Report: Sakala Jnr wins three as Gers defeat Motherwell
AFTER falling behind early on, Rangers produced a fabulous super football performance and formidable goals to crush Motherwell 6-1 in the Scottish Premiership this afternoon.
Fashion Jr had a magnificent hat-trick while James Tavernier, Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe were also on target in the rout.
Boss Gerrard has named four changes for this afternoon’s game – from the squad that faced Aberdeen in midweek, Allan McGregor, Scott Arfield, Steven Davis and Fashion Jr entered the squad in place of Jon McLaughlin, John Lundstram, Kemar Roofe and Ianis Hagi.
That meant it was a McGregor back-five in goal with James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey ahead of him.
Arfield, Davis and Glen Kamara were in midfield, while Joe Aribo, Fashion Jr and Alfredo Morelos were in front.
The Gers started on the front foot and Tavernier saw a well-maintained 25-meter effort by Liam Kelly in three minutes on an unusually wet day in North Lanarkshire.
Under pressure, Aribo headed wide as Fashion Jr was able to cut him off from a Tavernier cross, while Kamara had a shot right off.
But in the 13th minute, against the run of the game, Motherwell took the lead. The Gers conceded a cheap corner, on which Sondre Solholm Johnson had initially scored a free kick. McGregor saved well from him, but the ball fell on unmarked Bevis Mugabi at the far post to shoot at home.
Gers responded well and Kelly saved Aribo again when he danced around the area before firing a shot, although Tony Watt failed for a second on the other end.
Kelly then denied Morelos who had a fierce training from a distance, before the Colombian headed towards the end of a Tavernier corner.
The goal was definitely there, and after 43 minutes it arrived courtesy of birthday boy James Tavernier, who turned 30 today.
The passes and movements of the Gers were good all half, and when the ball hit Calvin Bassey on the left he chose the skipper entering as he entered the box, and on the half volley he pierced the ball from sensational way beyond Kelly for the equalizer.
It wasn’t more than the Gers deserved, and in a carbon copy from last weekend at St Mirren, they grabbed another one right after.
The captain was really showing exactly what he was doing, and he charged forward to the right after a great Kamara pick.
Clearly backed up by his goal, his ball in the box was of the highest quality, and Fashion Jr managed to work his way through the end of the cross to pass Mugabi with a classic header, scoring another goal against Les Steelmen.
It was just fabulous Ranger stuff, but in truth it was by no means surprising because once again they stood up to be counted against it.
The Gers regained the upper hand in the second half, and Bassey saw a deflected effort behind on a cross from Tavernier.
All the play and all the possession went in the direction of the Light Blues, and in the 63rd minute they scored a third.
Fashion Jr. picked up from outside the box and shot 25 yards on goal, and with the help of a deflection, his shot caught Kelly on the wrong foot and found the back of the net.
It was the cushion the Gers were looking for, and they got an extra advantage in the 67th minute as Stephen O’Donnell received a second yellow card for mowing down Bassey as he attempted to enter the penalty area .
The control the Light Blues had over the game was formidable, and in the 75th minute they scored a fourth goal thanks to Glen Kamara’s first of the season.
Tavernier and Davis worked a nice little corner to the left and found Kamara 20 yards from goal – he took the hit, and it looked like he needed another deflection as he found the bottom corner – no, fine sure, anyone from a Ranger persuasion was too agitated about this.
And they didn’t finish there, as Fashion Jr completed a sensational hat-trick in 85 minutes. At the edge of the box, Steven Davis picked the most phenomenal ball for Sakala to win at the far post, and he shot through the goal and found the net inside the near post for number five.
Kelly refused Scott Wright with a super 90th minute save to prevent a sixth, but from the resulting corner, number six arrived, Connor Goldson winning the ball from the Tavernier corner and chief poacher Kemar Roofe finishing at the back post.
The Gers are now heading to Copenhagen to face Brondby in the Europa League in phenomenal momentum following the sensational performance this afternoon.
RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun (Simpson, 78), Bassey, Arfield, Davis, Kamara, Aribo (Wright, 82), Fashion Jr, Morelos (Roofe, 72)
UNUSED SUBSCRIBERS: McLaughlin, Lundstram, Hagi, Patterson.
MOTHERWELL: Kelly, O’Donnell, Mugabi, O’Hara, Slattery, McGinley, Solholm, Goss, Roberts (Lamie, 72), Shields (Van Veen, 65), Watt.
UNUSED SUBSCRIBERS: Fox, Carroll, Maguire, Woolery, Grimshaw.
REFEREE: Nick Walsh
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