Rangers FM21-Restoring The Rangers Empire-
Second Half Season Review
To read the 1st half-season review click HERE
Hello boys, girls and everything in between. It’s me Badjokes back at ya once again with another blog.
Today in Restoring the Rangers Empire we’re looking at the second half of the season. As things start, we’re still in all the domestic competitions. Did we win them all? Read on to find out!
We ended the last post halfway through December, having been booted out of the Europa League after a five-nil defeat against Roma. We also drew one-one versus second-bottom Ross County. The question was? how would we respond to those two disappointing results? The answer came emphatically as we hit five past Dundee United in a five-one win with Morelos getting a couple of goals, and Zungu, Hagi and Ryan Kent getting the others, in a very comfortable win in which we had twenty-one shots, with twelve on target.
Next up we played St Mirren at home in the Betfred cup Quarter Final and we progressed to the Semi-final rather smoothly in a two-one win with Kent and Zungu scoring for the second game running, either side of a Sam Foley goal.
We came back to league action with the demolition of Motherwell, after Trevor Carson scored an unfortunate own goal to give us the lead and then Ryan Kent’s goal was sandwiched in between a Morelos double, as we were looking very confident.
St Johnston away proved to be a tougher game than we imagined, as their stubborn defence did well against our free-scoring attack. It wasn’t until the seventieth minute, that we finally got the breakthrough, as the super-sub Jermain Defoe smashed the ball past the keeper from the edge of the box, as I’m sure my sigh of relief could be heard half a mile away. Zungu then made absolutely sure of the win eight minutes later, when he headed home a cross from the right-hand side to give us a two-nil win, that I think we were lucky to get.
Our last two games of the month, saw us play at home versus Hibernian and away against St Mirren. The reason I’m sticking these together is that in the two games we scored eleven goals and conceded a nice ripe round ZERO!! We put six past Hibs, including two Tavernier penalties and a brace for Hagi. Alfredo Morelos did one better than those two though, as he got himself a hat-trick away to St Mirren, which was followed by Goals from Zungu and Roofe, to ensure a five-nil win, as we finished the month top of the SPL by five points, although Celtic have a game in hand so it’s still pretty close.
All in all, we’ve got to be happy with how the month has gone, as we’ve responded to the Roma thrashing, by winning all six games whilst only conceding two goals, which have meant that I have again, won the manager of the month award.
The new year began with two reasons to be excited, the first being the awesome form we were in and the second being that the year started with the second old firm game of the season!! If you read the last post you will know that Gary Mcallister, convinced me before the last game against Celtic to completely alter our tactics and we ended up getting beat three-two. He tried it again before this one, so I just booted him out of my office whilst screaming obscenities at him. The decision to keep to our attacking tactics paid off, as both Ianis Hagi and Jonjo Shelvey, got two goals as we strolled to a four-nil win to extend our lead at the top of the table to eight points.
You would think that with the confidence of the win over Celtic, that we would go and smash Aberdeen in our next game. Judging by the performance, however, I’m guessing that the lads had been out on the piss and eating fried Mars bars (who the hell eats that?), every night of the week between games, as we laboured to a one-nil win with the solitary goal coming from Jack Wilshere who amazingly, has still not been injured!!
We followed that game up with a trip to Motherwell, for our second away game in a row and we were unable to match the four-nil win we got the last m0nth. In a very quiet game, both sides ended with single digits for shots on target (seven for Motherwell and eight for us), as Motherwell’s defensive four-two-one-two-one formation, stood firm against our four-three-two-one, so the game finished in a disappointing nil-nil draw.
Next up, we had our second game this month against Celtic this time in the Betfred cup semi-final in front of fifty-one thousand people at Hampden Park I was feeling confident, because, in the week before this game, Celtic had sold Edouard to Nice in France. Thankfully, both sets of fans only made a ten minute trip to the ground, so they could get home quickly. Even in that short time, they will have forgotten this game, as it was a dreadfully quiet and nervy game, with nobody wanting to make the mistake to cost their team the match. It looked like the game was going to finish nil-nil at the end of normal time, when Morelos of all people made the mistake, as he tracked back for the first time ever (and hopefully the last), and tackled James Forrest on the right-wing but his tackle sent the ball through to Leigh Griffiths who was one on one with the keeper. He went slightly wide but still managed to squeeze the ball under Subasic to break our hearts in the ninety-first minute. Once again water bottles were thrown, as not only have we missed out on the final but that was also two poor performances in a row.
