Rangers 1-0 Derby County: Steven Gerrard’s side round off pre-season schedule with Ibrox victory


RANGERS rounded off their pre-season schedule with a 1-0 victory over Championship side Derby County at Ibrox.

Nikola Katic got the only goal of the game for Steven Gerrard’s side in their fourth friendly of the summer following matches with Oxford, Marseille and Blackburn.

The Light Blues now head to Luxembourg on Europa League duty on Thursday night before they begin their bid for the Premiership title away to Kilmarnock.

Boss Gerrard again made several changes to his starting line-up following the win over Progres in midweek and it was Rangers who looked more comfortable from the off.

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It took until the 19th minute for the hosts to carve out the first chance as James Tavernier and Scott Arfield combined down the right. From the edge of the area, Greg Docherty saw his low shot saved by keeper Kelle Roos.

And it was Docherty that had the next chance, too. He made this one himself as he intercepted a Richard Keogh pass and burst forward but Roos made a straightforward stop.

On the half hour mark, Rangers should have had the lead as Arfield and Tavernier again exchanged passes and the Ibrox captain played a neat ball through to Jordan Jones.

The winger only had Roos to beat as he moved in on goal but his tame effort was straight at the keeper and was easily blocked as Rangers spurned their best opening of the half.

As Derby struggled to create anything of note, Gerrard’s side came close through Glen Kamara – the midfielder firing over from the edge of the box – and then Filip Helander.

The Swede was making his first start following his move from Bologna and he nearly marked the occasion with a goal as a well-struck half-volley was turned away by Ross.

With their Championship opener against Huddersfield just over a week away, new Rams boss Philip Cocu would have been hoping for more from his side.

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Tavernier took exception to a challenge from Tom Lawrence in front of the Main Stand and the pair squared up and had a bit of pushing and shoving before calm was restored.

And there was little else for the crowd of just under 20,000 to get excited about as chances proved hard to come by for either side as Gerrard turned to his bench to make a series of switches.

Kamara saw a decent effort on the angle deflected for a corner, while a curling strike was saved as Rangers continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock.

With eight minutes left, they should have done just that as Alfredo Morelos played in fellow substitute Sheyi Ojo. Roos was once again equal to the effort, though.

From the following corner, Rangers finally got their goal. Andy Halliday curled in a corner from the left and Katic met it well six yards out and headed home to clinch the win.


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