Alex Lowry shines as Rangers take positives on the night they relinquish title to Celtic

On the night they relinquished their Premiership crown, Rangers were still able to sign off their Ibrox campaign on a positive note.

Alex Lowry impressed for Rangers in the 4-1 win over Ross County. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Alex Lowry impressed for Rangers in the 4-1 win over Ross County. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Goals from James Tavernier and Scott Wright put them in control against a Ross County side whose hopes of qualifying for Europe next season are now over.

Jordan White pulled a goal back for the Dingwall men but late strikes from substitutes Fashion Sakala and Amad Diallo earned Rangers a convincing victory and warm ovation from their fans who are dreaming of greater glory in Seville next week.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst elected to field a strong starting line-up, 10 of whom can be considered solid bets to also be on the pitch for that Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt.

The exception was Alex Lowry, although the 18-year-old midfielder’s accomplished performance indicated once again that he is a burgeoning talent who is on the verge of becoming a more regular fixture in van Bronckhorst’s side.

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Lowry was prominent in a commanding and purposeful display by Rangers as they looked to maintain positive momentum ahead of the more momentous assignment awaiting them in Spain.

They were on the front foot from the start against a County side content to adopt a policy of containment.

Joe Aribo saw an early shot deflected just wide of Ross Laidlaw’s right hand post before the County goalkeeper then made a smart save to deny John Lundstram after he was picked out by Aribo’s cutback.

It took just 13 minutes for the pressure to tell. Borna Barisic’s corner from the left was headed on by Connor Goldson and Wright was the quickest to react as he stabbed home his sixth goal of the season from close range.

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Rangers continued to dominate possession, moving the ball sharply and inventively with Lowry at the heart of some of their most eye-catching work.

He played a key role in the move which led to them doubling their lead in the 29th minute, showing good vision in an exchange of passes with Tavernier which saw the Rangers captain brought down by Alex Iacovitti’s reckless sliding challenge.

It was a clear penalty kick and Tavernier got up to make no mistake from the spot, despite Laidlaw guessing correctly as he dived to his left.

Lowry almost caught Laidlaw out with a clever shot on the turn six minutes before the interval but the ‘keeper managed to gather the ball at the second attempt.

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Van Bronckhorst made a double change at the start of the second half, Leon Balogun and Amad Diallo replacing Barisic and Aribo, and Rangers remained in the ascendancy.

Balogun almost extended their lead in the 52nd minute when he headed against Laidlaw’s left hand post from a Tavernier free-kick, then Wright passed up a great chance to get his second of the night when he sent a tame header straight at the ‘keeper from close range.

As some of the zip temporarily went out of Rangers’ play, County threw themselves a lifeline in pursuit of the point they needed to keep their European hopes alive.

Substitute Jordan White cut in from the left and curled a superb right foot shot high beyond Allan McGregor into the roof of the net.

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But Rangers reasserted themselves in the closing stages and placed a more accurate reflection of their superiority on the scoreline.

Sakala grabbed his 12th goal of the season with a diving header from a Tavernier corner before the lively Diallo wrapped up the scoring when he tapped home a low cross from Calvin Bassey.

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