Whilst Filip Helander scored the all-important equaliser for Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side against Slavia Prague on Thursday evening, he was the standout performer for the Ibrox outfit for more reasons than one at the Sinobo Stadium.
The Swedish centre-back was in the right place at the right time to turn in Ianis Hagi’s cut back in the first half but he also performed superbly from a defensive point of view.
As per SofaScore, the defender would earn an impressive 7.4/10 for his performance, which was the highest of any Rangers player on the night. During the game, Helander made three clearances and one interception as he helped Rangers withstand dangerous Slavia attacks, particularly in the first half.
It was a physical battle for a lot of Rangers players on Thursday night but the 28-year-old centre-back regularly came out on top against Slavia’s attackers, as he impressively won all four of his ground duels, and four out of six of his aerial duels, resulting in an overall success rate of 80% – comfortably the best of any Rangers player, as per SofaScore.
The centre-back, who reportedly earns £10k per week at Rangers, also won four free kicks during the game, which helped to alleviate the pressure under which Gerrard’s side regularly found themselves; and he and Goldson worked well together to limit Slavia striker Jan Kuchta’s influence on the game, as he completed just seven passes during his time on the pitch.
It was important that Rangers didn’t gift possession back to the hosts, and Helander’s long passing was solid as four out of eight of his efforts found a teammate, whereas only two of Goldson’s nine efforts found a Rangers shirt, which gives the Swede the edge over his centre-back partner.
Therefore, whilst Helander will be lauded for his equalising goal, he was extremely solid at the back for Gerrard’s side and was arguably the star performer for a number of reasons.