The game against Hibs was our fourth in a row away from home, and again it was a very quiet performance from us but we did manage to get the win, thanks to Shelveys goal in the twenty-eighth minute when he smashed the ball into the back of the net. We dominated the game and should have had a goal or two more but we got the win we needed and we escaped back to Glasgow.
Our last game of the month, saw us start our run in the Scottish Cup against league two, Stirling Albion. We took the chance to play some fringe players and as you can see in the image below, they all played well, as we got a routine three-nil win with Defoe getting a couple and Roofe getting the other goal.
Another nice month for us, but again a major disappointment as well, with the defeat to Celtic in the Cup semi-final. We have played four games in the league this month and gone unbeaten, so that’s a positive and for the second month running I’ve won the manager of the month award. You may have noticed, I’ve not mentioned transfers, and that’s because nobody joined the club. Despite a lot of rumours in the press, none of my first choice players received any bids, with the only major sale being Itten leaving the club for nine hundred thousand pounds to join Cagliari.
The first game in February, saw our first choice team finally play a game at home. This time against St Johnstone. The scoring started early for us, as Morelos scored a penalty in the second minute, to set us up perfectly for the game. Morelos got himself a hat-trick and Hagi got himself the other goal, to give us a very nice dominant four-nil win, to make it fifteen unbeaten in the league for us.
We went one better in our game against Hamilton, as we thumped them five-nil with Morelos getting his second hat-trick in as many games. Tavernier and Barisic both added to the score sheet, as my wing-backs’ form continued soaring high like an eagle (did that work? I feel like it did! Oh it didn’t? Ok let’s all move on).
Kilmarnock became the first team to score against us in the league for ten games when Eamonn Brophy scored in the eighty-fourth minute. Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring (still one of my favourite comedies ever), for we were already three up at that point, thanks to goals from Morelos in the thirty-fourth-minute, Hagi in the first-half injury time and Ryan Kent in the fifty-second minute
Our two English midfield maestros were the dominating factors in our Scottish cup game vs Ross County, as Jack Wilshere had his best game for us scoring two goals and Shelvey got the other one, with all the goals coming in the first half, as our form kept motoring on in cruise control.
The cruise control got us into trouble against Livingston, as our overconfidence lead to us not dominating or showing that killer instinct that we have had so often lately. Morelos scored a penalty in the eighth minute so I was sure this was going to be another routine win. However, Scott Pittman (how did he survive school with a name like that, the poor guy), levelled things up just four minutes from the break, to give us a shock. No matter, I thought we might be drawing at the break but we still have enough to see this game out easily. That feeling was reinforced just six minutes into the second half when Morelos doubled his tally for the day. Again, we couldn’t increase our advantage and that failure bit us on the backside as they again equalised four minutes from the end of the half, this time from a penalty of their own with Alan Forrest getting the goal. That meant for only the third time in the league we were held to a draw.
We ended the month unbeaten in both the league and the cup, with our run of wins meaning we finished the month top of the league and having already qualified for the Champions League, so big things are in store for next season whatever happens from here on in.
We kicked March off with two home games vs St Mirren and Ross County both in the league and we won both very easily with Alfredo Morelos again scoring hattricks in two games on the spin, as we beat St Mirren four-nil and Ross County five-nil. To show how dominant we were against St Mirren we had sixty-nine per cent of possession and two-point seven six xG ( i will never understand what xG is), which im guessing is quite high, as im sure it’s among the highest I’ve had this year.
We had a real sense of deja vu in our next game, as for the second time in eight days we were at home against St Mirren. This Time was in the quarter-final of the cup. Wilshere gave us the lead in the third minute, when his effort from just outside the box, curled past the keeper. The young Argentinian Palacios who has made a lot of sub appearances finally got his first goal for us when he jumped to chest the ball in when he was pretty much on the line when the goal probably was going in off Wilshere’s header from a corner. Then however it finally happened as our Iron man Jack Wilshere finally came down with a thigh strain injury that would all but end his season as he was ruled out for five weeks. Despite that dampner, we still celebrated our place in the semi-final of the cup with a two-nil win.
To end the month we travelled to Celtic Park hoping to erase the memories of our trip there back in October when we lost three-two and looked very average, but we are a very different team now we look confident and a win here would give us a huge advantage in the title race in which we are already eleven points clear. In a rare experience for us, we finished the game as the side with fewer shots, but we did get the lead in the thirteenth minute when Zungu got to the ball after it had pinged around the box and walloped the ball into the net to silence the Celtic fans all around us. Three minutes before the end of the first half and I can honestly say I’ve been in louder anechoic chambers (google it people) when Morelos showed his bottle as he doubled the lead from the penalty spot.
