In truth, I didn’t think that Glasgow Rangers played particularly well against Spartak Moscow, but that could be because the Russian side were better and much harder to beat than earlier newspaper reports implied.
Most fans were expecting the Ibrox club to hit a higher standard of play than they produced on Thursday night. The passing was not as sharp as usual and some of the team didn’t perform as well as they routinely do.
Rangers at times played fairly primitive football and did not create enough clear cut chances on their home turf.
The Light Blues struggled at times to make the breakthrough on the Spartak defence who worked diligently throughout the match.
Their centre half and captain, had a marvellous game and was, along with his other compatriots, reliable in defence and midfield, but this was also partly due to the poor movement in the final third of the Rangers attacks.
Captain James Tavernier’s passing, free kicks, corners and crosses left a lot to be desired. One of his worst games in a Rangers jersey, his usual reliable attacking skills were conspicuous by their absence.
It was hard not to feel disappointed at not winning the game, but Joe Worrall was terrific and had his best 90 minutes so far. Ryan Kent was very good again but lacked that important final ball.
If only Lassana Coulibaly could have anticipated a brilliant set up from Alfredo Morelos to slide in to score with an easy tap in, but that is football I suppose.
Daniel Candeias had a great opportunity but decided to cross the ball to Coulibaly which was too high for the midfield man. He seemed to bottle out of taking the shot on, himself.
Morelos was rightly booked again. When will he ever learn that the mounting yellow cards will come back to bite Rangers? Probably in a very important game that they have to win, Alfredo will be suspended.
Tavernier and Candeias didn’t get much joy down the right, and Jon Flanagan’s passing on the left, was abysmal.
It was a frustrating, sloppy-passing home performance at times, but with the last kick of the ball Eros Grezda blasted the ball over the bar missing an easy opportunity. He is clearly not match fit yet, after being out injured for several months – a great pity.
Overall Rangers played well enough to earn a draw to remain unbeaten for a new European record, and with the last kick of the ball almost stole all three points.