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Glasgow Rangers: James Tavernier was the unsung hero vs Hearts

Glasgow Rangers ended their two-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over Hearts in the Scottish Premiership at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

The Gers struggled to dominate the ball, ending the match with 54% possession, and it took them until the 66th minute to break the deadlock in front of a restless crowd.

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Malik Tillman gave the hosts the lead as Ryan Kent and Borna Barisic combined down the left for the latter to tee up the Bayern Munich loanee for a powerful finish past the goalkeeper, with his goal turning out to be the only one of the game.

The victory may have saved Gio van Bronckhorst’s job, for now, as The Athletic’s Jordan Campbell shared ahead of the game that the manager may need to win the last two matches before the break in order to remain in his post on the other side of the World Cup break.

A defeat, for the third game in a row after losses to St. Johnstone and Ajax, would have left them ten points behind Celtic at the top of the table and given the Light Blues board a big decision to make.

Therefore, you could argue that Tillman has saved van Bronckhorst, in the short term at least, with his winning goal on Wednesday night. However, James Tavernier was the real hero for the Gers as he put in an exceptional display at right-back.

The Englishman was faultless defensively and made a big impact at the top end of the pitch as he created chances for his teammates to score.

As per SofaScore, he won 100% of his individual duels (2/2) and made three clearances, three interceptions, and one tackle. This, along with Hearts registering zero shots on target, shows that he was strong in his defending and was able to win the ball back for his team on a regular basis, whilst also being in the right position to clear it when needed.

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Gio van Bronckhorst coaching on the touchline for Rangers

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The £30k-per-week dynamo also caught the eye in possession as he created four chances – a tally no other Rangers player could beat. He was making his presence felt at both ends of the pitch, which is why he was pivotal to the win as he kept the opposition out at one end and piled the pressure on them at the other.

Therefore, he was the real hero for the Light Blues due to the complete nature of his performance. Tillman may have been the match-winner with his strike but the skipper was arguably more important to the result across the 90 minutes – potentially saving van Bronckhorst’s job in the process.

Article title: Glasgow Rangers: James Tavernier was the unsung hero vs Hearts

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