Scottish Premiership
RangersRangers2KilmarnockKilmarnock0

Rangers 2-0 Kilmarnock: Alfredo Morelos return 'very important', says Giovanni Van Bronckhorst

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland
Alfredo Morelos sealed Rangers' win in the 88th minute

Giovanni van Bronckhorst says Alfredo Morelos' first appearance of the season was "very important" after the striker sealed Rangers' win against Kilmarnock.

The substitute added to Antonio Colak's opener after five months out injured.

Rangers face Union Saint-Gilloise on Tuesday, seeking to overturn a 2-0 deficit in Champions League qualifying.

"You can see what he brings, not only to the squad but also the way the fans treated him when he came on," said manager Van Bronckhorst.

"For him these first minutes of the season and after five months was very important. I am sure he will only get stronger with each game he is going to be involved in."

While Rangers made it two Scottish Premiership wins out of two, Kilmarnock are still looking for their first top-flight victory since promotion.

Rangers came out determined to improve upon Tuesday's defeat in Belgium and dominated possession and territory.

Malik Tillman burst through in the inside right channel only to have his shot blocked.

Tom Lawrence almost gave the hosts the lead with a dipping volley from long range that rattled the crossbar in between two Scott Wright efforts that goalkeeper Sam Walker dealt with.

For Killie, Ash Taylor was afforded a rare sight of goal at a Fraser Murray free-kick but headed off target.

The visitors took encouragement from that into the second half and Murray squared for Rory McKenzie to flick the ball over.

The breakthrough arrived after 51 minutes when Colak found Lawrence then received the return to slide a shot across the bows of Walker and into the net for his first Rangers goal.

And Morelos was on hand when fellow substitute Rabbi Matondo's low ball across made it all the way to the back post awaiting a finish.

Man of the match - Tom Lawrence

The attempts did not always come off for Lawrence but he was always a willing participant and provided an assist

Improved Rangers made to wait

Going forward, there was an energy and intent to the home side's play that had been lacking in recent performances.

Van Bronckhorst's side still look like a team getting to know one another with summer signings Tillman, Lawrence, Colak and Ridvan Yilmaz doing the running but not always spotting the pass or getting away a shot in time.

Rangers will need to show more ruthlessness in the final third if they are to peg back Union SG.

Kilmarnock were well drilled and organised, as expected from a Derek McInnes side. Particularly effective was their doubling up approach in full-back areas, which snuffed out a lot of dangerous moments.

In attack, Kyle Lafferty and Oli Shaw could not isolate either Connor Goldson or James Sands and rarely threatened Jon McLaughlin's goal.

Daniel Armstrong and Alan Power had efforts deflected off target at 1-0 that could have changed the game.

What they said

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst: "Very pleased. It's always a very tough game when you play against opposition who make it difficult for you to create a lot of space. We were having problems a little bit with creating chances.

"When you keep pushing, eventually the space will come in the second half. It's very important for the strikers, for their confidence and also for Tom Lawrence and Rabbi Matondo to get an assist."

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes: "We make a tackle and play it right into Colak's path, which is disappointing. The goal that they get to give them impetus in the game came from our own mistake.

"We had some good moments but unfortunately for us not enough. You'd have to say Rangers deserve to win. I thought we were decent for long spells and I'm delighted with the players' efforts."

What's next?

Rangers host Union Saint-Gilloise in Tuesday's Champions League third qualifying round second leg (19:45 BST), then welcome St Johnstone to Ibrox in the Premiership next Saturday (15:00). Kilmarnock entertain Celtic in the league next Sunday (12:00).

