Partick 2-2 Ranger

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Stand-in captain Graham Dorrans rescued a point for Rangers against 10-man Partick Thistle in a pulsating match.

Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos cracked home his eighth of the season to give Rangers a half-time lead.

But a deflected, fizzing Blair Spittal free-kick and a Chris Erskine goal put the hosts in charge after 60 minutes.

However, seven minutes later Erskine was shown a straight red card for a lunge on Morelos and paid the price when Dorrans curled in the equaliser.

Thistle began lively as they sought their first win over the Ibrox club in 24 years, but Rangers knew that a high-scoring victory would move them to the top of the Scottish Premiership.

However, after 12 minutes they lost their captain Lee Wallace when he pulled up after his shot at goal was blocked. He was replaced by Declan John, who made his debut.

Blair Spittal levels for Thistle early in the second half with a fierce free-kick
Blair Spittal levels for Thistle early in the second half with a fierce free-kick
Daniel Candeias and Morelos looked dangerous on the attack and it was the latter who broke the deadlock after 19 minutes, quickly despatching Ryan Jack’s pass with an angled shot.

Patrick Thistle did not let their heads drop and, but for slack play and poor passing, they might have made more of their possession.

Jack was in evident pain after a challenge by Ryan Edwards, which did not appear to be malicious, and the Rangers midfielder was able to continue after treatment.

Early in the second half, Fabio Cardoso senselessly climbed all over Miles Storey just outside the Rangers box. Up stepped Spittal to deliver a wonderful strike which took a slight deflection off defender Bruno Alves on its way into the net.

Thistle looked the more confident team and Spittal was again involved as the Jags went in front. James Tavernier played him onside as the rest of the Rangers defence came out, giving him time and space to knock the ball across the face of the goal for Erskine to slide in and score.

At this point, Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha had already substituted replacement captain Kenny Miller for Eduardo Herrera, with Dorrans taking on the armband, and following the goal he sent on Carlos Pena for Jack.

Graham Dorrans smashes in the equaliser for Rangers with 13 minutes to go
Graham Dorrans smashes in the equaliser for Rangers with 13 minutes to go
The game swung in Rangers’ favour when Erskine’s studs-up challenge on Morelos reduced the Jags to 10 men with 25 minutes to go.

Rangers pressed with the extra man and they were duly rewarded when, after benefiting from an incorrect throw-in decision, John played a lovely ball for Dorrans, who curled in a stunning shot to set up a frantic finale.

Rangers tried to make their extra man count but efforts from Pena and Morelos were kept out by Ryan Scully as Thistle held firm for a draw.

The sides meet again in the League Cup on Tuesday. On Friday night’s evidence, the cup tie should be a cracker.

bbc.com

 

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