Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell1RangersRangers1

Cedric Itten rescues 1-1 draw for Rangers against Motherwell

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland

Cedric Itten rescued a draw for Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers against resolute Motherwell to restore their 21-point lead over Celtic.

The substitute headed in Borna Barisic's cross and scored against Well for the fourth time this season.

Devante Cole had put the hosts ahead in the first half from Tony Watt's cross.

Itten's leveller prevented Motherwell becoming the first side to beat Rangers in the league this term, with the hosts moving off bottom spot.

Cole also temporarily kept his team in front by clearing Connor Goldson's header off the line.

Graham Alexander made it two draws out of two since taking over at Motherwell, who are only the third team to take points of Rangers this season and are ahead of bottom side Hamilton Academical on goal difference. The Steelmen also have games in hand over the sides around them.

Rangers' sequence of 15 successive league wins comes to an end and defending champions Celtic could cut their deficit to 18 points when they visit Livingston on Wednesday.

It was a quiet opening from both sides and Motherwell netted at the end of a concerted period of possession with Watt delivering low for Cole to knock home in the six-yard box. Cole had been involved earlier in the move and was rewarded for carrying on his run.

Rangers had barely carved out an opportunity until Barisic's excellent cross from the byeline was headed just wide by Alfredo Morelos.

That chance perhaps showed the visitors how best to attack but instead they persisted with low crosses that were mopped up gladly by the Well backline.

Ianis Hagi volleyed wide after the break and another from team-mate Steven Davis - making his 300th Rangers appearance - was blocked.

Ryan Kent burst inside from the left to test Well goalkeeper Liam Kelly and the pattern for the second half was quickly being established.

Cole then prevented a goal by clearing Goldson's header at a corner and Goldson's next effort, a shot, was kept out by Kelly.

But Rangers finally found the right formula when Barisic's cross from deep on the left was nodded in by Hagi's replacement Itten. Alexander said post-match he felt the Swiss striker was offside.

The visitors continued to push as legs tired on both sides and Jermain Defoe, who had come on for Morelos, drew a save from Kelly deep into stoppage time.

Man of the match - Tony Watt

Conor Goldson and Tony Watt
Watt (right) set up the Cole goal and worked tirelessly for his team in defence and attack

What did we learn?

Motherwell had led and created chances in their draw with St Mirren last weekend and it will be a frustration for Alexander that they were again pegged back.

Rangers' defensive record this season has been strong but they have lost more goals on average as the season has worn on.

The Cole goal was reminiscent of Callum Lang's opener for Motherwell when the Steelmen lost 3-1 at Ibrox - a low ball from a wide area - and it is unlikely to have gone unnoticed by future opponents.

Going forward, the intricate passing that had been the catalyst for Rangers' goals in last week's win over Aberdeen was largely nullified by Alexander's tactics. Still, they persevered and got the goal their endeavours merited.

What did they say?

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander: "But for a potential offside goal, we win the game. At the time I couldn't see it but I've seen a still in the camera and he's offside it looks like to me.

"I have pride in the team, in the players, in the club, really, because there was a lot of help behind the scenes to prepare for this game. I thought the team were fantastic. It's another point on our total. The two games that we've had, we're unbeaten."

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: "We haven't managed to stretch our lead today but at the same time we haven't lost anything either.

"You've seen two sides of us today, a first half showing that wasn't us and wasn't good enough but the second half was an awful lot better."

What's next?

Motherwell are away to Aberdeen on Saturday (15:00 GMT), when Rangers are at home to Ross County (15:00).

