Steven Davis’ goal in the Scottish Cup quarter final against Rangers on Tuesday evening may be seen as a breakthrough in Rangers’ quest for success against the odds, but said the Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, “it’s an important lifeline.”
Steven Davis’ goal in Saturday’s trip to Malmo certainly rescued a game for Rangers, who had managed to pull off a rare 2-1 win in Scandinavia for only their second win on the road all season. The victory was also Steven Gerrard’s first since returning as manager and, for Davis, their third in an astonishing seven-game spell.
When Steven Davis scored the equaliser against Malmo, it became not only the first Rangers goal this season, but also the first goal Steven Gerrard has scored at Rangers in the last 10 years. The goal was important for many reasons, not least of which because it came in a match which Rangers had already won 2-0. The win marked the first time since the 2011/12 season that Rangers have won back to back matches.
Rangers were penalized for a poor second-half start.
Despite losing to Malmo, Steven Gerrard believes Steven Davis’ “huge moment” has provided Rangers “an vital lifeline” in their bid to reach the Champions League group stage.
In the 95th minute of a tough night for the Scottish champions in Sweden, Davis banged the ball home from the outside of the area.
Soren Rieks and Veljko Birmancevic scored within two minutes of the restart to put Malmo in charge, and they seemed to be on their way to extending their advantage if it hadn’t been for Davis’ vital intervention.
Rangers will be in a better position for the return leg at Ibrox on Tuesday, where they have a good record.
“It’s not where we wanted to be, but it’s a lot better than coming into the game down 2-0. We were also on the brink of things becoming worse “Gerrard spoke to Rangers TV about the situation.
“For next week, we’ll have to raise our standards individually and collectively. Six or seven, in my view, need to elevate their game, and they need to do it quickly.”
Rangers were able to play a solid XI despite the absence of Alfredo Morelos, Glen Kamara, Kemar Roofe, and Leon Balogun – the latter three due to suspension – as they started their quest to reach the group stage for the first time in ten years.
The Scottish champions had the better of the first half, with Ryan Kent and Scott Arfield both having opportunities, but neither side had much goalmouth activity as they battled for control.
But Malmo, led by Jon Dahl Tomasson, emerged from the locker room with a new attitude, putting Rangers to the sword inside two minutes of the referee’s whistle.
Birmancevic first ripped away and dummied Arfield before feeding Rieks at the back post, who scored a stunning first-time volley past Allan McGregor.
Birmancevic rolled in off his left-hand post after James Tavernier had given the pass to Anders Christiansen, allowing the Danish midfielder to set up his striker.
Rangers were caught off guard as Malmo rushed around them, supported by a boisterous home crowd, and Helander was lucky not to give a penalty that would have put Gerrard’s side in even more danger.
The pace dropped shortly after, and Rangers sought for a reaction, but they couldn’t find a spark in the last third.
The most probable source of a goal seemed to be Scott Wright’s movement and speed, and he did manage to set up Fashion Sakala, only for the substitute’s attempt to be stopped by a tenacious Malmo defense.
And that was the extent of Rangers’ obvious opportunities until Davis was given too much space on the edge of the box, allowing him to use all of his expertise to calm himself and smash the ball into the goal.
Veljko Birmancevic was named Player of the Match.
For Malmo, there were many possibilities, but Birmancevic gets the nod for his goal and assist.
What did we discover?
Rangers looked like a team with only one competitive game under their belt, while Malmo looked like a team in the middle of their season. It’s an easy excuse – and one you won’t hear Gerrard make – but Rangers looked like a team with just one competitive game under their belt, while Malmo looked like a team in the middle of their season.
Rangers struggled to adapt to the Swedish side’s 5-3-2 shape, as Helander and Barisic left space on the left channel throughout the first half.
Despite this, the first 45 minutes went by without a clear opportunity being created, but the start of the second half was a lesson in focus as Malmo overwhelmed Rangers to take advantage of their opponents’ sluggish start.
The fact that his team finally collected themselves to get back into the tie will be the greatest positive for Gerrard, and with more game time under their belt for the return leg, he will hope that their offensive play connects better, since their delivery was unusually poor.
Wright put in another excellent performance, and he should start at Ibrox. Only Slavia Prague and Bayer Leverkusen have triumphed in European play in Govan since Gerrard took over, so they will be confident of progressing despite the elimination of the away goal rule.
What they had to say
“We had two fantastic performances,” Rangers manager Steven Gerrard said. Filip Helander and Steven Davis, both of whom I felt were excellent.
“I’m out of compliments for Davo. He’s a person who never gives up. He continues going to the finish, and he’s someone who’s given us a huge moment that’s given us a crucial lifeline heading into next week.”
What comes next?
Rangers play Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday (12:30 BST), before attempting to overcome a 2-1 lead against Malmo next Tuesday (20:00).
- 24NielsenScheduled for 67 minutes
- 4Moisander It was scheduled for 52 minutes.
- 5Rieks The time slot was set for 18 minutes. 88’minutes Substituted for Beijmoat
- 10Christiansen 89’minutesSubstituted forRakipat
- 88’minutesColakSubstituted forAbubakariat
- 74’minutesBirmancevicSubstituted forNalicat
- 31Barisic Scheduled for 38 minutes
- 37Arfield Scheduled for 70 minutes
- 11IttenIttenIttenIttenIttenIttenIttenIttenIttenI 63’minutes Substituted for Sakalaat
Malmö 2 Rangers 1 is the final score.
Malmö 2, Rangers 1 at the conclusion of the second half.
Goal! Rangers 1, Malmö 2. Steven Davis (Rangers) hits the goal with a left-footed shot from the center of the area. Ryan Kent was a big help.
Malmö, you’ve been replaced. Anders Christiansen is replaced by Erdal Rakip.
Malmö, you’ve been replaced. Antonio-Mirko Colak is replaced by Abdul Malik Abubakari.
Malmö, you’ve been replaced. Sören Rieks is replaced by Felix Beijmo.
Malmö, you’ve been replaced. Veljko Birmancevic is replaced by Adi Nalic.
Rangers’ Scott Arfield receives a yellow card.
Malmö’s Lasse Nielsen receives a yellow card.
Rangers, please make a substitution. Cedric Itten is replaced by Fashion Sakala.
The yellow card is shown to Niklas Moisander (Malmö).
Goal! Rangers 0, Malmö 2. Malmö’s Veljko Birmancevic hits the goal with a right-footed effort from the center of the area.
Goal! Rangers 0, Malmö 1. Right-footed shot from the middle of the box by Sören Rieks (Malmö) to the upper center of the goal. Veljko Birmancevic assisted.
Malmö is behind 1-0 against Rangers in the second half.
Malmö 0 Rangers 0 at the conclusion of the first half.
The yellow card is shown to Cedric Itten (Rangers).
Rangers’ Borna Barisic receives a yellow card.
The yellow card is shown to Sören Rieks (Malmö).
3 August 17:56:56:56:56:56:56:56:56:56:56:56:56:56:56:56
The starting lineups have been revealed, and the players are getting ready to go.
Facing the prospect of administrative relegation, Rangers were unable to score in their latest UEFA Europa League game. Steven Davis may have broken his duck but, in the end, the 2-1 scoreline was the result of a Rangers team that was simply outclassed by a Malmo side that “tidy up” after the interval and no one was able to respond.. Read more about rangers vs malmo stats and let us know what you think.
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