By Sean Fisher

26th Sep, 2022 | 9:22am

Croatian newspapers react to Borna Barisic's performance as Rangers star struggles v Austria

Croatia reached the Nations League finals on Sunday night after a 3-1 win v Austria, but Rangers defender Borna Barisic didn’t receive glowing reviews among the Croatian press.

Luka Modric scored inside six minutes to give Croatia the lead in Vienna, but Cristoph Baumgartner capitalised on some poor defending to draw Austria level.

Marko Livaja and Dejan Lovren then both scored late on to secure Croatia’s spot at the top of Group 1, League A.

But while it was a night of celebrations for Croatia, Rangers defender Barisic wasn’t rated highly by Croatian news outlets.

Vecernji List slammed him for his fault in Austria’s goal, with Baumgartner escaping from him “with ease” before unleashing his shot.

Jutarnji List weren’t much more generous and handed Barisic a 6/10 rating for his performance. While he did “a lot of work defensively”, his forward contribution was “missing”.

CroatianSports also offered a damning review, simply stating Barisic “did not look good at left-back”. They added: “We all know this position is cemented by Borna Sosa but he did not earn any additional points versus Austria Sunday night.”

A night to forget

Despite being part of a historic match with his nation, Barisic on a personal level had a night to forget.

The Croatian defender has not been able to string together any consistent games for Rangers, and it seems as though the poor form of his club side is affecting him on the international stage too.

Gers fans will hope that Barisic comes back buzzing after reaching the Nations League final, but the reality is that his performances this season have been sub-par, and he’ll return to Ibrox with even less confidence than when he left.

With three huge games against Hearts, Liverpool and St Mirren on the horizon – all within a week of each other – Rangers need Barisic to snap into action, and quickly.

He’s shown glimpses of creativity going forward and often looks solid defensively, but he’s been prone to mistakes, and was caught napping on the ball a handful of times against Napoli.

That’ll need to change as Rangers prepare for the football to come thick and fast over the next two months.

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