HomeSportNew-look Rangers stunned in Kilmarnock defeat

New-look Rangers stunned in Kilmarnock defeat

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Brad Lyons’ second-half winner secured a memorable opening-day win for Kilmarnock over RangersNew-look Rangers’ hopes of wrestling the Scottish Premiership title off rivals Celtic got off to a losing start as they were shocked by a reinvigorated Kilmarnock.Michael Beale’s blunt side, which included five debutants from the off, failed to truly trouble the organised and resolute hosts, who secured a well-deserved victory as Brad Lyons capitalised on poor defending to sweep in a 65th-minute winner.Aside from first-half efforts from Cyriel Dessers and John Lundstram, and a John Souttar header after the break, the visitors’ attacking play was limited in a disjointed display.Even this early in the campaign, the result is a damaging one for Beale, who knows there is little room for error with his side already behind their Old Firm rivals.That should take nothing away from a sensational showing from Kilmarnock, who came close to extending their lead with drives from Kyle Magennis and Danny Armstrong.The victory is the Ayrshire side’s first over Rangers since April 2020 and ends the Ibrox club’s 20-game unbeaten run in opening top-flight fixtures.Eyebrows were raised about Todd Cantwell’s exclusion from the Rangers starting line-up, but his introduction – along with new Brazilian striker Danilo – failed to inspire an away side that just could not get going.It was instead the entrance of Kilmarnock captain Kyle Vassell that arguably proved to be the turning point as the striker gave the hosts a focal point to go on and take the game away from the Glasgow club. Player of the match – Danny ArmstrongYou could make the case for plenty in blue and white stripes, but last season’s talisman (right) epitomised Kilmarnock’s display with relentless energy on the right in both defence and attackNew Rangers faces, same defensive fragility – analysisFingers will be pointed at a fresh Rangers attack that failed to create clear chances, but the pivotal moment that changed this result from a draw to defeat came from sloppy defending from Souttar as the centre-back could not clear his lines from a long throw.It is clear that this side will need time to gel, but the issue with Glasgow is you simply do not get that time. With the domination both Old Firm clubs hold over the other 10 clubs, the margin for error is so, so slim now. Beale needs this side to click quickly.McInnes, who had seven fresh faces of his own in his XI, spoke pre-match about wanting to “demonstrate that there’s been an improvement” in his side after a big summer rebuild.Boy, did they do that. New recruit Robbie Deas in particular was a colossus in defence. The Ayrshire side should now be embracing what looks like a tough trip to Tynecastle next weekend before a Viaplay Cup last-16 tie at home to Celtic the following weekend.What’s next?Rangers start their European campaign live on the BBC this Wednesday (19:45 BST) in the first leg of their Champions League third-round qualifier against Servette.The Ibrox side then welcome Livingston next Saturday (15:00) as Kilmarnock travel to Tynecastle to face Hearts.More to follow.Player of the matchMayoLewis MayoKilmarnockSquad number5Player nameMayoSquad number10Player nameKennedySquad number9Player nameVassellSquad number18Player nameCameronSquad number8Player nameLyonsSquad number7Player nameMcKenzieSquad number15Player nameMurraySquad number16Player nameMagennisSquad number12Player nameWatsonSquad number3Player nameNdabaSquad number17Player nameFindlaySquad number6Player nameDeasSquad number11Player nameArmstrongSquad number23Player nameWatkinsSquad number1Player nameDennisRangersSquad number1Player nameButlandSquad number2Player nameTavernierSquad number6Player nameGoldsonSquad number43Player nameRaskinSquad number5Player nameSouttarSquad number20Player nameDowellSquad number14Player nameLammersSquad number4Player nameLundstramSquad number19Player nameSimaSquad number31Player nameBarisicSquad number9Player nameDessersSquad number8Player nameJackSquad number25Player nameRoofeSquad number99Player nameDaniloSquad number13Player nameCantwellLine-upsKilmarnockFormation 5-3-21Dennis11Armstrong5Mayo6Deas17Findlay3Ndaba12Watson8Lyons16Magennis10Kennedy23Watkins1Dennis11ArmstrongSubstituted forMurrayat 89’minutes5Mayo6Deas17Findlay3Ndaba12Watson8Lyons16MagennisSubstituted forMcKenzieat 77’minutes10KennedySubstituted forCameronat 89’minutes23WatkinsSubstituted forVassellat 63’minutesSubstitutes7McKenzie9Vassell14Sanders15Murray18Cameron19Davies20O’Hara22Donnelly31PolworthRangersFormation 4-3-31Butland2Tavernier6Goldson5Souttar31Barisic4Lundstram43Raskin20Dowell14Lammers9Dessers19Sima1Butland2Tavernier6Goldson5Souttar31Barisic4LundstramSubstituted forJackat 72’minutes43Raskin20DowellSubstituted forCantwellat 62’minutes14LammersSubstituted forRoofeat 84’minutes9DessersSubstituted forPereira da Silvaat 62’minutes19SimaSubstitutes7Hagi8Jack13Cantwell15Cifuentes17Matondo25Roofe27Balogun28McCrorie99Pereira da SilvaLive TextMatch ends, Kilmarnock 1, Rangers 0.Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Rangers 0.Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Fraser Murray.Todd Cantwell (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Foul by Brad Lyons (Kilmarnock).Substitution, Kilmarnock. Fraser Murray replaces Daniel Armstrong.Substitution, Kilmarnock. Innes Cameron replaces Matthew Kennedy.Offside, Rangers. Abdallah Sima tries a through ball, but Kemar Roofe is caught offside.Attempt missed. Abdallah Sima (Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Borna Barisic with a cross following a corner.Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Brad Lyons.Attempt blocked. Todd Cantwell (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.Attempt missed. Nicolas Raskin (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by James Tavernier.Substitution, Rangers. Kemar Roofe replaces Sam Lammers.Foul by Nicolas Raskin (Rangers).Corrie Ndaba (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Attempt saved. James Tavernier (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Borna Barisic with a cross.Connor Goldson (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Foul by Kyle Vassell (Kilmarnock).Attempt missed. Todd Cantwell (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Nicolas Raskin.Attempt missed. Danilo (Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Borna Barisic with a cross.

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