Philippe Clement, the manager, expressed concern regarding the injury sustained by midfielder John Lundstram subsequent to Rangers’ Viaplay Cup triumph when they defeated 10-man St Johnstone and closed the gap on Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic to two points.
Clement’s squad took the lead in the first half on the goal of first-half substitute Cyriel Dessers. The visitors’ challenge was further complicated when Diallang Jaiyesimi was dismissed for a foul on Lundstram, who was substituted at the interval.
The hosts were subsequently limited by Perth, who fell one position to ninth, as Dimitar Mitov, the custodian, denied Dessers and Sam Lammers. James Tavernier, however, converted a late penalty kick following a tackle by Dessers on Mitov.
Having already lost midfielders Jose Cifuentes and Ryan Jack, the Ibrox club have a game in hand on Celtic but will not travel to Hibernian to face them until after the winter break.
Clement of Lundstram stated, “Insights are not favourable upon initial examination; therefore, I am optimistic that he can be restored to peak condition prior to the winter break.”
He also mentioned that it is extremely frustrating that an additional participant has been dismissed from the pitch. The prognosis will be ascertained in the coming days, as the injury concerns his ankle. “It was obviously not a smart challenge to launch your studs forward in that manner. Later in the game, we had an even worse one in which the player, fortunately not my player [Dan Phillips on Kieran Dowell], broke a limb with the intensity. “Those are undesirable conditions for football.”
Rangers were initially restricted to long-range attempts; Kemar Roofe’s initial attempt was thwarted by Andy Considine and he was subsequently substituted. It was the most recent injury setback for the Jamaican forward in a tremendously exasperating eighteen months.
John Souttar was presented with an opportunity by a Rangers corner, but his shot failed to penetrate the mass of bodies in front of the goal.
Dessers was able to force the ball through Mitov’s legs after Oludare Olufunwa failed to intercept Tavernier’s cross. The hosts were desperate for any opportunity that would present itself.
St. Johnstone suffered an additional setback when Jaiyesimi was penalised with a red card for late capturing Lundstram’s ankle; VAR enhanced the on-field decision of a yellow card.
Mitov was called into action when a second Dessers shot deflected, and moments later, the custodian was also required to block a furious effort from Kieran Dowell, the midfielder making his first start since August. Tavernier, fresh off his game-winning effort in the cup final against Aberdeen on Sunday, missed the target as Saints continued to struggle. Rangers continued from where they left off in the second half, with Mitov blocking Lammers’ close-range shot with distinction.
Dessers put a shot on the custodian from the periphery, Lammers’ rebounding shot was blocked, and Abdallah Sima and Tavernier both missed the target in rapid succession. However, the decisive moment eventually arrived. Scott Wright, making an appearance as a substitute, set Dessers up on goal; Mitov impeded him, and captain Tavernier confidently converted from 12 yards out.