By Doug Ward

14th Sep, 2022 | 10:05pm

Rangers capitulated after an unfortunate James Sands red card to lose 3-0 against Napoli in their first Champions League group stage match at Ibrox in over a decade.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men impressed in the first half before Sands’ second yellow card, which led to a Napoli penalty, changed the game in the 55th minute.

Allan McGregor saved Piotr Zielinski’s spot-kick and then saved his retake after Matteo Politano’s rebound goal was chalked off for encroachment.

McGregor couldn’t deny a third penalty in the 68th minute though as Politano opened the scoring after a Borna Barisic handball in the box.

Substitutes Giacomo Raspadori and Tanguy Nbombele came on and rounded off the win the Napoli and here, Ibrox News has rated the Rangers players out of 10 for their performances:

Allan McGregor – 9 (Man of the match)

We cannot fault McGregor for his performance in goals. He saved two penalties from Piotr Zielinski before almost saving a third spot-kick against him from Politano. In the first half, he also pulled off a great save. How Giovanni van Bronckhorst thought he could get away with playing Jon McLaughlin in goals over McGregor is criminal.

James Tavernier – 5

We cannot say that Tavernier did much. He switched between playing at right-back and on the right-wing but didn’t really have much of an impact in either area.

Connor Goldson – 5

Goldson looked comfortable for most of the game and seemed as though he was going to make that challenge that led to Sands conceding the first penalty and getting sent off. He was caught flat-footed for Raspadori’s goal.

James Sands – 4

He was quite unlucky to get sent off for a second yellow card but we cannot give a decent rating to a player who was sent off, unfortunately. Sands isn’t a centre-back though. How have we qualified for the Champions League group stages, sold Nathan Patterson, Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey and ended up with one of the weakest defences we’ve had in a long time.

Borna Barisic – 3

Can someone buy Barisic a rear-view mirror? And maybe some restraints to keep his arms down in the box? Barisic put it one or two good crosses but he was sloppy in possession in the back and was caught out twice by Napoli players tackling him from behind when he was dilly-dallying on the ball. We’ve been fed up of Barisic’s performances for way too long now. How is he still starting for us?

Steven Davis – 7

It was a solid display by the veteran midfielder. However, we shouldn’t be relying on him on nights like this. Davis looked cool, calm and collected when he had the ball most of the night.

John Lundstram – 6

Can anyone explain what the plan was with Lundstram? Was he in the midfield, was he right-back or was he a right-sided centre-half in a back-three? It worked for large parts of the game, to be fair. But it was just yet more confusion that we didn’t need. Our recruitment has been so bad as it’s caused issues such as this.

Ryan Jack – 6

Jack didn’t do badly against Napoli. He was where he needed to be at the right times and was composed on the ball.

Scott Arfield – 8

Arfield looked the part in our attack with Rangers’ golden oldies stealing the show for most of the night. Unfortunately, the red card and penalties killed off the game but up until that point, Arfield was one of the better players.

Ryan Kent – 5

Kent had one or two moments where he showed that he can be positive and offer some drive in the attack. But it’s like if he spends five minutes doing something good, he has to spend another 30 minutes recharging. He’s unreliable.

Alfredo Morelos – 7

It was a good return to the starting line-up for Morelos. He probably should have scored in the first minute but he was a constant thorn in the side of the Napoli defence. He was all over the shop in a good way. It’s good to see El Bufalo doing that but he needs to be more prolific.


Leon King (on for Jack, ’63) – 5

Antonio Colak (on for Morelos, ’72) – 5

Rabbi Matondo (on for Arfield, ’73) – 5

Glen Kamara (on for Tavernier, ’82) – 4

Malik Tillman (on for Davis, ’83) – N/A

In other Rangers news, Nigel Farage has demanded major action from the Gers and from Chelsea after what happened in the Champions League this week.