Written by – Jamie Currie
Total domination. That’s how this game panned out, so much so Harry Forrester stole the ball from Kevin Holt and smashed a sizzling shot beyond Scott Bain to make it 1-0 after 13 seconds. James Tavernier tested Bain twice – once from a shot at the end of a marauding run and once from a free-kick that Bain had to be at full-stretch to keep out. Harkins had one decent chance before the break, but he screwed his shot wide. Two minutes after the break, it was 2-0. A magnificent footballing team goal – it started from the back and included 12 passes. Tavernier, Forrester and McKay all played their part and it was the latter who chested a pass to an on-running Kenny Miller, and the ageless the striker played the ball across the box for Jason Holt to head home from a few yards out. The third came around seven minutes later when Andy Halliday outfoxed Bain with his low free-kick. The superlative performance was rounded off as Lee Wallace ran at McGowan and O’Dea, beat them, and showed ice-cool composure to finish beyond the helpless Bain.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Not for the first time this season it’s been hard to pick out one individual performance. It speaks volumes that there are no stars, so to speak, within this side. The star is the team unit. Each and every one of them deserves praise after that type of display.
As usual Mark Warburton spoke to Rangers TV after the win – and he was delighted with the victory, he said:
“The tone was really set from the first minute by Harry Forrester and that was important for us.
“We knew the threat that they would pose to us, there’s no doubt about that because they are a quality side.”
Forrester’s goal was the quickest Warburton’s side have bagged this season and it was an excellent way to start the match and the intensity of the performance didn’t drop from that minute to the last.
Warburton continued: “We wanted to make sure that we maintained our own tempo during the match and worked at our intensity.
“From the first whistle we worked hard and got the ball and it was tremendous work from Forrester, but all round today and over there were great performances.”
STAT OF THE MATCH
The 4 goals meant Rangers have netted 103 times across all competitions so far this season – and 11 times in the four Scottish Cup ties so far, including this one.
Harry Forrester scoring so quickly – it totally bamboozled Dundee and gave Rangers the perfect platform to boss the game.
- Rangers were tremendous from 1 to 11, no question, but it was the hunger and willingness to press that led to the early domination and goal from Harry Forrester. It wasn’t only the front three who were pressing; Jason Holt and Andy Halliday got in the faces of Ross and McGowan, which meant Dundee couldn’t settle and weren’t given any space to play their normal game.
- It wasn’t only Rangers’ pressing game that caught the eye – it was their ball retention and ability to play in tight areas and quickly spring attacks that put Dundee on the back foot. They couldn’t cope with it whatsoever.
- The back four – which has come in for some criticism this season – proved they are up to the job and as I keep saying, they are improving every single week. James Tavernier was outstanding on both sides of the ball and the same goes for Wallace. The central two, Kiernan and Wilson, were equally impressive and they totally nullified the threat of Hemmings and Stewart.
- Dominic Ball was very good in midfield – he played the holding role like a veteran and gave Holt and Halliday a very solid platform to go and get involved in the final third of the pitch.
- Kenny Miller may be 36, but he still has it. He almost played in a withdrawn role, and that allowed Forrester and McKay to get in behind and central and cause problems for Dundee. The best illustration of this was the second goal when all three forward players were doing just as I’ve described.
- Special congratulations to Lee Wallace as he reached the 200th appearance landmark.
It’s back to league duty on Friday evening as Morton visit Ibrox.