Report: Gers Come From Behind To Secure The Points

RANGERS showed their incredible maturity and champions’ spirit to come from behind and secure a tremendous three points against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park this afternoon.

Trailing to a Michael O’Halloran opener early in the second half, Kemar Roofe netted from the penalty spot to level before James Tavernier added another wonder goal to his collection to win the game 10 minutes from time.

Boss Gerrard named three changes to his team for this one - from the side which claimed victory in the Old Firm match almost a fortnight ago, Jon McLaughlin, Tavernier and Calvin Bassey came into the XI in place of Robby McCrorie, Connor Goldson and Borna Barisic.

That meant it was a back five of McLaughlin in goal with Tavernier, Leon Balogun, Filip Helander and Bassey in front of him.

Steven Davis, Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara were in midfield, while up front, Kemar Roofe and Ryan Kent supported Alfredo Morelos.

The vast bulk of the early play was Rangers’, playing some nice football as they looked to find a way through the organised and tightly-packed home defence.

Balogun had an early header on the end of a Tavernier corner which he may have looked to do better with, while Hayden Muller made a fine block to deny Roofe from close range soon after.

Zander Clark saved superbly from a fierce Roofe effort from just outside the area, while the Jamaican internationalist also tried an overhead strike as the interval approached, but shot over the bar.

Into the second half, and with six minutes of the new period on the clock, St Johnstone took the lead. Michael O’Halloran was able to travel forward on the left-hand side and find a finish into the top-right hand corner to put the home side ahead.

Gers ought to have been level within a minute – Tavernier’s ball across the face of goal being just inches away from being tapped home by Morelos, the Colombian just unable to connect.

Then on 57 minutes, Rangers were awarded a penalty – Ryan Kent being felled by Jamie McCart inside the area.

Up-stepped Roofe to take, and his effort sent Clark the wrong way as it found the back of the net – although there were some afters following the goal with each of Morelos, Roofe, Shaun Rooney and Liam Craig booked by referee Willie Collum.

Gers found some real vigour and verve all of a sudden, and Tavernier came close with a 25-yard drive while Clark was forced to work hard to divert a deflected Morelos effort behind.

Kent then curled one from the 18-yard line just over, while at the other end, there was an escape with Ali Crawford firing over the bar.

With 10 minutes of normal time remaining, however, Rangers took a stunning lead with a quite incredible James Tavernier goal.

Receiving the ball on the switch from fellow full-back Calvin Bassey, Tavernier was in space, fully 25-yards from target, and he picked his spot and unleashed this phenomenal, dipping drive which left goalkeeper Clark rooted to the spot.

It was an unbelievable strike for the captain, and provided the moment of quality it always looked like would be required to unlock the stuffy home defence.

The Light Blues, without the ever-present Goldson and with Helander also having gone off injured in the second half, held firm brilliantly in what remained of the match to secure an outstanding three points for the Gers.

It’s on now to Lyon at Ibrox on Thursday night as the Europa League resumes.

RANGERS: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Balogun, Helander (Simpson, 76), Bassey, Davis, Aribo, Kamara, Kent (Lundstram, 82), Roofe, Morelos.

SUBS NOT USED: McGregor, Wright, Barisic, Arfield.

ST JOHNSTONE: Clark, Brown, Devine, McCart, Kane, Wotherspoon, O’Halloran, Muller (Vertainen, 83), Rooney, Crawford (May, 85), Craig.

SUBS NOT USED: Dendoncker, Parish, Gilmour, Ballantyne, Ambrose.

REFEREE: Willie Collum

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