Rangers’ opening day win against David Martindale’s Livingston was a relatively routine affair.

Livingston didn’t have an attempt on target and spent much of the match defending their goal, trying to limit the opposition.

Using StatsBomb data, the Rangers Review brings you a unique look back at the match to reveal all the underlying trends and numbers from the opening day of the SPFL Premiership.


Rangers Review:

The trendline predictably shows that Rangers dominated the entire game.

There was never a point in which they weren’t in complete control, nor was there a spell of sustained pressure from the opposition. Livingston’s xG of 0.11 demonstrates the lack of their offensive output.

The visitors did manage to limit the hosts after the opening goal up until half-time, but Rangers were applying pressure in the build-up to Wright’s clincher.

READ MORE: Analysis: Steven Davis' Rangers No.6 role under the microscope

However, it wasn’t until the visitors went down to 10 men in the 80th minute that high-value chances started to appear regularly.

While Martindale took some slack for suggesting that 3-0 had flattered Rangers, a review of the trendline would tend to back his point up.

Counter to that, as shown by the percentile at the top of the chart Livingston win this match one in 100 times. They were well beaten.

Although this wasn’t Gerrard’s side at their best and considering the lack of opportunities Livingston had, this was a relatively complete performance.

Average position and pass map

Rangers Review:

As shown by the key at the bottom of this radar, the warmer the colour the greater the xG impact a player had throughout the game. The bigger the circle, the greater the contribution of passes. The thicker the line, the greater the number of passes between two players.

Rangers' shape overall makes for relatively good viewing, even if they lacked a central threat. They were regularly able to find players in the half-spaces by overloading either flank and forming triangles.

Fashion Sakala’s lack of touches and involvement was evident throughout. Of course, it will take him time to adjust but Kemar Roofe's introduction in the second-half offered a better option.

All three goals came from the Rangers right and as such, the xG value for Tavernier, Kamara and Davis is higher. Calvin Bassey had a good game overall but should have done better with his final ball. He didn’t make the most of a number of advantageous situations.

Although Ianis Hgai scored the opener, chances were limited in the 20 minutes he spent on the pitch after the game went 1-0, explaining his lower xG rating.

The visitor's map exemplifies how little they were able to create throughout. The positioning of their midfielders makes for interesting viewing, however.

Craig Sibbald had some success in negating Glen Kamara’s impact. Players are often wary of getting too tight to the Finnish midfielder due to his supreme one-one-one ability, but Sibbald was effective. His 18 pressures throughout the game were the third highest across the pitch.

Pressure maps

Rangers Review:

Rangers Review:

Rangers' pressure map shows how often play went down their right. In fact, throughout the game, the home side only made four counterpressing actions on the left side of the pitch.

Interestingly, the visiting side was more aggressive on their right side, perhaps in an attempt to exploit the more advanced positioning of Joe Aribo.

Shot maps

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Rangers Review:

The shot maps make for good viewing from a Rangers perspective. Despite facing a team who sat deep, they weren’t often tempted to try speculative efforts from outside the penalty area. They also outperformed their xG of 1.97.

Rangers Review:

The notable miss from the game can be viewed just outside the six-yard box. Kamara should have scored in the 91st minute. His chance boasted an even higher xG rating than Roofe’s close-range goal of 0.52 to the striker's 0.45.

Livingston only had two attempts the whole game. Aye Obileye’s header in the 22nd minute looked a better opportunity in real-time than it actually was, mistiming his jump to give the effort an xG rating of just 0.08. Jack Hamilton’s speculative effort from outside the area was their only other attempt.

Scott Wright’s sensational finish had an xG of just 0.07, demonstrating just how impressive a goal it was. Similarly, Hagi’s opening strike had an xG of just 0.07. 

Rangers Review:

A closer look at the opening goal pulls up some interesting themes. Notice in the freeze-frame of the goal that Hagi is the sole Rangers player at the back post. By this point, he has come back inside onto his right foot.

Rangers Review:

When the free-kick was swung in, however, he was able to pick up space unmarked. Livi were concerning themselves with the front post overload, committed by the home side’s ariel threats.

This may be something we see more of throughout the season, to retain the threat offered by a near post-run. Connor Goldson often attacks the front post, as sides won’t regularly place their strongest aerial presence as the first line of defence.