Player of the match

MorelosAlfredo Morelos

with an average of 7.01

Rangers

  1. Squad number20Player nameMorelos
    Average rating

    7.01

  2. Squad number10Player nameDavis
    Average rating

    6.91

  3. Squad number71Player nameTillman
    Average rating

    6.73

  4. Squad number11Player nameLawrence
    Average rating

    6.70

  5. Squad number9Player nameColak
    Average rating

    6.45

  6. Squad number4Player nameLundstram
    Average rating

    6.35

  7. Squad number2Player nameTavernier
    Average rating

    6.25

  8. Squad number17Player nameMatondo
    Average rating

    6.19

  9. Squad number33Player nameMcLaughlin
    Average rating

    6.10

  10. Squad number37Player nameArfield
    Average rating

    6.09

  11. Squad number6Player nameGoldson
    Average rating

    6.09

  12. Squad number31Player nameBarisic
    Average rating

    6.00

  13. Squad number23Player nameWright
    Average rating

    5.98

  14. Squad number3Player nameYilmaz
    Average rating

    5.98

  15. Squad number19Player nameSands
    Average rating

    5.70

Kilmarnock

  1. Squad number7Player nameMcKenzie
    Average rating

    5.87

  2. Squad number19Player nameWright
    Average rating

    5.79

  3. Squad number4Player namePower
    Average rating

    5.75

  4. Squad number9Player nameShaw
    Average rating

    5.73

  5. Squad number15Player nameMurray
    Average rating

    5.69

  6. Squad number22Player nameDonnelly
    Average rating

    5.69

  7. Squad number5Player nameTaylor
    Average rating

    5.68

  8. Squad number28Player nameLafferty
    Average rating

    5.67

  9. Squad number3Player nameDorsett
    Average rating

    5.66

  10. Squad number25Player nameAlebiosu
    Average rating

    5.66

  11. Squad number20Player nameWalker
    Average rating

    5.62

  12. Squad number11Player nameArmstrong
    Average rating

    5.21

  13. Squad number31Player namePolworth
    Average rating

    4.87

  14. Squad number21Player nameMcInroy
    Average rating

    4.83

  15. Squad number27Player nameCameron
    Average rating

    4.81

Line-ups

Rangers

Formation 4-3-3

  • 33McLaughlin
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 19Sands
  • 3YilmazSubstituted forBarisicat 63'minutes
  • 4Lundstram
  • 11Lawrence
  • 10Davis
  • 23WrightSubstituted forMatondoat 63'minutes
  • 9ColakSubstituted forMorelosat 64'minutes
  • 71TillmanSubstituted forArfieldat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1McGregor
  • 8Jack
  • 17Matondo
  • 18Kamara
  • 20Morelos
  • 26Davies
  • 31Barisic
  • 37Arfield
  • 43King

Kilmarnock

Formation 3-4-3

  • 20Walker
  • 5TaylorBooked at 14mins
  • 3Dorsett
  • 19Wright
  • 25Alebiosu
  • 4PowerSubstituted forMcInroyat 84'minutes
  • 22DonnellyBooked at 38minsSubstituted forPolworthat 59'minutes
  • 15MurrayBooked at 85mins
  • 7McKenzieBooked at 49minsSubstituted forCameronat 84'minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 28LaffertySubstituted forArmstrongat 75'minutesBooked at 82mins
  • 9Shaw

Substitutes

  • 11Armstrong
  • 12Hodson
  • 14Sanders
  • 17Lyons
  • 18Waters
  • 21McInroy
  • 27Cameron
  • 31Polworth
  • 50Woods
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
49,600

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home73%
Away27%
Shots
Home18
Away4
Shots on Target
Home4
Away0
Corners
Home8
Away3
Fouls
Home13
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Rangers 2, Kilmarnock 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Rangers 2, Kilmarnock 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Tom Lawrence (Rangers).

  4. Post update

    Daniel Armstrong (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Rangers 2, Kilmarnock 0. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from very close range to the top left corner.

  6. Booking

    Innes Cameron (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Connor Goldson (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Innes Cameron (Kilmarnock).

  9. Booking

    Fraser Murray (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Rabbi Matondo (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Fraser Murray (Kilmarnock).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Innes Cameron replaces Rory McKenzie.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Kerr McInroy replaces Alan Power.

  14. Booking

    Daniel Armstrong (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Steven Davis (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Armstrong (Kilmarnock).

  17. Post update

    Offside, Kilmarnock. Liam Polworth tries a through ball, but Fraser Murray is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Tom Lawrence.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alan Power (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Scott Arfield.

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