Match Analysis: Ross County 0-4

By Jamie Currie
 December 7, 2020

Rangers were rampant in Dingwall at the Global Energy Stadium as they overcame a stuff Ross County side by a convincing 4-0 scoreline.

A first-half Kemar Roofe goal was followed up in the second half by goals from James Tavernier, a Callum Morris own goal and a Jermain Defoe finish to bring the scoring to a close.

The result coupled with Celtic's 1-1 draw with St Johnstone at Parkhead allowed Rangers to finish the day with a 13-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership. Furthermore, it also stretched Rangers' unbeaten start to the season in all competitions to 25 matches and they have notched their eighth league victory in a row.

There were plenty of talking points to come out of the match and we will take a look at them.

Rangers have mastered how to beat the low block

In the last two seasons, Rangers, as we know, have had issues breaking down deep, compact defences. However, this season that has changed – Livingston apart – and that was on show in Dingwall. It was down to a few aspects of Rangers' build-up play.

The front three has a different dynamic to it. Ryan Kent will often take up pockets, playing in half-spaces, while Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos will take it in turns to drop off, thus creating space for midfield runners and the other forward again, either Roofe or Morelos takes up the central position.

This was evident in two of Rangers' four goals against County.

The first goal is often the most important when playing against the low block.

Ryan Kent will often take up pockets, playing in half-spaces,

This is play with a purpose, Davis with the direct ball in behind Reid to Tavernier, and as mentioned before, Morelos dropping off creates the space at the front post because the County players are out of their shape and Roofe gets in front of his man to score after Tavernier delivers a low cross.

Davis with the direct ball in behind Reid to Tavernier

Even though the third goal, above, was an own goal, the pattern of play was similar to the opener. This time you have Kemar Roofe dropping deep creating a headache for Iacovitti. Goldson with the direct pass in behind and Morelos, like Roofe for the opening goal takes up the central position.

James Tavernier is a man on a mission

One goal and an assist for James Tavernier in this match and he more than played his part in the third goal even though it won't officially count as an assist. He scored his 16th goal of the season during this match and was excellent throughout – his energy to constantly get up and down that right side is testament to his conditioning.

rangers v ross county touch map

The number of touches he has per match continues to be phenomenal –99 touches and 14 crosses to his name. He is the driving force in this Rangers team and proved it against Reid at left-wingback for County, who is no slouch and Tavernier beat him in the foot races for the first and third goal with ease. He's the leader and he's playing with a hunger and he's also backing it up with numbers. Man of the match in my book.

Rangers are in the groove and look solid from back to front

Rangers dominated from the off and looked comfortable throughout against a sticky opponent. The possession stats showed Rangers to have 70% of the ball to County's 30%. Ross County had just one shot on target from four overall, while Rangers had five on target from 16 shots overall. But again, changes were made from Thursday's Europa League win over Standard, with Calvin Bassey coming in for Borna Barisic and Joe Aribo coming in for Scott Arfield and Rangers looked unnerved. They just swatted aside Ross County and were patient in the opening 20 minutes until they got their goal. A solid display all round and plenty to be positive about going into Lech Poznan away on Thursday.

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