That’s how the game ended. as we picked up a vital two-nil win. It now looks like a matter of if not when we win the title.
For the first time since August, we’ve come out of a month with a perfect record and its come at the right time as we are edging over closer to the title. We are also in the semi-final of the Scottish cup so a double is still very much on. Of course, I’ve won the manager of the month once again. Shelvey’s loan deal has been extended to the end of January and Palacios’ has been extended to the end of next season as we start to prepare for next year.
The last game before the split in the SPL saw us play Dundee United at home with us being on a twenty-one game run in the league without being defeated. Ryan Kent and Zungu scored in the first half to give us a two-nil lead as we looked to be making easy work of increasing our unbeaten run to twenty-two games, we did though get a scare in the eighty-eighth minute when Lawrence Shankland chipped the ball over Subasic in our net to halve the deficit but we successfully saw the game out as we moved to just two wins away from winning the league!!
Before we could do that though we had the small issue of the Scottish Cup Semi-Final so we travelled the ten-minute journey to Hampden. ( Surely that’s got to be the closest a club team is to their national stadium surely? if it’s not let me know in the comments or Twitter) to play top of the championship Hearts. We had to come from behind when a Ginnely rocket in the twenty-fifth minute from outside the box left Subasic with no chance and had me looking for the nearest water bottles but dave the kitman had rather smartly hidden them from me. That goal only woke our team up as ten minutes later we were in the lead after Morelos had decided he’d had enough of being behind so he scored two goals in as many minutes to show his class. Five minutes after the break and Ryan Jack gave us a two-goal lead as he ended a really nice passing move getting on the end of a Tavernier cross to guide the ball home. Palacios got his second goal in as many rounds when his powerful effort in the box hit the keepers hands but still got into the net for our fourth. Naismith got another one back for Hearts with three minutes left on the clock but we were never going to give this up and it finished four-two as we booked our place in the Final!!
So one half of the double is in sight, now we go into the championship group with us eight points away from Celtic. The first game of the split came against the team we played just two weeks ago Dundee United, we left nobody in any doubt of our intentions or intensity as we put ourselves four-nil ahead by the thirty-first minute after we ran out of the blocks like Red Rum with a rocket attached to his arse. Hagi got a hat-trick in that time and Shelvey got the other one. Shankland again scored against us as halftime was approaching but a comeback was never on the cards and Aribo scored our fifth before Nicky Clark gave them a second goal. So we moved to 3 points from the title with a five-two win as we have four games left to play but of course, we want to do it in our next game.
How about this for a scenario Rangers fans four games left to win the title for the first time since 2011 but the first of those come at Ibrox against Celtic!. It’s a dream scenario for the forty-seven thousand home fans in the stadium. The game worked out like a dream for me as well as the two players I’ve enjoyed more than any others Ianis Hagi and Morelos scored a goal apiece to get us a two-nil win against a surprisingly lacklustre Celtic to hand us our first title in nine years and almost as important to stop the enemy getting ten titles in a row!!!!
There you are what a month it has been we’ve won all four games got ourselves to the Scottish cup final and won the league !!!!!!! One minor Negative note is that I didn’t get the new trophy lifting animation which was a bit gutting but I can only assume that Celtic are doing a Donald Trump and not wanting to hand the trophy other to us. Nae, bother as I’ve learnt from being in Glasgow we will just win it again next year to make sure they hand the thing over.
I’m going to breeze through the league games in this month, as well, to be honest, we won them all pretty easily. We beat Kilmarnock four-one, and Hibs one-nil in a game that showed that we’re not quite on the beach but was packing our suitcase with a sombrero and speedos while eating a Solero. Thankfully the guys remembered that we had one game left to play and we smashed Motherwell four-nil in a game that saw Morelos score wait for it……….his FIFTY-FIRST goal of the season yep you read that right people and we’ve got him signed to a new deal so he will be here next season.
That league table shows how we have dominated this season as we finish with hundred and two points as well as a goal difference of ninety-six. this season has been absolutely mental but next season I want to get one better and go unbeaten in the league!!
Rather surprisingly, it wasn’t Celtic we met in the final but Hamilton Academicals and rather unsurprisingly we won the game easily four-nil with Morelos and Shelvey both getting two goals apiece to ensure we end the season with not one but two trophies.
See ya, Later guys
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