Rangers 2 Morton 1 LIVE reaction as delighted Danilo reveals shooting practice paid off with Ibrox winner

Rangers may have a huge European clash on the horizon with PSV Eindhoven but they almost dropped the domestic ball against a stubborn Morton side who had grabbed the lead in this one.

Michael Beale made eight changes to his side for today’s game – including handing Dujon Sterling his first start in place of James Tavernier – and they struggled to impose themselves on their lower-league opponents as they looked to avoid a cup upset.

It was double VAR drama in the second half as Rangers survived a first penalty scare only for a second check to be given for a foul by Cyriel Dessers on former Ibrox man Kirk Broadfoot. Grant Gillespie kept his cool to give the visitors the lead and send the away fans wild on 53 minutes.

Rangers responded well to going behind and hit the post through Leon Balogun before Broadfoot turned VAR villain, conceding a penalty for a shirt-pull on the Nigerian centre-half, which allowed Cyriel Dessers to step up and atone for his error, rolling the ball beyond man of the match Jamie Macdonald in the absence of Tavernier.

Dessers then robbed Gillespie in the middle of the park to tee up substitute Danilo, with the Brazilian cutting inside to fire home the winning goal, and his second for the club, on 68 minutes.

Dougie Imrie will be rightly proud of his players as they gave Rangers an almighty scare in this one, but it’s the Light Blues who join Aberdeen in the Quarter-Finals of the Viaplay Cup.

You can keep up to date with all of the reaction right here in our LIVE blog.

Danilo’s delighted

Danilo celebrates scoring to make it 2-1(Image: SNS Group)

Michael Beale wants his side to be more clinical but Danilo admitted to Viaplay that a finishing session on Friday paid off as he came off the bench to grab the winning goal.

It wasn’t the game we’re used to playing. It was a bit tough but at Rangers we have to try and win every game and that’s what we did. I came on and brought good energy to the team and I was happy to get the winning goal.

The team worked hard and when the defenders are tired you have to use your quality. I like to be a No. 9 because I can link up and feel the freedom. The manager just told me to be myself and bring my quality.

We trained a lot on finishing on Friday and I was able to score and show my quality. I love to play at Ibrox. After playing against Servette, I was so excited when I knew we’d be playing at home again with the fans. I’m so happy to play here. It’s gone so fast for me from day one when I travelled to Germany to meet the squad but they’ve given me such a warm welcome. It’s a process but the demand are that Rangers win every game so we have to deal with that pressure.

Tuesday is huge and we have to be ready. We have another training session on Sunday and we’ll play in front of our own fans so it’s another advantage for us and I hope we can produce the win.

Beale in thinly-veiled SPFL swipe

Michael Beale vowed to go on the front foot against PSV Eindhoven when the Dutch side come to Ibrox in midweek. And he also had a few interesting comments about the fact the KNB have given them a helping hand. READ MORE

Rangers Manager Michael Beale shakes hands with Morton Manger Dougie Imrie(Image: SNS Group)

Beale rues ‘wasteful’ finishing

Rangers Manager Michael Beale(Image: SNS Group)

Michael Beale was speaking to the Viaplay team in the aftermath of his side’s 2-1 win:

I thought Morton were fantastic in terms of their discipline and their work ethic on the day.

I would like us to be a little bit more clinical in the final third, I thought Jamie Macdonald had a good game, but also we were very wasteful in moments as well.

We’re getting into really good areas, getting numbers in the box, whether it’s our final pass or our final shot it needs to be more crisp, it needs to be more decisive certainly as we get into games like we’ve got on Tuesday night [against PSV] for sure.

Imrie proud of his players

Morton manager Dougie Imrie(Image: SNS Group)

Dougie Imrie was speaking to Rob MacLean to provide his post-match views.

I’m really proud of them [the players] they gave their all and unfortunately we lose out to a VAR and a probably mistake that cost us the defeat today.

We knew we’d have to give up a lot of possession today but I thought the shape and that was superb from the boys today and we kept that really, really well. I don’t think at any point we were really cut open, maybe a couple of balls down the side for the pace of Matondo and then when they brought on Sima, but in the main I thought we were really, really good in the game.

Talking Points

Danilo celebrates with Cyriel Dessers(Image: SNS Group)

Rangers will be relieved to progress in this one and we’ve got three talking point takeaways from this one.

FT: Rangers 2-1 Morton

Rangers Cyriel Dessers scores to make it 1-1(Image: SNS Group)

Indeed it is the last action as referee David Dickinson blows the full-time whistle. Rangers have progressed to the Quarter-Finals with a 2-1 victory.

Late long-throw drama

Darragh O’Connor winds up a long throw which Butland races to try and take, but gets nowhere near and it’s swept out for a corner.

From said corner, the ball finds Kirk Broadfoot at the back of the box, and the veteran centre-half puts his effort over the bar in what is surely the last chance for the visitors.

Hagi free-kick over

Hagi dusts himself off to take the resulting free-kick, but it’s not troubling the man of the match Jamie Macdonald as it drifts harmlessly over. Last minute at Ibrox.

