Rangers smash Ross County to the tune of 5-0 at Ibrox to move 23 points clear at the top, here’s why we really needed a win like this…
Oh man, did we need that. After the frustration of facing that unlovable bunch of cloggers at Motherwell last week, we were due to give a team a good thrashing. Like the force of all that negativity, the Steelmen started time wasting after 30 minutes for example, just got unloaded on poor, helpless Ross County. And it could have been much, much more.
Rangers were absolutely dominant here, as much as they’ve been in a game this season – which is to say, as much as they’ve been in basically a decade. So much was this needed that it wasn’t even really just three points. This was, in fact, a massive put down by the Gers and an epic statement of intent. The doubters won’t be silenced, they are too stupid to realise when they’ve been trounced, but for the media hoping against hope for an Ibrox meltdown – the lads today closed that door tightly in their faces.
You see, leading up to this game the narrative focused on that root canal filling of a match with Motherwell. They want your clicks, it’s true, but none moreso do they want than those of mindless Celtic fans, a plurality of the fanbase some might suggest. They’ve had little comfort this season as things have unravelled faster than you can say Now Departing for Dubai Airport. But there’s this idea that, at some point, Rangers have to fall on their faces, right?
Not today. Today we were dominant and the stats at least can attest to it. The Gers enjoyed 70% of the possession, taking on some 28 (!) shots on goal and making almost 5 times as many passes as the Staggies. There wasn’t a bad player wearing light blue on the park and, as such, I find it difficult to call out each performer individually.
That said, we saw goals from Ryan Kent, Filip Helander, Joe Aribo, Ryan Jack and Conor Goldson, for whom special mention must be made. Starting at the top, Kent had a really great game, which was almost inevitable after we talked about his dip in form and goal drought only a few days back. He scored the opener with his head, hit the post just after, and was a menace the full 90 minutes.
Helander’s header was an absolute bullet on the 28th minute. Completely unstoppable and delivered right to his head by the exceptional Borna Barisic, who would grab another assist during the game too. One comes to expect such from the best full back in the league, but Barisic still manages to surprise with just how good he is – even as others take the spotlight.
I’m happy for Joe to grab his goal, he had a poor outing at Motherwell, though he wasn’t the only one, then comes on and produces an absolute worldy. Skinning two players then angling in from just outside the box, the best goal of the night and one of the best Rangers goals this season not scored by Kemar Roofe. I hope this gives him the confidence he needs to start making more runs, taking more opportunities and scoring more goals. Judging by his overall performance today, it should.
Now, Jack’s back. His first touch was a goal and my goodness, the lad looks hungry. A well worked goal with an assist by Ianis Hagi, who also had a really good game as it happens. Still, seeing how bright Jack looked – subbed on in the 61st minute, on the scoresheet on the 65th – was perhaps the story of the match. This was, as we said, a huge statement by Rangers, but there was also a bit of a statement made by Ryan too.
His last game was way back in November, but since then Rangers simply haven’t looked the same. The impact he had when he came on was evidence that he’s been missed and signals his intent to be an important part of Gerrard’s squad going forward. With injuries mounting, the season stretching and the always-present wildcard of COVID-19, having a fit, healthy and seemingly hungry Ryan Jack could be pivotal for the Light Blues going forward.
In the end, this was just Ross County after all. We were heavy favourites to win and perhaps to win by a big margin, but any Bear will tell you that it rarely actually works that way for us. That said, today it all fell into place and hopefully that aura will carry into the next game, a tricky Hibs game on Wednesday, and beyond. At least, thank goodness, we don’t have Motherwell away again.