Rangers stars deserve 'massive' credit after referee display v Leipzig

By Noel Whelan

7th May, 2022 | 8:52pm

Connor Goldson among Rangers trio who deserve 'massive credit' after what I've seen - pundit

Noel Whelan has insisted the Rangers defenders deserve “massive credit” after their “really impressive” performance against RB Leipzig.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Aberdeen striker heralded Connor Goldson, Calvin Bassey and Borna Barisic for their displays after they picked up “soft yellow cards”.

The trio were all booked in the opening 45 minutes of Thursday’s 3-1 win but played the full 90.

Whelan admitted the Gers stars were walking a tightrope with referee Artur Soares Dias quick to go to his pocket.

However, he insisted the defensive trio showed excellent “professionalism” not to get drawn into picking up a second yellow.

Discussing the trio’s performance, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “They were soft yellow cards. It does change the way you’ve got to play as a defender because you want to be nice and aggressive.

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“You want to get up close and personal to centre forwards and wingers. They showed professionalism in managing their performance.

“Not dropping their levels but being very, very careful in what they do to not get sent off or loosen their chances of getting a result in the match.

“Keeping those levels of performance at maximum, it’s really impressive, because it’s not easy.

“When you’ve got that kind of atmosphere and how big the game, it’s not easy to control themselves and control their discipline and performance.

“To still keep it at that maximum, they deserve massive credit. It’s not easy, not when you’ve got three of them against a good attacking outfit like Leipzig.”

Rangers will face Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final later this month.

They will be the Gers’ third German opponent of the campaign after they also saw off Borussia Dortmund.

In other news, pundit calls for rule change after Joe Aribo footage emerges from Ibrox.