Lyon 0 Rangers 2: Post Match Report

By Adam Robertson
 July 16, 2020

The football is back! It's been a very tough 18 weeks but it's time again to cheer on Rangers again and relive the joy and despair that comes when following the best team in Scotland.

Steven Gerrard's men have only just recently starting full contact training and managed to fit in a bounce game, in which they won 2-1 against Hamilton. Tonight's match saw us come up an excellent Lyon side who are well into their pre-season.

Rangers lined up with a strong team with Jon McLaughlin starting between the sticks. George Edmundson also comes into a back two with Connor Goldson following an injury to Nikola Katic. The midfield was largely what we saw before football was halted. Star striker Alfredo Morelos lead the line for the Gers.

Lyon also fielded a strong squad with the likes of Marcelo, Traore, Ekambi and Cherki all starting. Former Celtic forward Moussa Dembele would start from the sidelines.

Before the match both teams took a knee in support of the 'Black Lives Matter' campaign.

FIRST HALF

Lyon kicked of the match at the Groupama stadium, with Rangers dropping into their shape and starting that the high intensity pressing style that we all love to see.

An earlier opportunity fell to the 16 year old Rayan Cherki, after a cross from Traore on the right hand side, however the youngsters shot was straight at the new Rangers signing Jon McLaughlin.

Lyon enjoyed most of the possession in the first 10 minutes but struggled to break down the Rangers defence. They eventually found a gap between Goldson and Tavernier but Ekambi couldn't direct his shot on target.

The Premier Sports pundits continued push their 'Morelos is villain' agenda after Morelos clashed with a Lyon midfielder in what was two players going for a ball. How many times are we going to hear this vitriol this season?

Some fantastic passing was on display by the Rangers team, this lead the away side winning a few corners. A short corner found Ryan Kent and he glided past the Lyon defence. He managed to put a ball into the box. Hagi placed the ball into the back of the Lyon net, Lyon 0 Rangers 1, Ianis Hagi (20).

Lyon pushed forward but again couldn't capitalise. Rangers broke on the counter attack with Borna Barisic on the left hand side, he played in a beautiful cross to Ianis Hagi who guided the ball into the far corner of the Lyon goal. Lyon 0 Rangers 2, Ianis Hagi (25).

Rangers grew more confident and starting fizzing the ball around the pitch, it's clear to see that Steven Gerrard and his backroom staff have had these players running and working on shape over the last few weeks. Lets hope we see a consistent performance for full season.

The home side looked frustrated giving the ball away too easily. Rangers players worked relentlessly winning the ball back and finding the next pass, the Lyon players were made to shift side to side hoping for Rangers to make a mistake.

Lyon had a fine chance on thirty three minutes with a cross from the left hand side but the opportunity was headed well wide by Jean Lucas.

Rangers winger Ryan Kent was brought down by Rafael on the half way line with Marcelo provoking the Englishmen. Unfortunately Kent raised his hands to the Lyon player and was sent for an early bath. A soft decision by the referee particularly after the leg breaking tackle on Ryan Jack earlier on in the game which only merited a yellow card.

Lyon began to attack the Rangers goal again, a ball was played to Cherki on the edge of the box but his ball was stuck well wide.

The first half ended with Rangers well on top. Lyon occasionally looked dangerous but nothing trouble the Rangers defence. Could the dismissal of Ryan Kent prove difficult for the Gers in the second half?

SECOND HALF

Rangers only changes for the second half was bringing on Scott Arfield for goalscorer Ianis Hagi in what I can only thing is to accommodate playing with ten men and Glenn Kamara replacing Ryan Jack.

Lyon started off dangerous finding holes in behind the Rangers defence, a superb pass found the winger who curled the ball into the box but it was defended well.

Shouts of encouragement towards the Rangers players could be heard from the bench. I must say I quite liked the fact you can could hear the players and staff talking, it's much better than hearing "for fuck sake Tav" for 90 minutes.

