Football

Rangers’ Balogun was abysmal against Antwerp


Glasgow Rangers interim right-back Leon Balogun badly let Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard and his side down on Thursday night despite reaching the Europa League last 16 for the second successive season.

The 32-year-old, who earns a reported £12,500-per-week at Ibrox, was once again called into action on the right-hand side of the defence in the absence of the injured James Tavernier.

After a frenetic start, Balogun endured a difficult opening as he struggled to gain a foothold in the game in the first half, and it was no surprise to see him replaced by Nathan Patterson at the break after being booked for a clumsy challenge.

Was Balogun poor against Antwerp?

Yes!

No…

No...

Writing in his post-match review, The Daily Record’s Gavin Berry gave his performance a low grade of 4/10 and noted the ‘Nigerian international was beaten by Jordan Lukaku for Antwerp equaliser and struggled with a booking that rules him out of last-16.’

As per SofaScore ratings, the veteran defender, who is traditionally a centre-back by trade, was graded as one of Rangers’ worst defenders (6.3) – in fact, only four other players received a lower rating from either side.

Balogun has usually been a colossus at the back for Gerrard’s side this season thus far but against the Belgians, he was uncharacteristically lacklustre and lightweight, winning just five of his duels overall (45%).

He was also rather ineffective in possession, only producing 60% of his 15 attempted passes, while he also lost control of the ball 12 times, that being the most of any defender for Rangers barring Borna Barisic on the opposite flank. For context, Filip Helander, who otherwise endured a frustrating evening against Antwerp, only lost possession three times by comparison.

This also meant that Balogun managed to lose possession once every 2.75 touches, which further emphasises just how anonymous he was throughout the first half.

It’s no wonder, then, that he was the first player to be hooked off at half-time when replaced by Patterson on his return to action.

He was also caught out of position on several occasions as he was dribbled past twice more than any other Rangers defender, including Barisic and Helander, which was well above that of his season’s average of 0.7 times per game since arriving at Ibrox from Wigan Athletic.

The Nigerian let his manager down big time on the night, that’s for sure.

AND in other news, Ryan Kent was exceptional once again in Rangers win over Royal Antwerp





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