Blog

Five things we learned from Rangers' win over Motherwell

RANGERS kept the pressure on leaders Celtic with a 3-1 win over Motherwell on Saturday to bolster their title hopes ahead of a massive... (Author: Gardener)

MotherwellRANGERS kept the pressure on leaders Celtic to keep their title hopes alive for Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his players with a 3-1 win over Motherwell on Saturday. RANGERS kept the pressure on leaders Celtic to keep their title hopes alive for Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his players with a 3-1 win over Motherwell on Saturday. An early Liam Kelly own goal sent the Govan side on their way to victory before Leon Balogun's first-half dismissal drew a reaction from the hosts. An early Liam Kelly own goal sent the Govan side on their way to victory before Leon Balogun's first-half dismissal drew a reaction from the hosts. Ross Tierney's header leveled the score before Rangers rallied in the second half, goals from Scott Wright and James Tavernier separating them from their opponents. Ross Tierney's header leveled the score before Rangers rallied in the second half, goals from Scott Wright and James Tavernier separating them from their opponents. It was good work for Van Bronckhorst and company, who now turn their attention to the first leg of their Europa League semi-final at RB Leipzig on Thursday night, and there were plenty of interesting details to consider ahead of the momentous clash. The Rangers boss opted for a front three of Amad Diallo, Wright and Fashion Sakala and although the triumvirate was reduced to a duo when Diallo had to be deposed following Leon Balogun's sacking, they combined well to carry the champions to victory to help . The Zambian international played a crucial role in his side's second and third goals - it was Sakala's sharp run and pass that propelled Wright into Rangers' second goal and the 25-year-old won the penalty for the third - but it was his best - Round game that caught the eye. He stretched the Motherwell defense and looked a real threat as he sliced ​​inside and headed straight for goal and Van Bronckhorst will be looking for more of the same from Sakala on Thursday night. The former Aberdeen winger had a big hand in the opener at Fir Park when he threw himself on the ball and although it's counted as an own goal for Motherwell keeper Liam Kelly, Wright's determination was a deciding factor. The inside forward looked a bit rusty at times and occasionally had to be called out by a teammate to pick up the right positions, but Wright's willingness to drive the ball, take on opponents and attack directly proved crucial in the encounter. He finally scored the goal his game deserved within minutes of the restart and when it arrived it was well hit, drilling the ball deep into the bottom corner. Any chance of a Rangers title win this season seems remote, so it was understandable that Van Bronckhorst had his eye on Thursday night's semi-final first leg against RB Leipzig. The Dutchman made the decision to give some key players a break and give others a run-out and it's a decision that has paid off for the Ibrox boss. Five first-team players - Calvin Bassey, John Lundstram, Ryan Jack, Joe Aribo and Ryan Kent - were rested for the Premiership clash in Lanarkshire to preserve their energy, and although Bassey and Aribo were 3-1 during the win , the break should do the quintet good. Rangers fans may not have given up hope of retaining their Premiership title just yet, but Van Bronckhorst was right to shuffle the cards on the occasion. Team selection didn't matter much in the end as Rangers drove to victory, but it was a calculated gamble by Van Bronckhorst - and one that worked. Motherwell, emboldened by his numerical advantage, put the visitors under real pressure late in the first half and actually made their opponents look very uncomfortable. Van Bronckhorst opted for a 4-3-2 form after Balogun's red, with Sakala and Wright playing more central when they started the game. It didn't really work as the forwards were easily skirted by Motherwell's defense leaving Rangers vulnerable without possession. That all changed after the restart, however, and Van Bronckhorst deserves credit for finding a solution. Instead of playing with a flat midfield three, Scott Arfield was pushed into an attacking midfield role, allowing Wright and Sakala to drift further out and take advantage of the space between the full-backs and the centre-backs. It was an approach that paid off almost immediately, as Sakala and Wright combined to regain the Rangers lead two minutes into the second half, and the third goal was another that obviously benefited from the change in form. Rangers played the vast majority of the game with 10 men, but you wouldn't have noticed if you were watching from the stands. The fact they had a lead to defend for most of the second half helped as little attacking load was placed on them, but the control the visitors exercised over the game was telling. For a Motherwell team to have worked so hard with an extra man, especially in the last third, doesn't reflect very well on the rest of the Premiership.