Lyon tested the Rangers defence again with a wonderful ball from former Chelsea man Traore, but big George Edmundson was on hand again to smash the ball clear.

Rangers continued their high intensity press despite only having ten men, this caused a few mistakes from the Lyon players but the home side looked the more threatening side.

Steven Gerrard made an array of changes on the fifty seventh minute seeing Jordan Jones, Brandon Barker, Ross McCrorie and Calvin Bassey enter the field for Alfredo Morelos, Steven Davis, Borna Barisic and Joe Aribo.

A bursting counter attack once again by Rangers saw them attack the left hand side. A triumphant run by Brandon Barker found himself into Lyon box where he cut the ball back to Ross McCrorie whose shot has blocked by a defender. Big change missed for Rangers.

Another unbelievable decision was made once again by the referee. A shot from point blank range hit the arm of George Edmundson, which was clearly tucked up against his side. The resulting free kick was fired wide by Traore.

Lyon continued to threaten, a mistake by new signing Calvin Bassey was capitalised and the home side drove forward. The long range shot was comfortably saved by goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin.

Jordan Jones showed a sign of his immense pace when a ball was played over the top by James Tavernier. Jones beat the defender to the ball but couldn't manage to find his teammate in the middle of the box.

George Edmundson was replaced on the sixty eighth minute for Greg Docherty. Edmundson put in a terrific performance winning the majority of his aerial duels and keeping the Lyon forwards at bay.

Lyon waited until the seventieth minute to bring on the big names of Moussa Dembele and former Manchester United man Memphis Deapy, could this be the turning point in the tie?

Rangers stood strong and put up with a dominant period for the Lyon players. Memphis Depay toyed with the Rangers defence and was played in behind before throwing his body to the floor in a plea for a penalty. The referee gave a free kick to Rangers and booked Depay for descent.

Rangers once again broke on the counter attack, the speed of Jordan Jones and Brandon Barker was a difficult combination for the Lyon defence to deal with. Barker burst in behind and found Jones with his cross, Jones touch was a good one but his shot was wide of the goal.

Steven Gerrard then brought on youth academy prospects Lewis Mayo and Nathan Patterson for Connor Goldson and James Tavernier. Both getting a decent chunk of minutes against a top opposition. Interestingly Ross McCrorie moved into a centre back pairing with Mayo.

Lyon yet again pressured the Rangers defence. A series of corners were defended and a number of shots were comfortably saved by Jon McLaughlin yet again. Memphis Depay also struck a glorious effort wide of the post, which pretty much summed up Lyons night.

Four minutes were added on towards the end of the match. Lyon continued to push forward but were left frustrated with the defiance of the Rangers defence. Cross after cross was either met by a Rangers defender or Jon McLaughlin collecting the ball.

The second half ended with Rangers as the worthy winners, a performance to be proud of. I had thought that we would see a lot more from this Lyon side but was left quite dissapointed.

SUMMARY

Rangers were decent for what was only their second game in 18 weeks. The shape was good and the passing display was similar to what we saw post Dubai training camp.

George Edmundson was a stand out for me. The big man put in great performance for nearly seventy minutes. His aerial ability is clear to see and could be a welcomed replacement to Nikola Katic.

Ryan Kent's red card was the obvious negative. A soft decision particularly in a friendly but the rules state you cannot raise your hands to another player. Hopefully Steven Gerrard gets on top of any disciplinary issues this season.

A testing last twenty minutes saw Rangers on the back foot but the players stood strong. Appearance for youngsters such as Calvin Bassey, Lewis Mayo and Nathan Patterson are all positives as we look to bring through the next generation.

Once again the team dug deep with the ten man disadvantage, something that we have seen quite regularly over the last two years.

Bring on Nice!

Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post match report please do let us know on our socials. We can be found using @thisisibrox on Twitter and Instagram and by searching This Is Ibrox on Facebook and YouTube.

Written by Adam Robertson (@atrobbo)

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