Rangers 2-0 St Johnstone extras: Morelos momentum, nightmare for Vertainen and team-sheet chuckle

The key points from Ibrox as Morelos and Kent goals see off Saints

Goals from Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent earned Rangers a 2-0 win over St Johnstone at Ibrox to maintain their four point lead at the top of the Premiership. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Goals from Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent earned Rangers a 2-0 win over St Johnstone at Ibrox to maintain their four point lead at the top of the Premiership. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

Player of the match

The sponsors handed their award to Joe Aribo and the in-form Nigerian midfielder unquestionably delivered another technique-rich, classy display for Rangers.

But on this occasion, he was perhaps edged out as the top man by Alfredo Morelos. The striker seems to have been energised by the arrival of Giovanni van Bronckhorst as manager.

He delivered a goal and an assist to ensure Rangers claimed all three points and his work rate and link-up play were excellent.

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Letdown

Eetu Vertainen arrived at St Johnstone at the start of the season with a bright reputation but the Finnish under-21 international striker has struggled to make an impact in Scottish football.

This was only his third starting appearance for Saints as he stepped in to replace Chris Kane who was sidelined by a Covid-related issue.

Vertainen was fortunate he lasted until half-time before manager Callum Davidson lost patience and substituted him. The 22-year-old’s dismal display was capped by his error which led to the corner from which Rangers scored their opener.

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Turning point

The aforementioned set piece two minutes before half-time brought an overdue breakthrough for Rangers who had dominated from the first whistle. It prevented any undue nervousness creeping into their play.

Ref watch

Euan Anderson booked four players and while he allowed some heftier challenges to go without reaching for the yellow card, he generally handled the game well.

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He certainly appeared to get a big call right in the 72nd minute when he cautioned St Johnstone midfielder Liam Craig for simulation when he tumbled needlessly under the hint of a challenge from Glen Kamara. It was a curious incident, given that Craig was clear on goal and had the chance to pull his team back into contention for the closing stages.

Gave us a giggle

Given that St Johnstone were always likely to be mounting a rearguard action in this game, manager Callum Davidson might have opted to field two goalkeepers if he could.

The official team sheet stated that Saints had Craig Gordon in their line-up, wearing the number six jersey. It was, of course, Liam of that ilk.

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As it was, Hearts ‘keeper Craig would have been unlikely to fare any better than his Scotland squad colleague Zander Clark who made some fine stops to prevent a heavier defeat.

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