Read

Rangers' injury worries should see players rest at the track

The New York Rangers are heading into the playoffs red hot, but their recent injuries are a cause for concern as they start in May. (Author: Gardener)

The New York RangersThe New York Rangers' celebrations didn't last long after a thrilling 6-3 win over arch-rivals the New York Islanders on Thursday (April 21). The costly win put Filip Chytil and Andrew Copp on the injury list alongside Kaapo Kakko and Tyler Motte as both forwards were eliminated in the third half. Rangers had been on a four-game winning streak (7-2-1 in the last 10) but had now seen four forwards go down with minor injuries. The trade deadline has brought immense success to Rangers, who have catapulted themselves from a battle for second place into a heated race at the top of the Metropolitan Division. Copp was the most impressive acquisition, enhancing an impressive start to his Rangers' tenure with a natural hat-trick in the first period against the Islanders. A natural @Enterprise hat-trick is always impressive, but in the first period? On Friday (April 22), head coach Gerard Gallant gave a semi-optimistic response when asked about the two recent injuries, according to the New York Post. Still, his track record of describing injuries as 'not serious' simply because the player is out for a long time has left Rangers Town feeling uneasy. Even the best team in the NHL is at the mercy of player health when it comes to post-season success. Critical injuries at inopportune times will disrupt any momentum and chemistry developed over an 82-game campaign. Chytil and Kakko have been struggling with injuries all season. And while they don't reach the level that's always expected of them, just by being lined up in the lineup, Gallant lends some much-needed depth and menacing three lines. On the other hand, Copp was taken over on time and dropped completely in line with Artemi Panarin. He played 56 games for the Winnipeg Jets, scoring 13 goals and 35 points. In just 15 games with Rangers, Copp already has half as many points (18) with 8 goals and 10 assists. He was the NHL's top trade deadline acquisition and helped Rangers take the next step as a team. With all three players in the press box alongside Tyler Motte (who is out long-term), Saturday's matinee was unsuccessful against the Boston Bruins. Rangers didn't look the same on either side of the puck. Their depth was tested when Dryden Hunt rose to the second row (Alexis Lafreniere eventually replaced him) and Greg McKegg and Julien Gauthier joined the lineup. It looked like they were back with the side many criticized earlier this season: "Not good but they have a good goalkeeper." A game isn't the end of the world, but one without these key players was an eye-opener against a playoff team. Related Story: The New York Rangers' playoff fate could depend on the Lafreniere outbreak Since the close, the Rangers, a top-10 team on all five-a-side metrics, haven't had the same tenacity as they did last month. It was painfully obvious how important Copp, Kakko and Chytil are to this team. The Rangers have depth up front, but their depth primarily lends itself to fourth-line roles. Players like Johnny Brodzinski, Gauthier and McKegg are suitable substitutes on balance, but the Blueshirts are a much weaker group when used as substitutes for the top 9 forwards. The collective gasp from Rangers fans, management and coaches is almost audible every time a player like Panarin takes a corner or Igor Shesterkin attempts a split save. It would be wise to remove these players from the roster to maintain their health with only three games remaining. But the truth is, a hit at one of Rangers' big names would be disastrous for their season. Getting first is a long shot, and even then, they have to like the matchup with Pittsburgh or Washington as second seed better. Currently, the Rangers' 25 away wins are the most in the NHL. As amazing as home field advantage would be, health should come first. New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers) Gallant has been on these runs before and Rangers leadership is confident he will make the right rostering decisions. But when does regular-season success become secondary to postseason, especially after having home wins in the first round? Shesterkin has already surpassed his previous benchmark of 39 games played in one season. The impact of the absence of Copp, Chytil and Kakko on this team was evident on Saturday. The outcome of losing any of the above players in the long run would be astronomical. Winning the playoffs has always been a priority for Rangers. Now that they've secured a place, health should be the top priority in the last three games. Brendan Azoff is a THW contributor and podcast host dedicated to coverage of the New York Rangers. His podcast, The Backcheck, features Rangers, Islanders and NHL news and can be found on The Hockey Writers Podcast Network and Belly Up Sports. Brendan has been writing about Rangers and the NHL for over two years, with his content also being featured on Puck Prose, Blue Line Station and E2G Sports.

