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Itten rescues point for leaders Rangers

Published on: 17 January 2021

Four of Cedric Itten's five Rangers goals have come in substitute appearances against Motherwell

Cedric Itten rescued a draw for Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers against resolute Motherwell to restore their 21-point lead over Celtic.

The substitute headed in Borna Barisic's cross and scored against Well for the fourth time this season.

Devante Cole had put the hosts ahead in the first half from Tony Watt's cross.

Itten's leveller prevented Motherwell becoming the first side to beat Rangers in the league this term, with the hosts moving off bottom spot.

Cole also temporarily kept his team in front by clearing Connor Goldson's header off the line.

Graham Alexander made it two draws out of two since taking over at Motherwell, who are only the third team to take points of Rangers this season and are ahead of bottom side Hamilton Academical on goal difference. The Steelmen also have games in hand over the sides around them.

Rangers' sequence of 15 successive league wins comes to an end and defending champions Celtic could cut their deficit to 18 points when they visit Livingston on Wednesday.

    Reaction & as it happened

It was a quiet opening from both sides and Motherwell netted at the end of a concerted period of possession with Watt delivering low for Cole to knock home in the six-yard box. Cole had been involved earlier in the move and was rewarded for carrying on his run.

Rangers had barely carved out an opportunity until Barisic's excellent cross from the byeline was headed just wide by Alfredo Morelos.

That chance perhaps showed the visitors how best to attack but instead they persisted with low crosses that were mopped up gladly by the Well backline.

Ianis Hagi volleyed wide after the break and another from team-mate Steven Davis - making his 300th Rangers appearance - was blocked.

Ryan Kent burst inside from the left to test Well goalkeeper Liam Kelly and the pattern for the second half was quickly being established.

Cole then prevented a goal by clearing Goldson's header at a corner and Goldson's next effort, a shot, was kept out by Kelly.

But Rangers finally found the right formula when Barisic's cross from deep on the left was nodded in by Hagi's replacement Itten. Alexander said post-match he felt the Swiss striker was offside.

The visitors continued to push as legs tired on both sides and Jermain Defoe, who had come on for Morelos, drew a save from Kelly deep into stoppage time.

Man of the match - Tony WattWatt (right) set up the Cole goal and worked tirelessly for his team in defence and attackWhat did we learn?

Motherwell had led and created chances in their draw with St Mirren last weekend and it will be a frustration for Alexander that they were again pegged back.

Rangers' defensive record this season has been strong but they have lost more goals on average as the season has worn on.

The Cole goal was reminiscent of Callum Lang's opener for Motherwell when the Steelmen lost 3-1 at Ibrox - a low ball from a wide area - and it is unlikely to have gone unnoticed by future opponents.

Going forward, the intricate passing that had been the catalyst for Rangers' goals in last week's win over Aberdeen was largely nullified by Alexander's tactics. Still, they persevered and got the goal their endeavours merited.

What did they say?

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander: "But for a potential offside goal, we win the game. At the time I couldn't see it but I've seen a still in the camera and he's offside it looks like to me.

"I have pride in the team, in the players, in the club, really, because there was a lot of help behind the scenes to prepare for this game. I thought the team were fantastic. It's another point on our total. The two games that we've had, we're unbeaten."

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard told Sky Sports: "I don't think we've got any complaints in terms of the result. It took us 45 minutes to come to the game. I'm disappointed with our showing in the first half.

"We got into them at half-time, had to make a substitution to send a message as well. I thought we were really good in the second half. Cedric's come on and scored a good goal. The lads showed a lot of belief and character."

What's next?

Motherwell are away to Aberdeen on Saturday (15:00 GMT), when Rangers are at home to Ross County (15:00).

