Author: Ibrox News

Derek McInnes blasts ‘Nasty’ challenge on Scott Wright in Rangers v Malmo

Derek McInnes has defended the referee for not sending off Malmo’s Niklas Moisander in their 2-1 win over Rangers on Tuesday.

In the second half of the Champions League qualifier in Sweden, Scott Wright was wiped out by a high and strong challenge by the Malmo defender.

However, he avoided a red card and although McInnes feels it was a strong challenge and may have been a sending off if VAR was involved, it was the correct call.

“You’ve seen this down south when it turns to VAR and it sometimes looks worse when you look at it and look at it again,” said McInnes on Premier Sports on Tuesday after the match.

“Personally, I don’t think it is a red but it’s a nasty challenge. I think Scotty sees it and rides it just about. But those types of challenges just down the road, we’ve seen that and the referee looks at it back at VAR, they can be a red card.”

Alan Hutton then added: “It looks dangerous every time I see it. When your studs are high and it’s forceful, you do run the risk of being sent off.

“At first glance I said orange, but after seeing it again and again, you could pick up a red for that.”

Definitely a red

Was it high? Yes. Was it out of control? Yes. Was it a dangerous challenge to Wright? Absolutely yes.

We’re absolutely baffled as to why Moisander was not sent off for the challenge and a red card could have played a major role in the outcome of the game.

Steven Davis’ late goal gives the Gers a lifeline going into the second leg at Ibrox but an extra boost would have been played a good chunk of that first leg against 10 men with a player also set to be suspended for the next meeting.

Wright rode the challenge well, as McInnes said. But that should not take anything away from how reckless it was and how it could have seriously injured the former Aberdeen player.

We’re really disappointed McInnes hasn’t hit out stronger at Moisander.

Wright is his former player and he’s also an ex-Ger. Instead, he’s tried to sit on the fence, which really isn’t a great look when someone could have been seriously injured.

At least Hutton was a bit more emphatic with his verdict.

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Richard Foster raves about Rangers winger Ryan Kent

Richard Foster was raving about Ryan Kent ahead of Rangers’ 2-1 defeat to Malmo in the Champions League qualifiers on Tuesday night and admits he was a “nightmare” to play against.

Despite a decent first half, in which Kent, 25, strutted his stuff and caused plenty of issues for the Malmo defence, the home side grabbed two quick goals after the break to earn a solid lead going into the second leg at Ibrox.

Last season, Kent tore up the Premiership as the Gers won their 55th title and also impressed in the Europa League.

For ex-Gers defender Foster, who now plays for Partick, that’s no surprise.

“I played against him when he came up on loan and he’s an absolute nightmare because he’s quick, his movement is really good, he can go left or right, you can’t give him half a yard because he’ll get that cross in, half a yard and he’ll get that shot away and he’s just one of the most difficult players to play against,” said Sky Sports pundit Foster on BBC Sportsound ahead of Rangers’ clash against Malmo on Tuesday night.

“I’ve played against Shunsuke Nakamura but Ryan Kent is one of the most difficult opponents I’ve faced because he’s got everything. He’s got pace, he’s got skill, he’s got vision, he’s got composure, he’s got a great touch.

“He was excellent for Rangers last season and he is a big part of the way they play.”


Kent showed in the first half against Malmo that he can still tear it up against teams.

He could have won a penalty in the opening 45 minutes when he was brought down at the edge of the penalty area and played a role in several chances for the Light Blues throughout the game.

Fortunately for Steven Gerrard and his men, the Gers are still within a chance of making the group stages as they’re only one goal behind as they go into the second leg at Ibrox.

Steven Davis’ late strike was not only superb but it was also vital – it’s just a shame the away goal rule is no longer being applied in Europe.

Kent did well in Sweden but he can do better and we hope that he can put in those nightmarish performances Foster eluded to against Malmo’s defence at Ibrox.

He’s not the only one who needs to up his game though with defensive lapses and poor set-pieces partly to blame for the first leg defeat.

Onto the next one for the Gers.

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Chris Burke stunned by Ryan Kent moment in Rangers v Malmo

Chris Burke was left in awe after a sublime piece of skill by Rangers winger Ryan Kent during their Champions League clash versus Malmo on Tuesday evening.

Speaking on BBC Sportsound [03/08/21] during live coverage of the first-leg of their third qualifying round clash in Sweden, former Rangers and Scotland midfielder Burke praised the 24-year-old Englishman during the first half.

Main BBC commentator Liam McLeod described the action as Kent surged past the opposition.

He said: “Kent will give chase here, can he get a good first chance touch? Yes he can, brilliant from Kent, driving between two defenders.

“That is a really important slide challenge by [Lasse] Nielsen, he was the last defender. If Kent goes beyond him he’s in on the goalkeeper.”

