On a sunny Sunday lunchtime in Maryhill, Rangers needed two late goals to salvage a win from a largely disappointing afternoon for Pedro Caixinha’s side.
After having much of the opening quarter of an hour, Rangers fell behind to Kris Doolan’s 104th goal, and his ninth in twelve games, for Partick Thistle. A quick break from a Rangers throw-in saw Thistle get forward in numbers before Christie Elliot’s cross found Doolan and the prolific frontman bulleted a header beyond Foderingham. Both of Rangers’ central defenders left Doolan to find space in the area and should have done much better to close him down.
The goal really took the wind out of Rangers’ sails and allowed the hosts to settle down and dictate the tempo of the game. Rangers had been on top for the opening fifteen minutes but looked utterly bereft of ideas once Alan Archibald’s side took the lead.
For long spells of the first 45 Rangers’ whole game-plan looked to be firing long balls for Joe Garner to win flick-ons on Joe Dodoo to chase into corners. Neither had any success. If this was a reaction after the Old Firm humiliation then it’s clear that almost none of these players have a future at Ibrox.
The opening spell of the second half was identical to the closing stint of the first. Rangers second to everything and looking complacent in possession while Thistle tried to get forward in numbers and put the ‘Gers defence under pressure. Pedro Caixinha made a tactical tweak, moving to a 3-5-2, and introduced Clint Hill for the hopeless Martyn Waghorn as his side tried to find an equaliser.
The tactical tweak didn’t last long when an injury to Danny Wilson with 25 minutes left forced Caixinha to bring Jamie Barjonas on for his senior debut and return to the original 4-2-3-1 shape the Light Blues had started the game with.
Wes Foderingham kept the score at 1-0 when he pulled off a good save from Stevie Lawless’ looping header from the edge of the box. The Thistle man done well to win the header and it looked like his effort was just dipping under the bar.
Rangers finally grabbed an equaliser with seven minutes left on the clock. Substitute Barrie McKay, on his 100th appearance for Rangers, with some lovely footwork before firing past Cerny to give the Rangers fans something to cheer about.
With seconds left on the clock Joe Garner gave Rangers an incredibly unlikely win. Tavernier drove from deep before supplying Kenny Miller on the edge of the box. Miller went wide and crossed a tantalising ball into the area for Garner to head home to the delight of the travelling fans.
Partick Thistle: Cerny, Booth, Lindsay, Osman, Doolan, Erskine, Lawless, Barton, Elliott, Keown, Edwards
Subs: Ridgers, Dumbuya, Amoo, Azeez, McLaughlin, Nisbet, McCarthy
Goals: Doolan 15’
Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, Bates, Wilson, Holt, Windass, Miller, Dodoo, Waghorn, Garner
Subs: Alnwick, Hill, Halliday, McKay, Dallas, Atakayi, Barjonas
Goals: McKay 83’, Garner 94’