Motherwell 1-1 Rangers: Sub Cedric Itten rescues point for visitors

Match report as Rangers rescued a 1-1 draw at Motherwell; Devante Cole gave hosts first-half lead; Sub Cedric Itten responded for Rangers in second half; Draw moves Steven Gerrard’s side 21 points clear at the top and keeps their unbeaten run alive; Motherwell move off bottom

Sunday 17 January 2021 14:46, UK

Rangers kept their unbeaten run alive and moved 21 points clear of Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership after rescuing a 1-1 draw at bottom-side Motherwell.

The league leaders, whose 15-game winning streak is now over, were made to work extremely hard by Graham Alexander’s side, who took the lead in the 21st minute through Devante Cole.

Rangers, who dominated much of the game, pushed hard for an equaliser, and they eventually got the breakthrough 18 minutes from time, substitute Cedric Itten heading home from close range his fourth goal in three games against Motherwell.

Steven Gerrard threw on Jermain Defoe late on as Rangers pushed for a winner and the striker had a chance to win the game in stoppage time, but his strike was well saved by goalkeeper Liam Kelly as Motherwell held firm for a point which takes them off the bottom of the table on goal difference.

  • How the teams lined up | Match stats
  • Scottish Premiership table | Fixtures | Results

The standings…

The goals…

How Motherwell ended Rangers’ winning run…

Gerrard’s side were looking to match the 16-game winning streak set by Jock Wallace’s team back in 1973, but after a bright start from the hosts, they went behind.


Player ratings

Motherwell: Kelly (7), O’Donnell (7), Mugabi (8), Gallagher (8), Carroll (7), Crawford (7), Campbell (7), Polworth (7), Seedorf (7), Cole (7), Watt (7).

Subs: Maciver (6), Lawless (6), Lamie (n/a), Maguire (n/a).

Rangers: McGregor (6), Tavernier (7), Goldson (7), Balogun (6), Barisic (7), Kamara (7), Davis (7), Aribo (6), Kent (6), Hagi (6), Morelos (6).

Subs: Itten (7), Defoe (n/a), Barker (n/a).

Man of the match: Bevis Mugabi.

Tony Watt swapped passes with Liam Polworth as the former Celtic man drifted into space on the left. His low cross beat both Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun as Cole slid in to score Motherwell’s first goal at home since their November 28 defeat to St Johnstone.

After the goal, Rangers dominated the ball. Borna Barisic dug out a cross from the byline but Alfredo Morelos’ glancing header drifted agonisingly wide.

Rangers’ attacking quality was missing and their first half was summed up when Glen Kamara wasted a good opportunity, firing high into the stand behind the goal after some good build-up play from the visitors.

After the break, Rangers continued to build pressure on Motherwell and Goldson managed to get his head on a Barisic corner, but Cole made a crucial intervention at the other end with a goal-line clearance.

Aribo then blazed over with a wild attempt as Rangers pushed Motherwell deeper and deeper with attack after attack as they went in search of an equaliser.

Gerrard sent on Itten in place of Ianis Hagi and the substitute quickly showed why Motherwell are fast becoming his favourite opponent

Team news

Left unmarked at the back post, he headed home Barisic’s inch-perfect cross with 18 minutes left on the clock.

Fellow substitute Defoe could have snatched the victory in stoppage time but could not find a way past former Kelly as Rangers had to settle for a draw.

'Rangers should be happy with a point'

Sky Sports’ Kris Boyd:

“There’s a lot of things that Steven Gerrard will be unhappy with but they’ve come from behind, they’ve still got that huge lead at the top. Sometimes you just have to say that you’re not at your best but you’ve come away with a point.”

  • Get Sky Sports | Get a Sky Sports Pass
  • Live football on Sky Sports

What the managers said…

Motherwell boss Graham Alexander: “I’m so proud of the players – and every member of staff that has helped us this week to prepare for this game. I thought we were the better team in the first half and in the second half, we defended really well.

“I don’t think the Rangers goal should have counted – the lad looks offside when the ball comes in but that’s not within our control. The structure of the team, the motivation of the players was top-notch.”

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard: “Over the course of the 90 minutes we probably deserved to win. The reality is, we can’t come to a game at half-time when we are where we are. We didn’t start the game in the right place. We were passive out of possession in too many key areas. We got into them at half-time and I had top make a sub to send a message as well.

“The disappointing thing is there was two sides of us today. You don’t want to start a game late and you can’t leave games early, especially with what we are playing for. That reaction has to come from the beginning of the game. But hopefully this will be a valuable point for us come the end of the season.”

Analysis: Was Rangers’ goal offside?

Man of the match – Bevis Mugabi

⭐️ Man of the Match, @MotherwellFC’s Bevis Mugabi
48 touches
Won 5/8 duels
12 clearances
2 shot blocks
Motherwell become the first team to take a League point v Rangers since Sept 20

What’s next?

Rangers are back in action next Saturday when they host Ross County at Ibrox; kick off 3pm.

Motherwell also play next Saturday and they travel to Aberdeen; kick off 3pm.

Source: Read Full Article