By Doug Ward

30th Sep, 2021 | 8:10pm

Leon Balogun flops: Rangers player ratings v Sparta Prague

Rangers saw their awful form in Europe continue on Thursday night as Steven Gerrard’s men lost 1-0 away at Sparta Prague.

David Hancko’s first-half header from a corner was enough to secure all three points for the Czech Republic club, who survived a late onslaught by the Gers.

Fashion Sakala saw a goal disallowed for being offside in the second half as both teams squandered chances but it was Sparta who eventually came out on top.

Allan McGregor – 8

McGregor made a stunning save early on to deny Jakub Pesek and was really unlucky to concede the opening goal. He clawed the ball away in stunning fashion but goal-line technology ruled it had just crossed the line before he was able to react.

James Tavernier – 5

It was yet another below-par performance by the Gers’ captain. He’s failed to take off this season and his defensive frailties were regularly found out by Sparta Prague’s players. Showed some fight at the end, at least.

Leon Balogun – 4

Dragged out of position way too often and left his teammates in trouble. Balogun seemed to be trying to help Tavernier out on the right, rather than tucking in and forming a solid unit with Bassey. Balogun was all over the place and a liability at the back.

Calvin Bassey – 5

Fair play to Bassey for stepping in as a centre-back due to the injury crisis at Rangers but he was honking in the air. Sparta went ahead when Bassey was easily beaten to a header at a set-piece. He did make some other decent interventions and was better than Balogun.

Borna Barisic – 6

It’s not been a good season for Barisic either, whose deliveries into the box were not good enough in Prague.

Glen Kamara – 7

We could be harsh on Kamara because it wasn’t his best performance and he was sent off. But he was the victim of racist abuse earlier this year and has been booed by a crowd of children because of that. Also, there was no way that was a second yellow card. Well done, Glen.

Steven Davis – 6

Davis was one of Rangers’ better players against Sparta Prague as he looked to make the team tick from the midfield.

Juninho Bacuna – 5

Bacuna barely had a chance to shine before he was substituted off. He didn’t do much to shine and unfortunately, could be injured based on the early sub.

Joe Aribo – 6

Aribo looked sharp at times but ultimately, it didn’t quite work out for him in the Light Blues’ attack. He’s had worse games – but he’s definitely had better.

Kemar Roofe – 5

It just didn’t happen for Roofe on Thursday night. He’ll be disappointed with how little impact he had in the attack.

Fashion Sakala – 6

Sakala was lively and he showed why Gerrard started him with his direct approach towards getting the ball at goal. Sakala showed great pace but couldn’t do it all on his own. He a goal correctly disallowed.

Substitutes:

Ianis Hagi (on for Bacuna 38′) – 5

Alfredo Morelos (on for Roofe 66′) – 5

John Lundstram (on for Aribo 77′) – 5

In other Rangers news, Chris Sutton aimed a sly dig at the Gers ahead of the game.