King booked

A late lunge from Alexander King on Ianis Hagi sees the Morton sub go into the referee’s notebook late on.

Yfeko saves the day

A swirling cross ball right across the pitch sees George Oakley in behind and in on goal before Johnly Yfeko gets back brilliantly to get a foot in and dispossess the striker before he could pull the trigger.

Danilo goes close

Sima gets to the byline with his pace, but his delivery is blocked, Danilo then robs Morton sub Bearne on the edge of his box before getting his head up and flashing an effort just past Jamie Macdonald’s far post.

Still Rangers 2-1 Morton, with about six and a half minutes of injury time remaining.

EIGHT minutes to be added

We’re heading into eight minutes of additional time at Ibrox as Rangers look to close this one out and seal their progression.

Morton with a late corner

Morton have won a couple of late corners but can’t capitalise as the first is cleared behind by Cifuentes before Butland comfortably claims the second.

Good chance for Sima

Abdallah Sima does well down the left, cutting inside to send a deflected shot goalwards that Jamie Macdonald does brilliantly to tip over.

Seven to play

Into the last seven minutes and Morton have weathered the storm that engulfed them after going ahead, and they’re still in this one.

Double switch for Rangers

Kemar Roofe comes on to replace Cyriel Dessers, and is joined by Adam Devine, who replaces Rabbi Matondo.

Rangers kick into gear

Rangers have certainly upped their game since going behind and they’ve done well to turn it around, but they will be worried that they’ve spurned a number of chances in front of goal once more.

As long as it stays a one-goal advantage there’s always a chance of a shock.

Sub for Morton

A second sub for Morton as Jack Bearne comes on to replace Lewis McGrattan.

Sima hits the bar!

Rangers are inches away from that third goal as some neat interplay on the right hand side from Hagi sends the overlapping Lundstram to the byline to dig out a superb cross that finds Sima a few yards out, but the Senegalese’s header crashes off the crossbar.

Danilo and Matondo then exchange passes before the winger’s effort is blocked. Rangers are battering at the door here.

Hagi effort tipped over

Rangers are pushing for a killer third and come close through Hagi. The sub is found well at the back post and his powerful effort is tipped over by Macdonald.

Morton’s misfortune is compounded by the fact Gillespie can’t continue and has to be replaced by Alexander King

GOAL: Rangers 2-1 Morton

Danilo celebrates with Cyriel Dessers(Image: SNS Group)

Rangers hit the front and ease the tension inside Ibrox as Dessers robs Gillespie in the middle of the park before picking out Danilo, who does well to cut inside and fire past Jamie Macdonald for his second Rangers goal.

Rangers 2-1 Morton.

Danilo effort blocked

Danilo finds himself a bit of space but his effort his blocked by O’Connor, with the ball spinning towards the Morton keeper, who’s nearly bundled over the line by a challenge from Dessers, but manages to keep the ball out anyway.

Matondo into the book

A silly challenge from Matondo after he concedes possession sees him become the first Rangers booking of the afternoon.

The resulting free-kick is dangerous as Gillespie gets in behind, only to see the ball smothered by the onrushing Butland.

Triple sub for the hosts

A triple change for Rangers as Dujon Sterling, Sam Lammers and Leon Balogun are replaced by Ianis Hagi, Abdallah Sima and Danilo

GOAL: Rangers 1-1 Morton

Rangers Cyriel Dessers scores to make it 1-1(Image: SNS Group)

Dessers puts it away, with the stutter-step sending Macdonald the wrong way as the Nigerian rolls the ball into the other corner.


Referee David Dickinson awards a penalty to Morton(Image: SNS Group)

The VAR Room is working overtime this afternoon and this time Kirk Broadfoot is the man in trouble as he’s penalised for pulling Leon Balogun’s jersey as he stretched to try and get on the end of a cross.

It’s Dessers to take in the absence of Tavernier.

Balogun hits the post!

Rangers are looking for an instant response and they nearly have it from a Kieran Dowell corner, with the ball falling for Balogun, whose low driven volley strikes the bottom of the post and Morton scramble to try and clear, but they concede a free-kick.

Big chance to level.

GOAL: Rangers 0-1 Morton

Grant Gillespie celebrates scoring to make it 1-0 Morton(Image: SNS Group)

It’s an exceptional penalty from Morton captain Grant Gillespie, who strokes the ball into the corner, sending Butland the wrong way and stunning Ibrox into silence.

Rangers 0-1 Morton.

Second VAR Penalty Check: PENALTY TO MORTON

From the resulting corner, the first clearing header finds Dessers in some space at the edge of the box, with the striker taking a heavy touch before swiping at Kirk Broadfoot and catching the veteran defender on the ankle.

The VAR check is complete. PENALTY TO MORTON.

VAR Penalty Check: Morton

Balogun has had a real time of it up against George Oakley and his challenge is a bit clumsy as he climbs on the back of the striker.

After a brief VAR Check, the decision is play on.

