Scottish Premiership
RangersRangers3St MirrenSt Mirren0

Rangers 3-0 St Mirren: Alfredo Morelos' 'strong focus' delights Steven Gerrard

Alfredo Morelos showed "really strong focus" in Rangers' 3-0 win against St Mirren, said manager Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard explained after Thursday's loss to Bayer Leverkusen the striker's head had been turned after being linked with Lille.

But he scored his first goals since February with a double against St Mirren after providing the cross for Conor McCarthy's own goal.

"His all-round play deserved those numbers," said Gerrard.

"Alfredo was well aware that he needed to perform a little bit better.

"He certainly showed a great reaction. From the first whistle until the end, it was a really strong Morelos performance."

Morelos started despite the midweek signings of Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe, the latter not in the squad, and drilled the ball across for the opener as McCarthy diverted the ball past Jak Alnwick.

And the 24-year-old recaptured the form of his first three seasons at the club with a powerful header to convert James Tavernier's 69th-minute corner and a close-range finish five minutes later after Borna Barisic had crossed from the left.

Itten came on for his debut in place of Morelos as Gerrard rung the changes.

Alnwick earlier made impressive saves to deny Morelos, Joe Aribo and Tavernier as St Mirren struggled to get out of their own half.

However, home debutant keeper Jon McLaughlin did have to deal with a Jamie McGrath effort after missing a cross then a fierce Ilkay Durmus free-kick.

What did we learn?

While the transfer window remains open, it is likely Morelos will continue to be linked with a move away from Ibrox after scoring 79 goals since he arrived in 2017.

However, this performance showed he can still be an asset to Rangers.

Gerrard's side had nearly three-quarters of the possession, 29 shots in total and 12 on target, building on the superiority they enjoyed at Aberdeen last weekend.

St Mirren got their season off to a winning start last week against Livingston and Alnwick's performance will give the Paisley side confidence they have a reliable last line of defence this season.

However, Jon Obika was very isolated in attack and needs more support in matches where St Mirren are going to be under the cosh.

Man of the match - Alfredo Morelos

Alfredo Morelos
With a goal and two assists, Morelos was involved in all three goals as he netted in the Premiership for the first time since Boxing Day last year

What did they say?

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: "A lot of teams are going to sit here and set us the challenge to find the breakthrough. We stayed on from the first whistle as we chased the breakthrough.

"The competition is hotting up but that's the way it should be at Rangers. No-one should feel comfortable and feel the shirt is theirs. They've got to earn it and perform at a level where you make a manager pick you."

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "I don't think it is a result that we should allow to knock our confidence too much, we won't be judged on these particular games.

"We have to pick the bones out of it tomorrow, look at what we can do better and try and re-energise for another extremely difficult game on Wednesday."

What's next?

St Mirren host Celtic in Wednesday's 18:00 BST kick-off before Rangers take on St Johnstone at Ibrox later that day at 19:45.

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 33McLaughlin
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 26Balogun
  • 31BarisicSubstituted forBasseyat 79'minutes
  • 18Kamara
  • 8JackSubstituted forDavisat 74'minutes
  • 17AriboSubstituted forArfieldat 74'minutes
  • 7Hagi
  • 14KentSubstituted forBarkerat 79'minutes
  • 20MorelosSubstituted forIttenat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Bassey
  • 5Helander
  • 10Davis
  • 11Itten
  • 12Firth
  • 16Patterson
  • 21Barker
  • 22Jones
  • 37Arfield

St Mirren

  • 1Alnwick
  • 22Fraser
  • 5McCarthy
  • 4Shaughnessy
  • 2Tait
  • 6SheronBooked at 25minsSubstituted forMoriasat 74'minutes
  • 14MacPhersonBooked at 68minsSubstituted forJamiesonat 85'minutes
  • 17McGrath
  • 16FoleySubstituted forErhahonat 85'minutes
  • 11DurmusSubstituted forMcAllisterat 78'minutes
  • 9ObikaSubstituted forThorvaldssonat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10McAllister
  • 15Baird
  • 19Morias
  • 23Thorvaldsson
  • 25Erhahon
  • 26Lyness
  • 30Henderson
  • 33Jamieson
  • 35Jack
Referee:
Andrew Dallas

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home74%
Away26%
Shots
Home28
Away4
Shots on Target
Home12
Away2
Corners
Home14
Away1
Fouls
Home9
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Rangers 3, St. Mirren 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Rangers 3, St. Mirren 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steven Davis (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Calvin Bassey (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Scott Arfield.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Lewis Jamieson replaces Cameron MacPherson.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Ethan Erhahon replaces Sam Foley.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Ísak Thorvaldsson replaces Jonathan Obika.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cameron MacPherson (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Scott Arfield (Rangers).

  10. Post update

    Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Calvin Bassey replaces Borna Barisic.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Brandon Barker replaces Ryan Kent.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Kyle McAllister replaces Ilkay Durmus.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leon Balogun (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by James Tavernier with a cross following a corner.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Conor McCarthy.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Cedric Itten (Rangers).

  17. Post update

    Joe Shaughnessy (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Cedric Itten replaces Alfredo Morelos.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Junior Morias replaces Nathan Sheron.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Steven Davis replaces Ryan Jack.

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