Read

How Celtic effectively secured the title ahead of Rangers' showdown next week

Celtic were so authoritative, confident and fearless in the 2-0 win over Ross County at Dingwall that it almost seemed like the performance was something in return. (Author: Gardener)

CelticCeltic were so authoritative, confident and fearless in the 2-0 win over Ross County at Dingwall that it almost seemed like the performance was something in return. Pressure, what pressure, Ange Postecolgou's men seemed to mock each other as they sauntered to three points that essentially propelled them into a derby win next week after sealing their title success. In truth, any doubts about the Cinch Premiership's goal were effectively erased once an 87th-minute Jota strike secured victory in the Highlands. "Champions again, oh-way, oh-way," was the chant that rang out, and it won't deny their club their 10th title in 11 years. Even with Giovanni van Bronckhorst's men next week, Celtic remain unassailable with a six-point lead and a 19-goal advantage in their last four games. If you do the math, that means they would have to lose more points in the next three weeks than they did in the previous seven months to be knocked out of the summit. © Jota celebrates after giving Celtic two goals against Ross County. There was always a huge flaw in the claim circulated by some last week that Celtic's Scottish Cup semi-final loss to Rangers could see them lose the title: and that was that the fact that Europe seemed to overlook the league -Semi-finalists from Down Govan Way operate at a different level than either club – beyond that – the Postecoglou men will meet in the championship run-in. The proof of that was there for all to see from the first few minutes at Dingwall. County may have fought brilliantly to get into the top six, but they couldn't give a glove to the visitors who were so unsettled and agitated at Hampden last weekend. From those earliest exchanges, an opening target was in the mail. And it came as no great surprise that it was supposed to be the returning Kyogo Furuhashi when it arrived after 12 minutes. Celtic have missed their double act with Jota in the four months since the Japanese forward started a game due to the hamstring problem he suffered on Boxing Day. © Ross County's Regan Charles-Cook is tackled by Celtic's Cameron Carter-Vickers and Callum McGregor. It felt like Postecoglou's men had gotten back to the old routine as Callum McGregor spread the ball wide towards the Benfica loanee and turned Jake Vokins back and forth before rolling the ball onto Furuhashi's head. who traced it back via the helpless Ross Laidlaw. Celtic missed plenty of chances thereafter as they created more than 20 openings, with Furuhashi's lack of match acuity evident in a series of missed chances that could have earned him a hat-trick before the break. Malky Mackay's side enjoyed a strong streak early in the second period but Celtic's were determined to inflict the Highland club's first home defeat since injury time, which Postecoglou's side won 2-1 on their last visit. In doing so, he almost assured that his club will cross another.

Read

Rangers will weigh in on a balanced schedule starting next season

For the first time in a long while, the Washington Nationals travel to Arlington (the series runs in June). One aspect of the new collective agreement is the idea of ​​a […] (Author: Gardener)

