"I'M A LOT more pleased and satisfied with our overall performance."

Steven Gerrard judged Thursday's 2-0 win as close to the level his side can hit. The key was performing for all of 90 minutes to kick-off their European campaign on matchday three. 

Rangers put in a near-complete performance at Ibrox against Brondby. Despite a couple of breakaways - they made relatively light work of last year's Danish champions.

Two first-half goals could well have been added to after the break. While the lead was rarely threatened. 

Rangers Review:

Without the ball the team were far more aggressive, making over 200 pressures. With it, the right side provided a constant avenue to goal.

The Rangers Review brings you a match review like no other using data and visuals from our partners at StatsBomb.


Rangers Review:

Gerrard's side managed this game superbly. The two-goal cushion made life after the restart far more comfortable - but limiting Brondby to an xG of 0.18 in the final 40 minutes of the game is dominant.

Rangers Review:

All five substitutions were used which retained the team's energy out of possession. 

There was no sustained pressure from the visitors - nerves only encroached when Borna Barisic's backpass saw Mikael Uhre miss a one-on-one seconds into the second period.

Rangers Review:

That moment aside, it always felt as though the hosts retained control of the game's outcome.

Shots and saves

An xG of just over 2.5 far outshines recent European totals. 

Rangers Review:

As Brondby manager Niels Frederiksen admitted after the game, his side failed to limit Rangers in some of their strongest departments. 

The opening goal saw a strong Leon Balogun header expose a zonal marking set-up that afforded space outside the six-yard box.

The goal had a surprisingly low xG value of 0.05 - presumably due to the power needed to generate the ball into the near post.

Rangers Review:

READ MORE: How Rangers exploited Brondby's zonal marking system as James Tavernier finds Leon Balogun in the 'sweet spot'

Kemar Roofe's tap-in predictably recorded a PsxG of 0.91 - arguably the easiest goal he will ever score. Profiting from Alfredo Morelos having a header saved - it vindicated the decision to play with two number nines. 

Rangers Review:

The initial header from Morelos should have been converted - but despite a PsxG of 0.83, it was saved.

Rangers Review:

Brondby didn't force Allan McGregor into a single save - but did have two relatively high-value chances.

Rangers Review:

The most glaring miss aside from Uhre's above-highlighted effort was Andrija Pavlovic's shot midway through the first half.

Rangers Review:

As shown, the forward found himself free yards from goal but scooped his effort over the crossbar.

Team Shape and pass network

While without the ball Rangers fell into their recognisable 4-3-3 mid-block - the positions with the ball were more resemblant of an asymmetrical 4-2-2-2.

Rangers Review:

Ianis Hagi and Roofe both came infield in possession - with the latter playing up top in a two-man strike partnership and Hagi acting as a number 10.

This allowed Joe Aribo and James Tavernier to overload and cause damage on the right - the pair had the most touches in the game. Their combination play was effective and crucially, brought end product. 

Rangers Review:

Two of the three highest common combinations were between the duo.

Rangers Review:

Brondby may have ended the game with 569 passes - but as their pass network displays that was mainly enjoyed by the back five. They were the five players with the most touches for their team. Threatening spells of possession from the visitors weren't permitted due to the host's aggressive approach throughout.

Rangers Review:


The host's pressure map from the encounter is the poster boy of their mid-block. Applying intensity on either wing, at a distance far from their goal with play moved around the congested middle of the pitch. 

Rangers Review:

The 225 pressures made was a season-high. That total is as much of an encouragement as the team's success in creating chances.

Far too often this season that area of the team's play has looked vulnerable and off-pace.

READ MORE: Rangers' long ball vulnerability and the aggression drop that's causing it - analysis

Combined with the fact the team applied 57 counterpressures, it becomes clear that they defended far better high up the park to protect their lead.

Brondby's pressure map further exemplifies the direction of play.

Rangers Review:

As seen there was little to none applied on attacks down the Rangers left, compared to the favoured right. 

The Joe Aribo show and a word for Tavernier

Aribo's "angry in a good way" performance demonstrated his level. The stats further illustrate what a dominant game he played.

The Nigerian made the most pressures (31), the most counterpressures (10) and topped the above-cited xGChain.

Rangers Review:

Aribo also contributed 71 carries - 63 of which were successful. Not only was he at the heart of offensive activity - his work rate out of possession led the way aswell.

Rangers Review:

Tavernier grew into the game - making 94 passes and 74 carries by full-time. He appeared to play more instinctively, combining freely and looking forwards.

Rangers Review:


The key takeaways from the game must be the pressure numbers - which allowed for an aggressive high defence - and Gerrard's tactical approach.

He got the two number nines call correct and adjusted the balance accordingly to accommodate Aribo's high offensive position. 

The level without the ball not only gives Rangers a platform to play but a platform to protect. That consistent aggression in games will turn potential draws into comfortable wins.