Alfredo Morelos scored his first goal in the Scottish Premiership since September to ensure Glasgow Rangers retained their 16-point lead at the top of the table with a 2-0 win away at St. Mirren going into Saturday’s Old Firm game.
Steven Gerrard’s side got off to a sluggish start before Kemar Roofe received a stroke of luck as his deflected effort sailed past helpless Mirren goalkeeper Jak Alnwick.
And Morelos capitalised on a mistake from Joe Shaughnessy to score his third league goal of the season in the first half to cap off what was a comfortable win in the end.
However, it wasn’t all rosy for Rangers, as Jim Goodwin’s side came close to scoring on several occasions, with Jonathan Obika having the better of the chances.
But the Gers’ defence prevailed, due in part to a defensive shift from Connor Goldson, who looked every inch the seasoned veteran as he kept Obika in his back pocket for most of the game.
While Morelos may have ended his goal drought stretching back to the 3-3 draw with Benfica in the Europa League, it was the performance of Goldson at the back that shouldn’t go unnoticed.
The 28-year-old has been in imperious form since the start of the season, as he scored a double against Celtic in the first Old Firm derby of the season, and had an absolutely monstrous game defensively against the Saints. The same can’t be said for Filip Helander but more on him later.
As per SofaScore, he was given a high grade of 7.6 out of ten for his efforts – he won six out of his seven duels overall (85%), made two tackles, blocked two shots, made a staggering seven clearances – more than any other player on the pitch including Morelos – and wasn’t dribbled past at all.
Comfortable at the back and confident in possession, Goldson looked great with the ball at his feet, provided 19 out of 24 passes (79%), only lost possession five times and produced three accurate long balls from nine attempts.
GlasgowLive awarded him with a similar rating of 8/10 and claimed he ‘kept Jon Obika under wraps on a comfortable afternoon’ while Rangers News seemed to agree, insisting ‘St. Mirren looked to pressure the Rangers star and stop him spraying passes forward but Goldson never let it affect his game as he enjoyed a successful night.’
With a clash with Celtic on the horizon, the timing couldn’t be better for Gerrard, who will be well aware his side will have to be at their very best if they are to beat the Bhoys for the second time this season.
Morelos got himself on the scoresheet with the weekend’s Old Firm fixture no doubt playing on his mind but the centre-back deserves immense credit for his defensive shift to ensure the Gers kept a fourth consecutive clean sheet in a row.