Rangers played out a 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague at the Sinobo Stadium on Thursday evening and Steven Gerrard’s side will be confident that they can progress further in the Europa League by winning next week’s second leg at Ibrox.
Nicolae Stanciu gave the hosts an excellent start when he curled into the top corner after just seven minutes but Rangers fought back and equalised thanks to a scrappy goal from Filip Helander before half-time. Gerrard’s side were on top in the second half but had Allan McGregor to thank for securing a draw as the 39-year-old made an unbelievable save in the final few minutes to ensure that the teams finished level.
Although there were some excellent performances on show from Rangers, one man who struggled throughout the game was Nathan Patterson.
The 19-year-old continued his recent run in the side by starting in the Czech Republic, as captain James Tavernier is still sidelined through injury and Leon Balogun showed his vulnerabilities as a right-back in the previous round against Royal Antwerp.
However, he was tormented by the impressive Stanciu for much of the game, with SofaScore awarding the right-back a disappointing 6.4/10 rating for his performance, which was the worst of any Gers player who started the game.
Whilst the teenager made an impressive five clearances, three tackles and three interceptions during the game, the Slavia attackers regularly had the better of him down his side, as he was dribbled past as many as five times on Thursday evening.
For context, Filip Helander and Connor Goldson weren’t dribbled past at all, whilst left-back Borna Barisic was dribbled past just once, so it definitely seems like the home side targeted the young right-back and exploited his inexperience.
It was also arguably a poor display from the defender from a passing perspective, as he would complete just 17 passes during the game, which was fewer than the 24 passes McGregor would complete, which emphasises that he wasn’t able to get on the ball very often.
Unfortunately for Gerrard, on the few occasions when Patterson did have the ball at his feet, he was wasteful with it, as he lost possession 16 times, which again was more than both of Rangers’ centre-backs despite them having much more of the ball.
After the game, Gerrard suggested that the academy talent “became a man” with his performance on Thursday but the stats suggest that the youngster still has a lot to learn before he can be considered a serious challenger for Tavernier at right-back in this Rangers side.