Clement to do 'more business' after Rangers win

1 month ago 256
Abdallah Sima scores for Rangers against KilmarnockAbdallah Sima (far right) netted for the 15th time this season

Abdallah Sima scored a stunning volley as Rangers responded to their Old Firm defeat with Scottish Premiership victory over Kilmarnock.

Ross McCausland fired the hosts in front after Kyle Vassell was denied when clean through on the Rangers goal, and Sima's inventive chest touch and volley added a quick second before the break.

Danny Armstrong converted a VAR-awarded penalty following John Souttar's handball - the first Rangers have conceded in 75 league games - but Todd Cantwell restored the two-goal advantage.

Rangers, beaten by Celtic on Saturday, reduce the league leaders' advantage to five points before they play St Mirren later. Kilmarnock, fourth, trail Hearts by five points.

Keep up to date with RangersThe latest Kilmarnock news

The Vassell chance prompted Kilmarnock's best spell of the game, though that was their best opening.

And it was against the run of play that Rangers took the lead. Cyriel Dessers, having gone close with a shot and a header, swept a superb pass from halfway in behind David Watson for McCausland to chase and finish.

Then came Sima's moment. The winger received Connor Goldson's pass on the 18-yard line, controlled, spun away from Joe Wright and lashed a shot past the helpless Will Dennis.

The half-time scoreline was harsh on Kilmarnock and they needed a response early in the second period.

They probed and when Rory McKenzie's delivery struck Souttar's arm, referee John Beaton reviewed at the monitor and pointed to the spot - the first Premiership penalty Rangers have conceded since January 2022. Armstrong scored confidently.

But the reprieve was short lived. Ridvan Yilmaz's cross from the left perfectly met the near-post run of Cantwell and the midfielder applied the finish.

Rangers' first signing of the January transfer window, Fabio Silva, came on for his debut in place of Dessers and James Tavernier, twice, and Cantwell tested Dennis in the final half hour.

Player of the match - Abdallah Sima (Rangers)

Abdallah Sima celebrates after scoring for Rangers against KilmarnockRangers' second scorer was a persistent threat on the left and lit up the game with his goal

Sima shows Rangers what they'll be missing - analysis

With his 15th goal of the season, Sima demonstrated what Rangers will be missing when he goes to the African Cup of Nations with Senegal.

That tournament runs from 13 January to 11 February, meaning Sima could be unavailable until Rangers' match with St Johnstone on 17 February.

The performance and result allowed Rangers to get their weekend disappointment out of their system and go into the winter break with a morale-boosting three points.

After winning the first meeting of the sides on the opening day of the season, Kilmarnock once again showed their ability to restrict Rangers for long spells.

If the passing from the hosts was not precise, there was usually a Killie boot or head in the way.

Going forward, the visitors were adept at getting into the right areas - particularly with the Vassell chance - but what will frustrate manager Derek McInnes is losing the third goal so soon after getting back into the contest at 2-1.

A late Liam Polworth shot would have made for an interesting finale had it not gone just wide.

What they said

Rangers manager Philippe Clement: "It was an exceptional goal [by Sima]. The finish was really world class. I give [McCausland] a lot of minutes because he deserves it, he performs, he works for the team. He's growing and growing.

"I don't think that John Souttar can do much more or much less with his arm than he did. I hope there comes clarity for the second part of the season. It's important that there's clarity about what is handball and what is not handball."

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes: "It felt so harsh for us [going behind]. The second goal came from nowhere. From a defensive point of view, it's difficult to be too critical of that.

"We just wanted to win the second half. We get ourselves a goal back. What we needed to do then was just be a wee bit more street-wise. The third goal is the goal where we've really not defended it well. We kept going and credit to them."

What's next?

Both sides are next in action in the Scottish Cup on 20 January. Kilmarnock host Dundee (15:00 GMT) and Rangers visit Dumbarton (17:30).

Line-ups

Rangers

Formation 4-3-3

1Butland2Tavernier6Goldson5Souttar3Yilmaz20DowellSubstituted forSterlingat 71'minutes4Lundstram13CantwellBooked at 15minsSubstituted forRaskinat 89'minutes45McCauslandSubstituted forMatondoat 84'minutes9DessersSubstituted forFábio Silvaat 71'minutes19SimaSubstituted forWrightat 84'minutes

Substitutes

7Fábio Silva14Lammers17Matondo21Sterling23Wright28McCrorie38King43Raskin44Devine

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-5-1

1Dennis4WrightBooked at 63mins5Mayo17Findlay3NdabaSubstituted forDeasat 86'minutes11ArmstrongSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 62'minutes7McKenzieBooked at 30mins22DonnellySubstituted forWatsonat 18'minutesBooked at 41mins31Polworth10KennedySubstituted forMurrayat 86'minutes9VassellSubstituted forWatkinsat 62'minutes

Substitutes

6Deas12Watson14Sanders15Murray19Davies20O'Hara21Dallas23Watkins39Mackay-Steven

Referee:John Beaton

Attendance:49,250

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 3, Kilmarnock 1.

Second Half ends, Rangers 3, Kilmarnock 1.

Rabbi Matondo (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Fraser Murray (Kilmarnock).

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Rabbi Matondo.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by James Tavernier.

Substitution, Rangers. Nicolas Raskin replaces Todd Cantwell.

Attempt missed. Fábio Silva (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a fast break.

Foul by Connor Goldson (Rangers).

David Watson (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Robbie Deas replaces Corrie Ndaba.

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Fraser Murray replaces Matthew Kennedy.

Attempt missed. John Souttar (Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by James Tavernier with a cross following a corner.

Substitution, Rangers. Rabbi Matondo replaces Ross McCausland.

Substitution, Rangers. Scott Wright replaces Abdallah Sima.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Stuart Findlay.

Attempt blocked. Ross McCausland (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Dujon Sterling.

Attempt missed. Liam Polworth (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Offside, Rangers. Abdallah Sima is caught offside.

Attempt saved. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Player of the match

ButlandJack Butland

with an average of 7.66

Rangers

Squad number1Player nameButland

Squad number19Player nameSima

Squad number45Player nameMcCausland

Squad number3Player nameYilmaz

Squad number21Player nameSterling

Squad number2Player nameTavernier

Squad number20Player nameDowell

Squad number4Player nameLundstram

Squad number13Player nameCantwell

Squad number5Player nameSouttar

Squad number6Player nameGoldson

Squad number7Player nameFábio Silva

Squad number43Player nameRaskin

Squad number23Player nameWright

Squad number17Player nameMatondo

Squad number9Player nameDessers

Kilmarnock

Squad number5Player nameMayo

Squad number1Player nameDennis

Squad number17Player nameFindlay

Squad number11Player nameArmstrong

Squad number10Player nameKennedy

Squad number7Player nameMcKenzie

Squad number3Player nameNdaba

Squad number4Player nameWright

Squad number9Player nameVassell

Squad number31Player namePolworth

Squad number22Player nameDonnelly

Squad number6Player nameDeas

Squad number15Player nameMurray

Squad number23Player nameWatkins

Squad number12Player nameWatson

Squad number39Player nameMackay-Steven

Read Entire Article