next seasonRangersRangers are voting on a balanced schedule starting next seasonThe impact of Seager and Semien on the others in a revised Rangers roster is already being felt in 2022An odd result caps a long, interesting home game for RangersWhat we learned from the start of Rangers weekend have 2022 StarsDallas Stars Fanatic Podcast: A point out of the playoffs, stars make a deadline moveOne month after the close, the Stars direction is still up in the airICYMI: Dallas Stars Fanatic Pod teams up with Starcastic Remarks for Canadiens Postgame Reaction New York Liberty, which team will get their first win? What to Expect from the 2020 WNBA Season For the first time in a long time, the Washington Nationals are traveling to Arlington (the series will be held in June). There may be fans who are fed up with the Rockies coming to town every year and of course 76 league games every year. One aspect of the new collective bargaining agreement is the idea of ​​a more balanced schedule in Major League Baseball. The change along with the other aspects in the new CBA will start in the 2023 season. Currently, the Rangers (and other MLB teams) schedule is broken down as follows: 20 interleague games (usually four vs. 66 intraleague games (vs same league but different division) The new CBA sees the schedule split as follows: 46 interleague games (playing four against geographic rivals and three-game series against the other 14 teams in the league, changing venues each year) 60 intraleague games (playing two three-game series against, for example, the Rangers their regular league games but five fewer games against the Athletics, Angels, Mariners and Astros.They will also play six games against all other American League teams while in a few years they will play four against Boston, New York and Kansas City Other years they play four against Tampa Bay, Toronto and Minnesota Eventually the forty-six games break up as such The Rangers become the classic two-and-two series against Colorado or Arizona will play (probably in turns) while they play three-game series s against all other National League teams. Yes, if you want to see Fernando Tatis Jr. and the Padres, see him at least once every two years. Or, if you're a Rangers fan in Atlanta, watch your Rangers play at Trust Park every two seasons. “It was silly to have so many domestic league games. If you're in a really strong division, you're at a big disadvantage.” Woodward mentioned 2019 when Rangers were hunting for a wild card spot in July. Teams like the Indians [now Guardians] played nineteen times against teams well under .500 that the Rangers took care of, while Texas had to play strong teams like Houston and Oakland. "I don't think there should be an advantage for anyone," Woodward said. "We should play more teams more often." "I feel like [the old system] worked, but I think being able to spread games out across the league will help," said Charlie Culberson. Charlie also said he liked the idea of ​​playing an opponent in their place at least every two years. "I like that," Charlie said to me. “Sometimes you've been in a team for so long that you might not go to the other city every six years. That's a cool thing.” “When we play, our number one goal is to win every game we play. "It's cool that you can see all the stadiums and some that you've never seen and some that you've played [and] it's cool that we can all play once [but] at the same time we'll go out." and win.” “I like to diversify the schedule,” Nathaniel Lowe told me. The big leagues are thirty great cities in thirty different places to enjoy.” With the CBA changes, the balance of the schedule is increasing. Teams within the same division share 91% games together, up from the 84% in the current system. For teams within the same league, such as Texas, the Royals have a 76% shared schedule, up from 52% under the old schedule. The new schedule will also expand the game and give fans who don't see teams often the chance to see them on the field every two years. It also gives traveling fans the opportunity to visit their team at different stadiums. Yes, Rangers fans, you can take a 30 baseball tour every other year with the new schedule just to see Rangers games. Finally, I asked both Jonah and Nathaniel which stadiums they are looking forward to and haven't played yet. "The Mets are my number one player right now," Jonah said. I also want to play in San Diego. I've been there many times, but I haven't played.” In 2022, Rangers will join Queens, Philadelphia, Miami and Denver as National League baseball stadiums. Also, the Braves, Nationals and Phillies will be heading to Globe Life Field this year. For the Rangers pregame and recaps, visit the Plinck Rangers Release

Read

A pair brutally attacked a Celtic fan as he celebrated his team beating Rangers

A PAIR brutally attacked a Celtic fan at his flat as he celebrated his team beating Rangers. (Author: Gardener)

