Borna Barisic was much improved for Rangers in their Boxing Day win over Hibernian after facing criticism in recent weeks.
The defender was blasted by some Gers fans during the recent win over Motherwell as he failed to defend the cross that led to the opposition’s opening goal.
Barisic did improve in his side’s next outing during the 3-0 win over a poor St Johnstone team but when he was tested by a tough Hibs side his true quality returned.
With Calvin Bassey knocking on the door of the first team Barisic needs to be performing at his best if he is to keep his place in Steven Gerrard’s side.
The Croatian rose to the challenge against Hibs as his impressive stats show.
According to Wyscout, Barisic made an impressive seven interceptions against Hibs as he helped to cut out the opponent’s attacking moves.
For context, Barisic has been averaging 3.92 interceptions per 90 minutes this season which means he almost doubled his rate on Boxing Day.
His other defensive stats aren’t incredible as he only won 50% of his total defensive duels and 50% of his loose ball duels.
But Barisic was unbeatable in the air as he won 100% of his aerial duels against Hibernian on Saturday afternoon.
This is a huge improvement from Barisic as, according to Wyscout, he had failed to win an aerial duel in his three previous outings.
It was in the attacking areas where Barisic really shone though as he was excellent at driving the Gers forward.
Barisic completed 100% of his dribbles against Hibs and completed two progressive runs as he acted almost as a winger during periods of the game.
His passing accuracy was also much improved as 92% of Barisic’s passes found their targets.
This is a huge improvement on the 81% passing accuracy the defender has averaged in all competitions this season.
Overall, 75% of Barisic’s total actions against Hibernian were successful as he looks to be getting back to the form he showed in the early stages of the season.
Hopefully, he keeps improving in the second half of the season where players can’t afford to have poor games.
In other Rangers news, Alex McLeish claims Hagi will be spurred on by recent goal flurry.