Player of the match

WattTony Watt

with an average of 7.04

Motherwell

  1. Squad number32Player nameWatt
    Average rating

    7.04

  2. Squad number44Player nameCole
    Average rating

    7.01

  3. Squad number31Player nameGallagher
    Average rating

    6.76

  4. Squad number13Player nameKelly
    Average rating

    6.74

  5. Squad number16Player nameMugabi
    Average rating

    6.72

  6. Squad number6Player nameCampbell
    Average rating

    6.50

  7. Squad number33Player nameO'Donnell
    Average rating

    6.45

  8. Squad number19Player namePolworth
    Average rating

    6.35

  9. Squad number17Player nameSeedorf
    Average rating

    6.28

  10. Squad number3Player nameCarroll
    Average rating

    6.21

  11. Squad number8Player nameCrawford
    Average rating

    6.20

  12. Squad number4Player nameLamie
    Average rating

    5.92

  13. Squad number14Player nameLawless
    Average rating

    5.75

  14. Squad number15Player nameMaguire
    Average rating

    5.57

  15. Squad number25Player nameMacIver
    Average rating

    5.52

Rangers

  1. Squad number11Player nameItten
    Average rating

    6.08

  2. Squad number10Player nameDavis
    Average rating

    5.82

  3. Squad number31Player nameBarisic
    Average rating

    5.45

  4. Squad number6Player nameGoldson
    Average rating

    5.41

  5. Squad number26Player nameBalogun
    Average rating

    5.33

  6. Squad number2Player nameTavernier
    Average rating

    5.29

  7. Squad number9Player nameDefoe
    Average rating

    5.22

  8. Squad number18Player nameKamara
    Average rating

    5.18

  9. Squad number1Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    5.10

  10. Squad number17Player nameAribo
    Average rating

    5.04

  11. Squad number7Player nameHagi
    Average rating

    5.01

  12. Squad number20Player nameMorelos
    Average rating

    5.00

  13. Squad number14Player nameKent
    Average rating

    4.58

  14. Squad number21Player nameBarker
    Average rating

    4.47

Line-ups

Motherwell

Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Kelly
  • 33O'Donnell
  • 16Mugabi
  • 31Gallagher
  • 3CarrollBooked at 50mins
  • 6Campbell
  • 8CrawfordSubstituted forMaguireat 84'minutes
  • 19PolworthSubstituted forLamieat 80'minutes
  • 17SeedorfSubstituted forMacIverat 70'minutes
  • 44ColeBooked at 65mins
  • 32WattSubstituted forLawlessat 70'minutesBooked at 74mins

Substitutes

  • 4Lamie
  • 5McGinley
  • 9White
  • 14Lawless
  • 15Maguire
  • 23Morrison
  • 24Devine
  • 25MacIver
  • 27Johnston

Rangers

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 26Balogun
  • 31Barisic
  • 18Kamara
  • 10Davis
  • 17Aribo
  • 7HagiBooked at 47minsSubstituted forIttenat 55'minutes
  • 20MorelosSubstituted forDefoeat 83'minutes
  • 14KentSubstituted forBarkerat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Bassey
  • 5Helander
  • 9Defoe
  • 11Itten
  • 15Zungu
  • 16Patterson
  • 21Barker
  • 24Stewart
  • 33McLaughlin
Referee:
Don Robertson

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home27%
Away73%
Shots
Home5
Away16
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home1
Away10
Fouls
Home10
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 1, Rangers 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 1, Rangers 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Connor Goldson (Rangers).

  4. Post update

    Devante Cole (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jermain Defoe (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Tavernier with a cross.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Joe Aribo following a corner.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Brandon Barker replaces Ryan Kent.

  9. Post update

    Borna Barisic (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Steven Lawless (Motherwell).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Barry Maguire replaces Robbie Crawford.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Jermain Defoe replaces Alfredo Morelos.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Cedric Itten (Rangers).

  14. Post update

    Bevis Mugabi (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Ricki Lamie replaces Liam Polworth.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Allan Campbell (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Leon Balogun.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked.

  19. Booking

    Steven Lawless (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Leon Balogun (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 17th January 2021

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers2421306075366
2Celtic21136246163045
3Hibernian2411763324940
4Aberdeen2211652924539
5Livingston229492827131
6Dundee Utd2461081929-1028
7Kilmarnock2373132428-424
8St Mirren2165101624-823
9St Johnstone2458112233-1123
10Ross County2455141843-2520
11Motherwell2247111933-1419
12Hamilton2354142147-2619
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport