Hamilton Academical 0-2 Rangers: Visitors go three points clear at top

30 August 2020 0 By Total Football News
James Tavernier doubled Rangers' lead with his first goal since last September

Rangers' lack of ruthlessness "might come back to bite" their title hopes, manager Steven Gerrard said after his side's 2-0 win at Hamilton Academical.

The Ibrox side moved three points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership but were "wasteful" after early goals from Ianis Hagi and James Tavernier.

A sixth successive clean sheet to start a top-flight season equals the record set by Celtic 114 years ago.

"Hamilton were there for a stronger scoreline," said Gerrard.

"Our play up to a certain point was outstanding. But if you were a player in the top half of the pitch you should have got a goal or an assist.

"There has been three or four times this season that we should have got more goals. At some point that might come back to bite us."

Striker Alfredo Morelos, dropped last week amid continued interest from Lille, was back in the squad but did not come off the bench.

Asked if the Colombian would still be a Rangers player following the international break, Gerrard said: "I don't know. That's a very difficult question for me to answer. He's trained really well this week but I really can't control what other teams will do."

Hamilton had won the previous meeting - a shock 1-0 success at Ibrox in March - but any prospect of a repeat was as artificial as the Lanarkshire pitch.

Two strikes in quick succession killed the game as a contest inside 20 minutes.

First, Steven Davis' inswinging cross was headed against the underside of the bar by Kemar Roofe, allowing Hagi a simple finish for his first goal of the season, then Hamilton goalkeeper Ryan Fulton could only parry Ryan Kent's curling drive into the path of Tavernier to knock home.

Rangers looked on for a rout. Instead, the spurned opportunities began piling up.

Roofe wasted two big chances either side of half-time, and should have had a penalty after being shoved in the back by Scott McMann, who was later dismissed after a second booking.

Brandon Barker blasted into the side-netting from close range, while Ryan Jack's deflected half-volley spun against a post.

When Hamilton finally threatened, Shaun Want's header from a corner had to be clawed away by Jon McLaughlin.

Man of the match - Ryan Kent

The attacking midfielder's performance was full of menace and showed why Leeds United tried to entice him south with a £10m bid

What did we learn?

Rangers may rue not running up a bigger margin of victory. Their performance deserved more goals, but better composure is required when applying the final touch. Their creative fluency, though, allied to a rock-solid defence, is cause for optimism at Ibrox.

Hamilton deserve credit for staving off a heavy defeat, which could have sapped their young side's morale. Fielding 18-year-olds Reegan Mimnaugh and Andrew Winter in midfield was a bold call by Brian Rice, and his team didn't let their heads drop after the early goals.

What did they say?

Hamilton manager Brian Rice: "We could have capitulated, but we stuck at it. We showed them too much respect and were too deep. We addressed that at half-time and you saw a different performance in the second half."

'We showed Rangers too much respect'

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: "We were excellent to go one and two up but then we became really wasteful. It's not a concern but it's certainly an area we need to work on."

What's next?

Rangers return from the international break with a home match against Dundee United a week on Saturday, while Hamilton visit the side immediately above them, Livingston.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53871819