Borna Barisic nightmare again, Bassey and Sakala strong late: Rangers player ratings v Celtic
Rangers delayed the title being won by Celtic with a 1-1 draw at Parkhead in an uneven game that they could have won late on.
After a strong start which should have seen the visitors go ahead, it was a weak defensive showing that led to the home side taking the lead through Jota after 21 minutes.
The goal pushed Ange Postecoglou’s side well into the ascendency for the majority of the game, until a double substitution from Giovanni van Bronckhorst sparked a reaction that resulted in an excellent Fashion Sakala equaliser after the hour.
Here Ibrox News rates the Gers players out of 10 for their performances in the Old Firm derby.
Allan McGregor – (6)
Little he could do about the opener when his defenders left so much space ahead of him. Only his imposing presence stopped Maeda from heading in a second before the break. Didn’t have a huge amount to do otherwise.
James Tavernier – (6)
Was unsurprisingly involved a lot but he wasn’t at the level that fans have come to expect. His set piece delivery left something to be desired and he spent too much time chasing opponents rather than dictating play.
Connor Goldson – (6)
The big defender looked uncomfortable in the face of the Celtic press and gave Maeda too much space in the Gers area to let him to assist the opener. Wasn’t his best or his worst game.
Calvin Bassey – (8) Man of the Match
Quiet for a long time but grew massively in stature late on with a series of crucial blocks and clearances. Looked to be a one man defensive line for much of a second half. Best player in the team in the end.
Borna Barisic – (2)
Another Old Firm nightmare. Got in Kent’s way to thwart his teammates own opportunity after good work down the left. In almost a carbon copy of the sequence that allowed the Hoops’ third in the 3-0 defeat here last time, he switched off for the opener and let Jota in front of him to score. Got booked in the second half giving away another dangerous free kick. Wasn’t appalling otherwise but key contributions were negatives.
John Lundstram – (5)
Combative but didn’t have the influence that he has made a habit of. Far from his best game in a Light Blue shirt.
Steven Davis – (off ’63 for Jack) – (4)
A big opportunity for the veteran to recapture some past glories but in a fast-paced game he wasn’t able to control the tempo or leave his mark on the game.
Scott Arfield – (off ’87 for Diallo) – (5)
Messy, uneven display. Struggled until the equaliser saw the visitors suddenly turn the tide of the game. Gave the ball away time and time again, but did have a hand in the build up to Sakala’s goal. Only a fabulous Joe Hart save stopped him putting his side ahead.
Joe Aribo – (off ’63 for Wright) – 5
Looked composed and showed good strength to retain possession a few times early, but playing in an unfamiliar role he just couldn’t offer anything like the injured men he had replaced. Flattered to deceive without providing cutting edge. Can be excused to an extent playing out of position but didn’t provide enough.
Ryan Kent – (6)
Sharp start down the left, shrugging a challenge on the touchline before Barisic got in his way to spoil it. Had a great chance after superb movement soon after that could have changed the whole tone of the game. Shrunk from prominence as the game went on, but a perfectly-weighted lay off for Sakala’s leveller was crucial.
Fashion Sakala – (7)
As so often he was disappointing in the first half but burst to prominence after the break. Fired an inch-perfect strike low inside the near post to drag Gers level after combining with Kent. Fired narrowly over, then went close with a header in an explosion of activity. Pressured Hart into an error that could have put Gers ahead. Had a glorious chance to win it late on but hit the post when aiming near post again. Provided the best moments, but it should have been so much more.
Ryan Jack – (on for Davis ’63)
Scott Wright – (on for Aribo ’63) – (7)
Direct, purposeful play soon after he came on helped create the chance that Sakala scored from. Made a noticeable difference with his direct running.
Amad Diallo – (on for Arfield ’87)
In other Rangers news, UEFA once again punished the club with a fine for supporter behaviour.