Rangers: Barisic was Beale’s match-winner

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Glasgow Rangers continued their 100% record under Michael Beale in the Premiership with a 3-0 win over Motherwell on Wednesday night at Ibrox.

The Light Blues took the lead after 13 minutes as Alfredo Morelos celebrated a return to the starting XI with a fine header at the back post to score his fifth league goal of the campaign.

Were you happy with Rangers’ performance?

A cross and a header proved to be successful again for the Gers in the first half as Connor Goldson nodded in from a corner to double the lead before the interval.

Malik Tillman then made it three on the hour as he latched onto Morelos’ pass and brilliantly turned to fire past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.

Beale’s side were then able to see out the game in a professional manner after making a host of changes to provide opportunities for those on the bench to get minutes on the pitch.

Whilst Morelos produced a goal and an assist as he led the line on his return to the team, the real match-winner for Rangers was left-back Borna Barisic.

He came back into the side in spite of Adam Devine’s impressive performances – recording two Sofascore ratings of 7.0 or higher as a stand-in over the three previous matches – and justified his selection with an exceptional performance at the back.

The £18k-per-week gem was a constant threat in possession of the ball and did not shirk away from his defensive responsibilities as he remained solid in defence.

As per Sofascore, the Croatian international won four of his six individual duels, including his only battle in the air, and made two tackles and one block. The dynamo also only gave away one foul in the 90 minutes and these statistics show that he barely stepped a foot wrong from a defensive perspective.

In possession, the left-back was sublime as he set up the opening goal for Morelos with an inch-perfect cross to the back post and then provided the assist for the second goal with a fantastic corner to meet Goldson’s head.

Those goals made up two of the three chances he created throughout the game and he managed that with 87 touches of the ball, completing 81% of his 52 attempted passes in the process.

His cross for the first goal set Rangers on their way after a nervy start to the match and that moment of quality allowed the team to then kick on and cruise to a comfortable victory, with the defender’s ability on show throughout the rest of the game.

Therefore, he was the real match-winner for the Light Blues and fans should praise Beale for his decision to drop the in-form Devine in favour of the experienced campaigner.

Numisteamone

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