Malky Thomson expects more improvement to come from Rangers after beating Glasgow City 3-1 to reclaim lead at top of the SWPL 1
The Light Blues capitalised on a poor display from the 15-time champions to move two points clear at the top of the table
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The Light Blues showed no ill effects for their lack of competitive action after their clash with Aberdeen was postponed last weekend as they battled past the 15-time champions in Sunday’s top-of-the-table showdown.
Thomson refused to get carried away as the Gers reclaimed top spot but was delighted with how his players maintained their performance level for the full 90 minutes.
He said: “Before the game we asked the players a simple question - are you ready to turn up and put your heart and soul into the game? I think they did that.
“In previous games, we’ve had five or six individuals playing well but today they were all battling for each other which was great to see.
“It’s important you convert your chances when you have so much dominance on the game in possession and we did that.
“I’m not going to single any player out, team performance was more important and as long as we can maintain that standard and be together then we’ll be in a good place.
“We took a lot of positives and confidence from our first-half performance and I made it clear that we had to maintain the same levels in the second half because we knew they would get a foothold in the game at some point.
“It was about how we handled ourselves out of possession and be patient and I think the girls equipped themselves really well.
“There’s a relentless attitude about them and a real belief that makes us difficult to break down.”
Rangers started on the front-foot and striker Lizzie Arnot created the first chance after cutting inside from the right and firing an effort narrowly wide of Lee Alexander’s left-hand post.
The hosts’ early dominance paid off in the 14th minute when City gifted away possession deep inside their own half and the ball eventually found Arnot who unleashed a thunderous left-foot drive past Alexander into the top right-hand corner.
City enjoyed a brief foray into the Gers’ half in a largely one-sided opening 45 minutes but Priscilla Chinchilla was unable to get her effort on target following a well-worked passing move.
Rangers doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Arnot’s corner from the left was flicked on at the front post before City defender Niamh Farrelly headed into her own net.
The home side were reduced to ten with over 20 minutes remaining when goalkeeper Jenna Fife was shown a straight red card for wiping out Ode Fulutudilu as the striker raced clean through on goal.
However, City captain Hayley Lauder failed to test replacement shot-stopper Megan Cunningham from a free-kick on the edge of the box.
Rangers wrapped up the points in the 76th minute when former Manchester United striker Jane Ross nodded home Arnot’s pinpoint delivery from six yards out.
The visitors were left to rue a poor performance but substitute Clare Shine did grab a late consolation in the closing minutes as she bundled the ball over the line from a free-kick.
Glasgow City head coach Eileen Gleeson bemoaned the lack of fight displayed by her side as they were knocked off top spot in the table.
She admitted: “We didn’t show up as a team and the three goals we conceded were preventable.
“There was a lack of understanding of individual roles and a lack of commitment to basic tasks, but we have to move forward to the game against Celtic on Thursday night.
“We’ve no one else to blame but ourselves. We’ll look at the game but the girls know it’s not good enough and it’s not what Glasgow City is about.”
Rangers: Fife, Docherty, Vance, Middag, Bell (Cunningham; 70), Ross (McCoy; 89), Arnot, Cornet (Grant; 46), Kerr, Westrup, Swaby
Unused: Brownlie, Hay, Ness, Howat
Glasgow City: Alexander, Lauder, Walsh, Fulutudilu, Clark, Davidson, Farrelly (Grant; 70), Molin (Beattie; 84), Chinchilla (Shine; 70), Perea, Foley
Unused: Clachers (GK), Fulton, Filipa, Dodds
Referee: George Calder
Player of the Match: Lizzie Arnot (Rangers)