Rangers 3-0 St Mirren: Alfredo Morelos’ ‘strong focus’ delights Steven Gerrard

9 August 2020 0 By Total Football News
Highlights of Rangers' 3-0 victory over St Mirren at Ibrox in the Scottish Premiership.

Alfredo Morelos showed "really strong focus" in Rangers' 3-0 win against St Mirren, said manager Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard explained after Thursday's loss to Bayer Leverkusen the striker's head had been turned after being linked with Lille.

But he scored his first goals since February with a double against St Mirren after providing the cross for Conor McCarthy's own goal.

"His all-round play deserved those numbers," said Gerrard.

"Alfredo was well aware that he needed to perform a little bit better.

"He certainly showed a great reaction. From the first whistle until the end, it was a really strong Morelos performance."

Morelos started despite the midweek signings of Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe, the latter not in the squad, and drilled the ball across for the opener as McCarthy diverted the ball past Jak Alnwick.

And the 24-year-old recaptured the form of his first three seasons at the club with a powerful header to convert James Tavernier's 69th-minute corner and a close-range finish five minutes later after Borna Barisic had crossed from the left.

Itten came on for his debut in place of Morelos as Gerrard rung the changes.

Alnwick earlier made impressive saves to deny Morelos, Joe Aribo and Tavernier as St Mirren struggled to get out of their own half.

However, home debutant keeper Jon McLaughlin did have to deal with a Jamie McGrath effort after missing a cross then a fierce Ilkay Durmus free-kick.

What did we learn?

While the transfer window remains open, it is likely Morelos will continue to be linked with a move away from Ibrox after scoring 79 goals since he arrived in 2017.

However, this performance showed he can still be an asset to Rangers.

Gerrard's side had nearly three-quarters of the possession, 29 shots in total and 12 on target, building on the superiority they enjoyed at Aberdeen last weekend.

St Mirren got their season off to a winning start last week against Livingston and Alnwick's performance will give the Paisley side confidence they have a reliable last line of defence this season.

However, Jon Obika was very isolated in attack and needs more support in matches where St Mirren are going to be under the cosh.

Man of the match - Alfredo Morelos

With a goal and two assists, Morelos was involved in all three goals as he netted in the Premiership for the first time since Boxing Day last year

What did they say?

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: "A lot of teams are going to sit here and set us the challenge to find the breakthrough. We stayed on from the first whistle as we chased the breakthrough.

"The competition is hotting up but that's the way it should be at Rangers. No-one should feel comfortable and feel the shirt is theirs. They've got to earn it and perform at a level where you make a manager pick you."

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "I don't think it is a result that we should allow to knock our confidence too much, we won't be judged on these particular games.

"We have to pick the bones out of it tomorrow, look at what we can do better and try and re-energise for another extremely difficult game on Wednesday."

What's next?

St Mirren host Celtic in Wednesday's 18:00 BST kick-off before Rangers take on St Johnstone at Ibrox later that day at 19:45.

By then Rangers, who were knocked out of the 2019-20 Europa League by Leverkusen on Thursday, will have featured in the second qualifying draw for this season's tournament.

This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53626123