Rangers qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League with a convincing 2-0 win at Ibrox in Gio van Bronckhorst’s first game in charge on Thursday night.
They beat Czech side Sparta Prague in Glasgow, with Alfredo Morelos scoring both goals to seal the three points and progression to the next stage.
The 25-year-old opened the scoring with a calm, first-time finish inside the box after good work from James Tavernier and Ianis Hagi. He was then presented with a golden opportunity to double his tally as a loose pass from a defender allowed him to nod into an empty net.
Whilst the Colombian centre-forward may grab the headlines with his match-winning brace, another player stole the show for Rangers with a terrific performance on the pitch, namely Glen Kamara.
The Finland international was sublime and controlled the game for the Gers alongside Steven Davis. He was able to put himself about effectively and win the ball back for Van Bronckhorst’s side on multiple occasions, stopping Sparta’s attacks and creating chances for Rangers.
Neil McCann, his former manager at Dundee United, once told The Athletic that the midfielder is a ‘special talent’, saying: “He isn’t a big, physical lad but he’s made of iron and really strong. I knew immediately that he could handle the ball under pressure and not give it away, so he was perfect. He’s a special talent. He’s lightning-quick but he doesn’t show it. He’s a player who takes instruction well.”
McCann’s comments on him being ‘made of iron’ are particularly pertinent given the nature of his display against Sparta. As per SofaScore, he won a whopping 91.6% of his duels and conquered 11 of his 12 battles on the ground and in the air during the game. He also made one clearance, two interceptions and five tackles as he dominated the midfield for the Gers.
He was solid on the ball. As per SofaScore, he completed 87% of his attempted passes and had 72 touches of the ball, as he also completed two of his three attempted dribbles. In the entire 90 minutes, he only gave possession away eight times in total, showing how composed and assured he was with the ball at his feet.
This highlights how he was able to piece together a brilliant all-round performance and why he was the real star of the show at Ibrox. Van Bronckhorst will surely be hoping that this a standard that Kamara can continue to match throughout the rest of the campaign, as he was brilliant against Sparta.