Analytical Match Report: Rangers 2 Queen of the South 1

Martyn Waghorn, courtesy of RFC

written by – Rangers Report

This aim of this Analytical Match Report is to enhance the analysis of Rangers performance by providing a variety of advanced stats from the game.  Explanations of these stats can be found in our tutorial for these reports. 

Expected Goals:  Rangers 2.1   Queen of the South 0.5

This was a hard fought, & well deserved, victory for Rangers.  The sheer volume of shots eventually broke a well organized Queens defence in the final moments of the match.  Normally, with 20+ shots Rangers Expected Goals numbers tend to be higher, but James Fowler’s defence did a good job of keeping a majority of the shots to the perimeter of the heart of the penalty box.

Queen of the South played for a draw, while Rangers played for the win & the home side eventually overpowered the opponents through constant pressure in the final third.  (Note:  Martyn Waghorn’s penalty attempt is not factored into the xG total).

Shot Quality Breakdown:

image (1)

This was a patient & deliberate match from Rangers.  Given that Queens played nine men behind the ball, it’s actually pretty impressive that Rangers managed to get 45% of their shots from within the penalty area.  If Rangers only managed eight shots in the game, you would need more chances coming from within the penalty area or you’d be lucky to score, but given that they had 22 shots in the run of play, it meant that 10 came from within the box (which is higher than Queen of the South’s total shot output for the entire match).  This is where you see a distinct difference in the quality of chances the two teams were creating.  Of the visitor’s eight shots, 75% came from outside the penalty area.  So, even though Rangers had a few breakdowns defensively, they were able to recover & limit Queen of the South from creating threats on goal (besides Derek Lyle’s tally).

image (1)

I know that there were some saying that Queen of the South deserved a point on Saturday, but the bulk of the evidence supports the idea that Rangers were the worthy holder of all three points coming out of Ibrox.  Yes, Queen of the South played the classic underdog match of putting nine defenders behind behind the ball, looking for counter attacks & taking advantage of set-pieces.  They did all those things, but underdogs usually lose & the better teams in these situations find a way to persevere & win out.

Derek Lyle, courtesy of PA

Shooting Efficiency:

Shots Shots on Target Sh Acc Sh%
Rangers 23 8 0.347 0.250
QoS 8 3 0.375 0.333

Again the sheer volume of chances wins out against the opportunistic approach.

However, credit should go to Queen of the South for blocking 30% of Rangers shots.  That’s a pretty high rate of shots that didn’t get close to reaching the goal.  If you combine blocks & shots on target, only eight of Rangers 23 shots actually missed off the foot or head of a Rangers player.

Rangers Report Shot Chart:

image (1)

Rangers got off to a flying start but you really noticed them, literally, flat line at the 30 minute mark for a good 15+ minutes.  That’s when Lyle put Queens ahead & it took Rangers a little bit to recover.  They sustained possession but weren’t really doing much with it.  Rangers did begin improving their production as they got closer to the hour mark, spurred on by Jason Holt’s goal & then the two subs at the 60 minute mark.

Wes Foderingham, courtesy of RFC

Goalkeeper Distribution Ratio:

Wes Foderingham, Rangers 0.75
Robbie Thomson, QoS 0.38

Foderingham went short 96% of the time with his usual success.  Rangers gained possession in the attack half on 74% of the keeper’s distributions.  Thomson actually experienced better than average success on his long balls.  He went long 91% of the time & Queen of the South won possession in Rangers half on 34% of those long balls.  When he did go short, he had a GDR of 0.67.

Individual Outliers:

courtesy of RFC

The most dominant player on the pitch, as Martyn Waghorn generated seven shots in the run of play which calculated to is 0.94 Expected Goals total (nearly half of the team’s total).  He also had four Controlled Zone Entries into the final third, as he played much of the match out right.

courtesy of RFC

Martyn Waghorn will get all of the headlines, largely due to the fact that his determination to overcome the saved penalty was indicative of the team’s play as a whole, but Jason Holt’s goal cannot be overlooked.  Rangers were playing middling football for a good 15-20 minutes until he got them on the scoreboard.  Plus, he was way more active on the ball than he has been of late, as the foul totals & the five Controlled Zone Entries are testament to that fact.

courtesy of RFC

Barrie McKayJames Tavernier both had eight Controlled Zone Entries each  into the final third which brought a real balance to Rangers attack.  Of those entries, 100% of McKay’s resulted in a positive play – either sustained possession, set pieces, or a shot.

courtesy of RFC

Nathan Oduwa added a directness that was sometimes lacking in Rangers play on Saturday.  In his 31 minutes, he had five CZEs – one of which led to Rangers penalty call on Andy Halliday.  Less than a minute later he had the assist on the winning goal.

You can follow Rangers Report on Twitter @TheGersReport

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