RangersA PAIR brutally attacked a Celtic fan at his flat as he celebrated his team beating Rangers. Martin Penman, 39, and Megan Cahill, 26, were part of a mob that stormed the home of Charles McGowan, 39, in Airdrie, Lanarkshire on December 8, 2019. Celtic defeated Rangers 1–0 that day to win the Betfred League Cup. Prosecutor Louise Beattie told the Glasgow High Court: "Charles McGowan listened to the game on the radio with two other people. Penman, Cahill and others then burst into the apartment and began screaming. At the hearing, Penman was said to be armed with a knife. Penman slashed and stabbed him in the chest, neck and buttocks. Charles McGowan tried to fight back but was overpowered." During the five-minute attack, someone shouted, "That's enough. The thugs fled, leaving Charles with his face bloodied cowering back in a corner of the room.The court heard the victim's injuries were wounds to the head, stomach and eye.Days later - in the early hours of December 14 - Penman broke into his ex's home in Airdrie, again He was joined by Cahill and 27-year-old David Biggart, the woman and her then-19-year-old boyfriend tried to barricade themselves in a room, but the attackers forced their way as the couple "curled up" around her protect heads. Miss Beattie: “Penman hit the woman in the head and face with a hammer. Cahill hit her with a hatchet. "The woman saw her boyfriend being attacked with a hammer and machete." She heard Penman yell, 'Stab him... chop off his fingers Plea for Penman. The attackers fled upon noticing police in the area. Miss Beattie said the woman suffered a knocked out tooth and injuries to her head, lip, eyes and legs. Penman and Cahill both pleaded guilty to assaulting three victims to their serious injury and consequent permanent disfigurement of two of them.

Read

Physical blow: Van Bronckhorst now ready for huge £27k-a-week Rangers disaster 'Rock'

Rangers need to tie Connor Goldson to a new long-term deal as his contract expires at the end of the current season. (Author: Gardener)

Van BronckhorstRangers need to tie Connor Goldson to a new long-term deal at Ibrox as his contract expires at the end of the current season. Goldson has been a mainstay at the heart of Rangers' defense since joining the side in the summer of 2018 under former manager Steven Gerrard. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, there has been no news of Giovanni van Bronckhorst's extension and that is worrying. Having appeared in all 32 Scottish Premier League games this season; Goldson would leave a huge hole in the Gers backline if he left the club. There is no doubt that Goldson has been key to Rangers' success over the past two seasons. Earlier this season, the Gers struggled to repeat the heights of the previous season, being knocked out by Malmö in Champions League qualifiers and stuttering in the league. After losing 3-1 in the League Cup semi-finals to Hibernian in Hampden in November, Goldson said Rangers "lacked the hunger" after winning the title and that the statement was not popular with fans. Rangers and Goldson have bounced back in form in recent weeks, with promotion to the Europa League after beating Braga and a superb win over Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-finals, it could be a wonderful final few weeks of the season for the Ibrox- believers. During that run, he hasn't lost an impressive 6.9 SofaScore match rating, recording a rating above 7.0 in six of the seven appearances, highlighting his importance during the tail end of the tenure. Goldson will be a key player if success is to be maintained and it would be a disaster for van Bronckhorst and company to see him leave despite the arrival of John Souttar.

Read

Celtic take on Helicopter on steroids on Sunday unless the bottle they dropped against Rangers is found

Hugh reflects as the Hoops travel to the Highlands — where Ange Postecoglou's predecessor, Neil Lennon, suffered two critical blows during his two tenures as boss. (Author: Gardener)

HelicopterA two-horse race in a one-horse town where Celtic have been lame before. Dingwall is an odd place for Ange Postecoglou's team to face the ultimate acid test in this afternoon's title fight. A sleepy Highland town of less than 6000 people and a home team, Ross County, with only 10 years of Premier League experience. But it's where Neil Lennon ended up as Postecoglou's predecessor a year ago. That was on a Sunday when the scorer of Ross County's winning goal, Jordan White, became rhyming slang for the course of what would become Celtic's 10th straight season. If Ange's side were to blow that title from a position of strength a handful of fences from their home, it would wreak havoc on an industrial scale. So not the time when you want one of your best players, Reo Hatate, to go public with the admission that he is suffering from physical and emotional exhaustion. Celtic bottled it I think in the Scottish Cup semi-finals last Sunday in Hampden against Rangers. Rangers got in their face and Celtic didn't respond in the same way. The only thing they need most in the league starting today is a bottle - and worth five games. The memory of Helicopter Sunday in 2005 still sends shivers down the spines of Celtic supporters. If their team loses points on Sunday, the traumatized will suffer vivid flashbacks. The photo of Lennon tossing a container full of energy drinks on the sidelines at Inverness when Celtic lost the title there in 2011 in his first tenure as coach also remains a disturbing image for the nervous. And those with a nervous disposition will make up the majority of people either at Dingwall this afternoon or watching the game live on TV. There are certain places where Celtic habitually suffer from an inability to properly express themselves in the park. Inverness or Dingwall, too often it's a Kessock Bridge too far. Celtic strive to express themselves there as Kyogo Furuhashi would if handed the words and asked to recite Tam O'Shanter. Kyogo remains Celtic's top scorer in all competitions this season and has played under 45 minutes in the last four months. At the moment it's all step-over and not an end product. Abada is all step-over and poor decision-making when it comes to his final delivery. Celtic Rangers is playing next Sunday. No need to draw any diagrams to explain what that will look like when there is damage in Dingwall. I find it embarrassing that Rangers played back-to-back games in extra time for two days, 20 hours and 30 minutes in the European and domestic cups and didn't suffer from the muscle fatigue that plagued Celtic back then at the National Stadium last weekend. Postecoglou channeled his inner fellow Australian Russell Crowe in "Gladiator," when he got quite poetic after that game, saying, "Our greatest glory isn't in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall." That should be the coach Explained word for word to Hatate and all the other players before kick-off today.

