Rangers’ slim hopes of playing UEFA Europa League football in the new year are all but over following a 3-0 defeat to Napoli in Naples, heaping further pressure upon Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
The Scottish side needed a result and a favor from Liverpool against Ajax to keep a realistic chance of third place and while Jurgen Klopp’s side did their part, Rangers were brushed aside by the Serie A leaders.
Napoli took the lead after just 11 minutes, Giovanni Simeone pouncing to take the lead after being kicked by Giovanni Di Lorenzo, and five minutes later the striker was on the scoresheet again when he slotted in Maria Rui’s cross.
Tanguy Ndombele’s ferocious strike from outside the box grazed the post before the break, while in the second half Alfredo Morelos failed to clear from close range in the visitors’ best chance of the game.
Any hope of a late comeback was dashed 10 minutes from the final whistle when Leo Ostigard was left unmarked to head home Giacomo Raspadori’s corner.
With Rangers trailing Ajax by three points and losing their first leg 4-0, Van Bronckhorst’s side need a remarkable result in Amsterdam next week to secure third place and Europa League football.
Alan McGregor – 6
When called up, McGregor has done his job. He made a couple of strong saves so the goal line didn’t get awkward. He couldn’t do much against either goal as the damage was done by the outfield players.
James Tavernier – 4
Tavernier was missed for Napoli’s second goal when it came from our right side. He was sloppy in possession, easy to pass and didn’t offer much in attack at all. He’s obviously shaken but for some reason the club didn’t think we needed another option for the senior right-back.
Leon King – 4
King’s just a young lad, so we can’t be too harsh. But he was so incredibly overwhelmed playing for Rangers in the Champions League. He’s not ready for games like this.
ben davies- 3
Davies had a honking first half. The ex-Liverpool defender was warned early on for a hasty tackle and shut down completely for Simeone’s first goal. He could have done better again a few minutes later to stop Simeon’s second. It was a really bad night for Davies who was in complete shock.
Ridvan Yilmaz – 6
There weren’t many bright sparks and while Yilmaz’s performance wasn’t great, he was probably Rangers’ best outfield player against Napoli. Yilmaz struggled to stop crosses but every now and then he fended off Napoli attacks and his second-half cross on Morelos was by far the best invention we’ve seen in Italy. Yilmaz was our man of the match but it was a close haul and that doesn’t mean he did that well.
James Sands- 3
We’re not sure what the club were thinking when they signed Sands. We also can’t understand why van Bronckhorst insists on giving the midfielder a chance every now and then. Sands is sad and we better hope the club doesn’t make his loan deal permanent.
John Lundstram – 4
So much for the ‘Silky Scouser’. He’s more like the ‘Lump of Liverpool’ now. Lundstram hasn’t done anything notable against Napoli other than being booked for a weird cynical foul when it didn’t need to be. He doesn’t offer anything.
Malik Tillman – 4
Does Tillman think he can roam around carefree while playing for Rangers? Because that’s exactly what he did against Napoli. He had a few nice touches here and there, but ultimately it was another stinker for the US international.
Scott Wright- 4
It was a terrible first half from Wright. He failed to stop the cross that led to Napoli’s first goal and his poorly executed pass to Alfredo Morelos robbed the Colombian of a chance to set up a one-on-one. He was hooked at half-time by van Bronckhorst, who must stop insisting on the ex-Aberdeen forward.
Ryan Kent- 2
pathetic. There’s no point in him showing up. Wright didn’t play well but why did van Bronckhorst think Kent could offer more than a player who was at least involved? We had it with Kent and can’t wait for him to go.