This was not an evening which Filip Helander will look back on with any great deal of fondness, but Glasgow Rangers got the job done against Royal Antwerp in a seven-goal thriller in the Europa League.
Two goals from Borna Barisic sealed a memorable victory for Steven Gerrard’s side as they came from behind to beat the Belgians. Joe Aribo and Ryan Kent also scored for the Scottish Premiership leaders, with Alfredo Morelos picking up two assists as well.
However, a defensive lapse of concentration late in the first half threatened to undo all of their hard work, but Rangers refused to buckle.
And, as Antwerp grew more desperate with each passing minute, Ryan Kent took advantage of some weak defending to rifle home a shot to bring the two sides level before Borna Barisic secured a dramatic three points for Rangers in the final minute of stoppage time.
Gerrard opted to recall Filip Helander at the Bosuilstadion instead of Leon Balogun and he may have been left to regret his decision after he produced an uninspiring performance in Thursday’s 4-3 win over Antwerp.
Helander may have not been at fault for all of the goals but conceding three goals in less than 45 minutes is not the way to impress the Rangers manager as you try to work your way back into the fold.
The Swedish international was subject to some criticism for his efforts at Antwerp from former Rangers striker Peter Lovenkrands, who noted he was at fault for Martin Hongla’s goal, saying: “Helander drops really deep to cover Avenatti’s run, if he doesn’t do that he’ll shut that down. He’s far too deep, if he stays in the line it wouldn’t have been a goal there.”
Steven Davis had every right to feel harshly penalised for a foul inside the box after he clipped the back of Lior Refaelov’s heel but otherwise controlled possession of the ball and dictated play for most of the game, having taken more touches of the ball (86) than any of his teammates, as per SofaScore.
Yet for Helander, there is no escaping from what was a rather lacklustre display by all accounts. The Swede received the second-lowest rating of any Rangers player to feature in the match, having earned a 6.0 for his efforts, and it’s easy to see why.
He failed to register a single tackle or interception or block a single shot in the entire game, via SofaScore, whilst he committed two fouls, which was the joint-highest out of the entire Rangers squad, to sum up his frustrations on the night.
Considering the fact that the 27-year-old earns £9,300-per-week at Ibrox, that being more than the likes of Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara, he really should be doing a lot better than that, especially when he was trusted with a start in the first place.
Helander, therefore, badly let Gerrard and Rangers down on the night with a woeful display at the back.
AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos stole the show in Europa League goalfest…