Gubbed in Govan: Pars suffer a humiliating one-sided defeat
The gulf between a Pars team aiming for promotion to the Premiership and a Rangers team that is rated second or third best team in the top division was all too obvious at Ibrox yesterday evening, with the home side recording a resounding 6-0 win. It could easily have been a double figures.
Pars manager Allan Johnston stuck to his preferred 4-4-2 formation despite concerns that Rangers would pick apart a slow 2 man Dunfermline central midfield, and also a danger of playing 2 wingers against better quality opposition, leaving gaps for Rangers to exploit. So it proved - and mistakes in defence did not help, giving away possession just outside the penalty box after 5 minutes, from which the ball found its way to Kenny Miller, who scored. Four minutes later, it was 2-0 when a free kick was given away and Bruno Alves stepped up to put the ball beyond Sean Murdoch.
The closest Dunfermline came to scoring all game was in the 18th minute when a well-taken Declan McManus free kick hit the bar. Alfredo Morelos made it 3-0 after 23 minutes, and 6 minutes later James Tavernier got the fourth Rangers goal.
Dunfermline made it to half time without conceding any further goals, with Big Jock M'Voto brought on to add a defensive player at the expense of striker David Hopkirk, after the fourth Rangers goal.
The second period featured less goals but still almost complete domination from the home team. Ryan Williamson had a couple of runs down the right wing but that aside, it was all Rangers. Daniel Candeias made it 5-0 in the 57th minute and Morelos got his second and Rangers' sixth after 75 minutes to complete the scoring.
Only a combination of wayward finishing and a couple of good saves by Sean Murdoch prevented the scoreline heading towards 10.
While very few Pars fans would have expected to win this game, the performance and team set-up was a complete embarrassment. It was extremely naive to play 4-4-2 with a centre midfield of Paton and Wedderburn, against players of the quality of Graham Dorrans. It is one thing being idealistic and not compromising a system that involves wingers. This, however, was football suicide.
Pars starting 11 & subs:
Later today: match photo gallery & matchday vlog will be uploaded.
Photos & edits in this article by Pars Review.