Free-kick to Morton

Lewis McGrattan wins the free-kick on the right after a foul by Matondo.

The free-kick is cleared from the edge of the area.

2nd Half Kick-Off: Rangers 0-0 Morton

We’re back under way, with no changes for either side as the home side kick off.

Rangers keys to success

Rangers will have to improve their crosses and set-pieces to find the breakthrough here, with too many deliveries going astray. It will be intriguing to see if and how Michael Beale tweaks things in the second half to secure the progression his side crave.

Morton encouragement

Jamie Macdonald has made a couple of good saves in the first half, and Rangers have cetainly had the better chances, but from a Morton perspective, George Oakley has had more than his fair share of change out of Leon Balogun so far, with Dougie Imrie’s side creating a couple of very presentable opportunities.

Cammy Blues has had a tough afternoon against Rabbi Matondo on that Morton right hand side and he will need to be extra careful now that he’s on a booking.

HT: Rangers 0-0 Morton

Rangers Fans during a Viaplay Cup match(Image: SNS Group)

It’s been a tough first half for the hosts but Morton will be delighted to get in at the break all square.

Superb save from Macdonald

As we approach half-time, Sam Lammers wins a free-kick off of Alan Power for a handball, about 20 yards out and just left of centre.

Kieran Dowell sends it goalwards and Jamie Macdonald is at full stretch to tip it round the post for a corner. Dowell delivers that nearly on the money too but Connor Goldson’s header is over the bar.

Morton win late corner

George Oakley has been a real thorn in Leon Balogun’s side this afternoon and the striker wins the latest duel, getting in behind before the Nigerian international manages to get back to win his tackle and concede a corner.

The resulting delivery is cleared without fuss though and Rangers go on the hunt for the breakthrough.

Rangers huffing and puffing…

But they can’t quite blow that Morton house down just yet.

The visitors are getting set defensively very well and frustrating their hosts, with some of that discomfort setting in in the stands as Dujon Sterling overcooks a cross from the right hand side that goes sailing over everyone in the box.

With just under five minutes of normal time to play it’s still Rangers 0-0 Morton.

Broadfoot and Dessers set-to

Kirk Broadfoot has been endearing himself to his former club’s current crop of players, with Cyriel Dessers not happy with the former Broomhill man’s grappling with him in the box, with the two briefly squaring up.

This could be one to keep and eye on.

Set-piece options thin for Gers

Jose Cifuentes sents the resulting free-kick over the bar and it’s been clear from the Ibrox side’s set pieces this afternoon that they’re almost wholly reliant on their first choice full-backs of Tavernier and Barisic to provide a threat from such situations.

It will certainly be something Michael Beale will have taken notice of.

First yellow card of the game

Cammy Blues goes into the book as he pulls back Matondo who had gotten beyond the wing-back. It will be interesting to see how he copes with over an hour left of the game.

O’Connor off the line!

Darragh O’Connor has been in the thick of the action and the big centre-half has saved his team from going behind here.

Matondo finds some space one-v-one and Dessers slips a great ball in behind, which the winger runs onto and drives towards goal. He manages to get around the goalie, but the angle has narrowed and while his shot is goalbound, O’Connor has got back well on the cover to clear it off the line.

Huge chance for the hosts, but still 0-0, coming up to the half hour mark.

Dessers goal chopped off

Cyriel Dessers gets himself in behind and Darragh O’Connor does well to get back and cover, before a slight coming together sends the Morton man to the ground as the Nigerian striker rounds the goalie to score, but the whistle had gone before the ball hit the net.

Still Rangers 0-0 Morton.

Morton growing into the game

A couple of decent chances for the visitors as Robbie Crawford springs the high offside trap but Yfeko covers back well to concede a corner.

From the resulting set-piece George Oakley is able to turn an effort goalwards, but it’s blocked and cleared by the Rangers backline.

First chance for Morton

Morton win a free-kick at the left corner of the Rangers area, and it looks for all the world like Muirhead will deliver a cross, but the No. 9 goes for goal, with Butland doing well to claw it away from creeping inside his near post.

Almost an own goal

Matondo gets by Cammy Blues to the byline and hits a low cross that Macdonald palms onto his own defender O’Connor but is able to gather at the second attempt.

Dessers goes close

Dujon Sterling digs out a cross from the right hand side and Dessers, with his back to goal, does really well to control with his right foot before unleashing a volley at Jamie Macdonald, with the former Hearts keeper doing well to tip over the bar. First big chance of the game for the hosts.

Matondo the out-ball

It seems that Rabbi Matondo is the out-ball for Rangers this afternoon with the winger being found on numerous occasions through the switch, but he’s been unable to translate any of these pick-outs into a clear-cut chance as of yet.

Ten minutes gone

Morton have survived the opening ten minutes at Ibrox and have been able to frustrate Rangers, who have only a couple of half chances to show for their opening salvo.

Morton set-piece chance

Rabbi Matondo gives away a free-kick for a foul on Robbie Crawford to set up a chance for a delivery but Muirhead’s free-kick goes over everyone and out for a throw-in.

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