Five matches that led to Pedro Caixinha’s downfall as Rangers boss

Pedro Caixinha never got the better of Brendan Rodgers. Picture: SNS Group
Pedro Caixinha never got the better of Brendan Rodgers. Picture: SNS Group
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Pedro Caixinha has left Rangers after seven ill-fated months in charge. Here are five matches which led to the Portuguese manager’s dismissal.

RANGERS 1 CELTIC 5 (April 29)

Caixinha actually finished his first five matches unbeaten and secured a 3-0 win at Aberdeen, although draws with struggling Motherwell and Kilmarnock raised question marks. But an Old Firm double-header sparked alarm bells. Rangers lost 2-0 at Hampden in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals but the scoreline flattered them with the first half being particularly one-sided. Caixinha later tried to outline his tactics to journalists using empty glasses in the Hampden media room, but it appeared he had struggled to get his message across to his players. Worse was to follow six days later as Celtic ran riot around Caixinha’s midfield diamond to secure their record victory at Ibrox.


Caixinha brought his players back for pre-season in early June and invested heavily in his squad over the summer but the season got off to the worst possible start with a humiliating Europa League exit at the hands of part-timers from Luxembourg, who had only scored once in 13 previous European ties. The Portuguese was photographed standing in shrubbery pointing a finger at angry fans outside the stadium.

RANGERS 0 CELTIC 2 (September 23)

The league season did not get off to a particularly smooth start either with 10-man Rangers losing at home to Hibernian and dropping points against Hearts and Partick Thistle in their first six games. And the first meeting with the champions showed they had made little, if any, progress. Again the scoreline could have been much worse and Rangers only mustered one shot on target and two corners. There was further illustration of the hapless nature of Caixinha’s reign when he was felled by the sliding Josh Windass.


Caixinha heaped more pressure on himself by declaring before the Betfred Cup semi-finals that they had two options: “win or win”. Motherwell delivered an alternative with the help of a double from Louis Moult. The striker had been on Caixinha’s list of potential summer signings but the much more expensive Eduardo Herrera came in instead. Moult took his tally for the season to 11 while the Mexican failed to add to his two goals in an uninspiring substitute’s appearance.


Caixinha’s reign came crumbling down in a crazy period of stoppage time at Ibrox as he watched from the stand after picking up a touchline ban following a clash with Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson. Rangers saw Ryan Jack sent off while Daniel Candeias waited to take a penalty, which he missed, before Killie went straight up the park to level. Victory might have at least earned Caixinha a stay of execution but Killie had created a string of chances in the final quarter and Rangers lacked the experience to see out the game with Kenny Miller exiled from the squad following an unexplained issue with his manager.