A 65th-minute goal from substitute Alfredo Morelos was enough to give Steven Gerrard’s team all three points against Kilmarnock, who recorded just three shots to the home side’s 19 at Ibrox. [via BBC]
The visitors’ goalkeeper Laurentiu Branescu pulled off a series of saves to keep the ‘Gers at bay until midway through the second half but, as noted in the match report on Sky Sports, he also indulged in blatant time-wasting on multiple occasions.
Among the positives that Gerrard can take from the Boxing Day win was a third consecutive clean sheet for his side, with Borna Barisic playing the entirety of those three matches as part of the miserly Rangers defence.
The Croatian left-back has been one of the Light Blues’ key creative outlets this season, with his tally of 11 assists the second highest in the squad, and he again showcased his attacking threat in the win over Kilmarnock.
He tested the reactions of Branescu early in the second half with a shot from a Rangers corner and was a roving presence along the left flank for the home side.
Matthew Lindsay gave Barisic a modest six in his Herald Scotland player ratings but wrote that “his deliveries into the Kilmarnock box throughout the 90 minutes caused the visitors all kinds of problems”.
Rangers News‘ James Black awarded him a seven rating and noted how he got “up and down the left”, while Pratyay Maitra gave him 7.5 in his player ratings for The 4th Official, saying that he “was relentless with his overlapping runs as he kept on troubling the Killie defence from the left-hand flank” while also praising his link-up play with left winger Ryan Kent.
Aside from his attacking threat, the 27-year-old has also been solid defensively, with the ‘Gers conceding just one goal in their last seven league games with him in the side, having let in two when they were without him in the trip to Aberdeen at the start of the month. [via TransferMarkt]
The all-round full-back quality of Barisic could well be a key component of Rangers’ armoury when they take on Premiership leaders Celtic on Sunday and Gerrard is likely to be very pleased with the threat that he showed against Kilmarnock ahead of this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash against their Glasgow rivals.
Rangers fans, how well do you think Barisic played against Kilmarnock? Comment below with your views!
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