Latics suffer first defeat of pre-season as Steven Gerrard’s Rangers punish Paul Cook’s side with clinical second-half performance.
- Pre-Season Match Report: Rangers 3 – 0 Wigan Athletic
- Goals from Alfredo Morelos, Nikola Katic and Sadiq Umar between the 52nd and 62nd minutes gave the Scottish hosts a comfortable victory after an even first-half.
- 1,800 Latics back their side at Ibrox as pre-season preparations continued.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers punished Latics in ten clinical second-half minutes as three goals around the hour mark saw Paul Cook’s side suffer their first defeat of pre-season.
Goals from Alfredo Morelos, Nikola Katic and Sadiq Umar between the 52nd and 62nd minutes gave the Scottish hosts a comfortable victory after an even first-half.
Will Grigg saw a second-half penalty saved as Latics, back by 1,800 travelling supporters, missed the clinical edge their hosts produced in a blistering ten minute spell.
Early on, Morelos headed over from Glenn Middleton’s deep cross before Michael Jacobs almost got on the end of a Powell run and pass, but failed to connect before he then headed over a Kal Naismith cross.
Ross McCrorie was the next to go close for the hosts, shooting wide after Latics failed to clear before James Vaughan headed wide after a superb set-piece delivery from Reece James.
Again James was provider for Latics’ next chance as Jacobs broke forward and played the ball to the Chelsea loanee, who crossed for Naismith – playing at left back – but he headed wide at the back post.
On the stroke of half-time, both sides again had chances to open the scoring. First, former Latic James Tavernier had a free-kick from the edge of the Latics penalty area saved by Walton before Vaughan headed over at the other end from a Nick Powell free-kick.
Following the loss of Dan Burn to injury at half-time, Latics didn’t build on their first-half performance and would have been immediately behind but for a couple of good blocks from Burn’s replacement, Alex Bruce.
The opener came on 52 minutes as Daniel Candeias crossed for Morelos to head home from the penalty spot.
Just four minutes later and it was 2-0 as Middleton’s corner found Katic, who headed home.
The third goal was also a header as Sadiq got in to notch from another Candeias cross.
Latics made changes after the hour mark and one of them, Jamie Walker, turned from a Samy Morsy pass and shot wide of Wes Foderingham’s bottom left-hand corner.
Walker was lively and his deep cross then created a chance for Max Power, but the midfielder saw his header stopped by Foderingham.
Cook’s side got a chance for a leveller when Walker was fouled in the area but Grigg was another Latic denied by Foderingham as his penalty was saved low to the right.
Latics’ last chance fell to Gary Roberts, but he saw his effort from Leo Da Silva Lopes’ cross deflected over.
Latics: Walton; James (Da Silva Lopes 75), Burn (Bruce 45), Dunkley, Naismith (Flores 75); Morsy (Capt), Gibson (Roberts 75), McManaman (Power 57), Powell (Walker 57), Jacobs; Vaughan (Grigg 57).
Subs: Jones, Evans.
Rangers: Alnwick (Foderingham 45); Tavernier (Capt) (Hodson 62), Bradley (Katic 45), Goldson (Coulibaly 71), Halliday (Arfield 63), McCrorie, Docherty (Kent 71), Ejaria (Murphy 62), Candeias (Kelly 79), Middleton, Morelos (Sadiq 54).