Rangers are going through tough times after suffering two consecutive defeats. After making an unbeaten start of five matches in the Scottish Premiership, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men suffered a 4-0 loss at the hands of rivals, Celtic. This defeat was followed by a defeat with the same scoreline against Ajax in the UEFA Champions League. These two heavy defeats are a heavy setback for Rangers in their league campaign as well as in the European competitions. The opponents showed no mercy against Rangers in both matches. The defence is a concern for the Gers, but some of their key players are injured. The biggest concern for the manager is his team’s attacking failures. Their stats in these two matches are below average per match.
Rangers’ failures to build-play
Rangers have failed to build on their play in the last two matches. They struggled to keep the ball and reach the final third. Rangers kept the ball against Celtic, but the struggle to reach the final third continued for them. They now average 60.9 passes to the final third with a 73.3% accuracy rate. Against Celtic, Rangers attempted 44 passes to the final third with a low accuracy rate of 56.8%. Against Ajax, the passes went down to 21 and only ten were successfully delivered. The above viz shows the passing links and average position of the players vs Celtic. We can observe that Rangers created most of the passing links on the left.
Rangers had only 27.8% of the ball in the previous match and were unable to get out of their own half. The average position of most of the players was deep inside their own half. James Tavernier has underperformed in the last two matches and was substituted in the last match. This has resulted in fewer passing links from the right side and his form is a bit of a concern for the manager. Rangers’ failures in the passing areas have resulted in fewer attacking opportunities.
Rangers’ average attacks per game have also seen a decrease in numbers. In the match against Celtic, they created 26 positional attacks and attempted five shots from these attacks. The numbers went down to six against Ajax and only a single shot was attempted from these attacks. Rangers average 33.64 positional attacks per match now. These failures have also resulted in fewer shot attempts.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst is facing big concerns now and has to find a way to deal with bigger teams. They are five points behind Celtic in the Scottish Premiership table and last in the UEFA Champions League group table. These two performances have reduced their chances of earning either of these trophies this season. The manager has to come up with a solution to this problem.
Visuals via Wyscout