Burke added: “It’s brilliant from Kent. To take the ball out of the sky the way he did on the move was exceptional, and then to have the presence of mind to still go past the defender…

“It’s a perfect touch, great driving run and it’s a very, very good tackle because if he gets into the box there he’s probably getting a shot away.”

Star boy

With Alfredo Morelos out of the equation due to his international exertions with Colombia in the summer, Kent must have felt even more responsibility on his young shoulders.

Starting alongside Cedric Itten and Scott Wright, two players who have struggled to earn regular starting opportunities since joining last season, the pressure was on Kent to perform.

That he did, spearheading the Rangers attack as Steven Gerrard’s side took the game to their opponents early on in the first half.

The Gers had the best opportunities of the opening period and were the most threatening, particularly when Kent picked up the ball.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t often enough at times, and we were made to pay for that as we failed to score in the first half which allowed Malmo to galvanise themselves at half time, before racing into a 2-0 lead early in the second half.

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Liam McLeod and Chris Burke react to controversy in first half of Rangers v Malmo

Rangers felt as though they should have had a penalty in the first half of their Champions League qualifier against Malmo in Sweden on Tuesday.

Ryan Kent was brought down on the edge of the penalty area by Malmo’s Lasse Nielsen, with the home side ending up getting their own free-kick out of the incident.

BBC Radio Scotland commentator Liam McLeod felt as though the challenge may have happened just outside the penalty area by Kent and Steven Gerrard clearly felt otherwise [Scottish Sun].

In the BBC studio on Tuesday, ex-Gers defender Richard Foster seemed to think it was not a penalty but Chris Burke did.

“Chris Burke says penalty, in the background,” said McLeod on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportscene during the first half of their coverage on Tuesday night.

“Kent’s gone to ground, the referee’s not interested.”

Co-commentator Burke then chipping in to say: “He’s given a free-kick for that and not a penalty?”

McLeod continued: “Malmo have a free-kick just after Ryan Kent went down, was he just over the line? He’s just outside the [area].

“If it’s a foul, it’s a free-kick because it’s not inside the box.”

Burke then said: “It’s great defending.

“You can see the reaction of the defender, he looked at the referee straight away in panic.”

McLeod then finished by saying: “It’s really shocking me that the defender agrees with the decision and the attacking winger doesn’t, in the studio here.”

No penalty

It was a close one but ultimately, Rangers didn’t manage to get a spot-kick that James Tavernier would have no doubt scored.

With away goals now a thing of the past, getting a goal in Sweden is not as valuable as it once was but it would have been amazing to have grabbed a goal in the first half.

Kent has cased all sorts of issues against Malmo so far with Gerrard’s team going in at the break perhaps as the better team.

Malmo’s defenders have found it hard to deal with Kent’s pace, ability to find space and his close ball control so hopefully, that’s something the Light Blues continue to expose.

Overall, we’re happy with how things are going – even though we should have probably had a penalty or at the very least a free-kick on the edge of the box.

We’ll have worse controversies than this over the course of the season, especially with the standard of refereeing in Scotland.

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Report claims Rangers have not broken SPFL rules, suggests campaign against club

Rangers have not broken any SPFL rules after refusing to display ‘cinch’ sponsorship at Ibrox on Saturday, according to The 4th Official.

The report claims page 113, rule 17.1 on ‘Commercial Contracts, Broadcasting and Transmission’ in the SPFL rule book provides an exception for the Gers not showing the sponsor on their shirts or in the stadium.

The 4th Official’s story adds: “The fact is that Rangers are legally allowed to not display branding by cinch and there is nothing much the SPFL can do. The rest is an attempt to get Rangers to do what they want by driving up media hysteria and the ire of other clubs at Rangers.”

Rangers agenda?

Once again it appears that the SPFL’s argument is not as watertight as they might think it is.

Perhaps they thought the Gers would bow down to them and immediately accept wrongdoing, but the club appears adamant that they are perfectly within the rules, and this latest report from The 4th Official appears to back them up, with a pointing finger to the SPFL’s own rulebook.

No doubt there will be some sort of fightback against this argument, but it looks like the SPFL have been defeated by themselves, and the Rangers hierarchy are unlikely to feel sympathy after what appeared to be a rather brisk and unfriendly media campaign being stirred up against them on Monday evening.

Several Scottish news outlets published reports containing quotes from senior sources within and around the SPFL, with the Daily Record carrying words from “an anxious top-flight chief executive”, who called it a “hugely embarrassing situation”, and expressed fears that cinch may pull the plug on a seven-figure deal.

Any attempt to force Rangers to back down looks set to fall flat on their face, though, with the rulebook seemingly backing up the Gers.

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