Player of the match

WattTony Watt

with an average of 7.04

    MotherwellMotherwellMotherwellRangersRangersRangers

MotherwellAvgSquad number32Player nameWattAverage rating

7.04

Squad number44Player nameColeAverage rating

7.01

Squad number31Player nameGallagherAverage rating

6.76

Squad number13Player nameKellyAverage rating

6.74

Squad number16Player nameMugabiAverage rating

6.72

Squad number6Player nameCampbellAverage rating

6.50

Squad number33Player nameO'DonnellAverage rating

6.45

Squad number19Player namePolworthAverage rating

6.35

Squad number17Player nameSeedorfAverage rating

6.28

Squad number3Player nameCarrollAverage rating

6.21

Squad number8Player nameCrawfordAverage rating

6.20

Squad number4Player nameLamieAverage rating

5.92

Squad number14Player nameLawlessAverage rating

5.75

Squad number15Player nameMaguireAverage rating

5.57

Squad number25Player nameMacIverAverage rating

5.52

RangersAvgSquad number11Player nameIttenAverage rating

6.08

Squad number10Player nameDavisAverage rating

5.82

Squad number31Player nameBarisicAverage rating

5.45

Squad number6Player nameGoldsonAverage rating

5.41

Squad number26Player nameBalogunAverage rating

5.33

Squad number2Player nameTavernierAverage rating

5.29

Squad number9Player nameDefoeAverage rating

5.23

Squad number18Player nameKamaraAverage rating

5.18

Squad number1Player nameMcGregorAverage rating

5.10

Squad number17Player nameAriboAverage rating

5.04

Squad number7Player nameHagiAverage rating

5.01

Squad number20Player nameMorelosAverage rating

5.00

Squad number14Player nameKentAverage rating

4.58

Squad number21Player nameBarkerAverage rating

4.47

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsMotherwell

Formation 4-3-3

13Kelly33O'Donnell16Mugabi31Gallagher3Carroll6Campbell8Crawford19Polworth17Seedorf44Cole32Watt

    13Kelly33O'Donnell16Mugabi31Gallagher3CarrollBooked at 50mins6Campbell8CrawfordSubstituted forMaguireat 84'minutes19PolworthSubstituted forLamieat 80'minutes17SeedorfSubstituted forMacIverat 70'minutes44ColeBooked at 65mins32WattSubstituted forLawlessat 70'minutesBooked at 74mins

Substitutes

    4Lamie5McGinley9White14Lawless15Maguire23Morrison24Devine25MacIver27Johnston

Rangers

Formation 4-3-3

1McGregor2Tavernier6Goldson26Balogun31Barisic18Kamara10Davis17Aribo7Hagi20Morelos14Kent

    1McGregor2Tavernier6Goldson26Balogun31Barisic18Kamara10Davis17Aribo7HagiBooked at 47minsSubstituted forIttenat 55'minutes20MorelosSubstituted forDefoeat 83'minutes14KentSubstituted forBarkerat 88'minutes

Substitutes

    3Bassey5Helander9Defoe11Itten15Zungu16Patterson21Barker24Stewart33McLaughlin

Referee:Don RobertsonMatch StatsHome TeamMotherwellAway TeamRangersPossessionHome27%Away73%ShotsHome5Away16Shots on TargetHome3Away5CornersHome1Away10FoulsHome10Away9Live TextPost update

Match ends, Motherwell 1, Rangers 1.

90'+4'Full Time

Second Half ends, Motherwell 1, Rangers 1.

90'+4'Post update

Foul by Connor Goldson (Rangers).

90'+4'Post update

Devante Cole (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90'+3'Post update

Attempt saved. Jermain Defoe (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Tavernier with a cross.

90'+1'Post update

Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Joe Aribo following a corner.

90'+1'Post update

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.

88'Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Brandon Barker replaces Ryan Kent.

84'Post update

Borna Barisic (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84'Post update

Foul by Steven Lawless (Motherwell).

84'Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Barry Maguire replaces Robbie Crawford.

83'Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Jermain Defoe replaces Alfredo Morelos.

83'Post update

Foul by Cedric Itten (Rangers).

83'Post update

Bevis Mugabi (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80'Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Ricki Lamie replaces Liam Polworth.

79'Post update

Attempt missed. Allan Campbell (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

78'Post update

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Leon Balogun.

76'Post update

Attempt blocked. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked.

74'Booking

Steven Lawless (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

74'Post update

Leon Balogun (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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Source: bbc.com

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