It wasn’t the prettiest of affairs, but that will hardly matter to Steven Gerrard after Glasgow Rangers got back on track in their quest to reclaim the title by beating Kilmarnock at Ibrox.
Rangers extended their unbeaten streak to 12 games in all competitions without one of their best players, the club’s star striker, first-choice midfielder Plus Filip Helander of course.
Another afternoon in which Gerrard’s side coasted to victory, with the majority spent in second gear, but a victory nonetheless thanks to Ryan Jack’s sensational screamer. Gerrard told Rangers TV afterwards that Jack is already laying claim to the club’s goal of the season after he fired home from the edge of the box.
Yet for Jack’s incredible effort, it was perhaps the performance of James Tavernier that deserves a special mention. As per SofaScore, the right-back received a high 7.4 rating for his display, that being the best of almost every player from either side and bettered only by none other than Jack himself.
Tavernier looked every inch the club captain as he delivered on all fronts, putting in a tremendous shift at the back as Killie tried to upset the odds.
The 29-year-old was on top form in terms of his defending, as he made three clearances and three tackles in the entire game, the latter of which was more than the likes of Jack and Steven Davis, whilst he was only dribbled past once – showing that attackers found it incredibly difficult to get the better of Tavernier during the full 90′ minutes.
The Rangers full-back would also win an impressive nine out of 13 duels in total, whereas his opposite number Brandon Haunstrup would only manage to win seven during the entire game, suggesting that Tavernier came out on top in his individual battles for the most part on the day.
Once again, however, it was his attacking contributions that should not go unnoticed, as he endeavoured to set his side on the front foot right from the start, taking as many as 109 touches throughout the game – more than any other player on the pitch and more than Jack and Allan McGregor managed between them, as per SofaScore.
Indeed, in the Scottish Premiership this season, Tavernier is currently averaging 98.4 touches per 90, which just goes to show that he managed to find another level against Tommy Wright’s side.
There’s no doubting the fact that Gerrard will be delighted with his skipper’s latest display and will be hoping his fine form will continue when they take on Antwerp later next week.
AND in other news, Bongani Zungu is starting to run out of time to impress at Glasgow Rangers…