Glasgow Rangers romped to a 4-0 win away at Falkirk to reach the quarter-finals of the Betfred Scottish League Cup.
Steven Gerrard’s side largely controlled proceedings from start to finish, though there were a couple of hairy moments, as Blair Alston came close to scoring for the Bairns, only to be denied by Gers goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin.
The Ibrox boss made seven changes to the team that drew with Benfica, which saw several fringe players stake their claim, although arguably none more so than Jermain Defoe, who replaced star striker Alfredo Morelos up front.
It didn’t take too long for Defoe to make his mark, with the veteran latching onto a long ball over the top from Connor Goldson with a calm finish into the bottom corner. He could have had a second shortly afterwards but agonisingly fired wide from close range.
Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, Hamilton Academical head coach Brian Rice was full of praise for the former England international, saying: “It’s a fantastic ball by Goldson, but Durnan should do better. As soon as Defoe gets that ball, there’s only one place it’s going. Falkirk will be disappointed.”
Jermain Defoe with a top class finish to give @RangersFC a perfect start 🔥
He's still got it! 👏 pic.twitter.com/k80kXXipUI
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) November 29, 2020
Borna Barisic was back to his very best, Calvin Bassey was equally brilliant, but Defoe arguably stole the show with his sublime performance as he put in a shift all over the pitch despite Gerrard switching systems from a 4-3-3 attacking formation to his preferred 4-2-3-1 to face Falkirk.
Glasgow Live gave the 38-year-old a high grade of eight out of ten for his efforts, claiming he scored ‘a tremendous goal to open the scoring and worked hard in the frontline.’
It’s perhaps hardly surprising the Light Blues enjoyed a whopping 62% possession of the ball, as the Gers have grown accustomed to dominating possession and dictating play ever since Gerrard first took charge at Ibrox, but the fact that Defoe managed to find the back of the net once again shows the full extent of the arsenal that he has at his disposal.
The Gers signed Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten for undisclosed fees on four-year-deals in the summer, which has cast doubt over his future at the club. Whilst Roofe has been able to hit the ground running, with four goals in his last three games, being able to call upon the likes of Defoe could prove to be useful as Gerrard juggles domestic and European competitions.
Despite his age, it’s fair to say that the former Tottenham Hotspur striker has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon, having scored 27 goals and supplied 10 assists in 57 games since he first arrived at Ibrox on loan from AFC Bournemouth, via Transfermarkt.
Write him off at your peril, that’s for sure.
AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers missed the boat with Bordeaux striker Josh Maja…