Read

Rangers transfer the state of affairs to Martel, Pollard, Sissako and Stewart

The rumor mill has already started spinning ahead of a pivotal summer at Ibrox. (Author: Gardener)

Martel, PollardThe race for the Premiership title is far from over, but Rangers appear to be poised for their next attempt at the league crown. Juventus loanee Aaron Ramsey, America international James Sands and Manchester United prodigy Amad Diallo have had mixed reviews so far but they show the caliber he wants at his club. The focus is on reclaiming the Premiership title, the Scottish Cup and a historic Europa League triumph, but sporting director Ross Wilson will no doubt be working behind the scenes for next season and beyond. There hasn't been a lack of goals so far and Record Sport takes a look at the linked ones. Germany Under-21 defender Martel has been told he can leave Rangers' Europa League semi-final opponents RB Leipzig in the summer. He is currently on loan at Austria Wien and has made 30 appearances for them this season before returning to Germany at the end of this season. Reports in his home country suggest the 19-year-old is free to go on either a permanent loan or an additional year's loan, with one year left on his contract. Cologne, Union Berlin and Freiburg are reportedly wanting Martel - represented by former Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Sami Khedira - as a defensive option too. Rangers are looking to beat Premier League giants Liverpool against Aberdeen youngster Lancelot Pollard. They are believed to be favorites to land the 23-year-old, who would cost nothing as his contract expires at the end of Belgium's top flight season. Belgian reports suggest talks have already started and are on the verge of finalizing his move to Scotland. Another year is on the table for Sissako at Waregem but the midfielder wants to leave after finishing 16th in the 18-team league. It wouldn't be the first time Wilson has ventured into Belgium, having signed Oostende-based Fashion Sakala last year. The towering frontman has been in fine form for Sunderland this season and has reportedly earned him a spot on the Rangers radar. Stewart increased his League One tally for the season to 24 goals in Saturday's 5-1 win over Cambridge United, which explains why the Light Blues are after him. His contract at the Stadium of Light expires next summer but current Premier League club Norwich City and Championship club Swansea City are also said to be interested. A return to Scotland and European football could prove attractive as the Canaries are destined to return to the Championship.

Read

Brad Miller single, replay, helps Rangers defeat A 2-0

Brad Miller hit a key hit in the eighth inning, which came in two runs after an umpire-initiated replay, and the Texas Rangers defeated the Oakland Athletics 2-0 on Saturday after Domingo Acevedo pinch-hitter Jonah Heim pulled out with a groundout had, Miller lined a 1-1 down the left. (Author: Gardener)

Brad Miller(AP) -- Brad Miller hit a key single in the eighth inning, which ran in two runs after an umpire-initiated replay, and the Texas Rangers defeated the Oakland Athletics 2-0 on Saturday. The winning rally began when Adolis Garcia and Willie Calhoun chased Frankie Montas (2-2) with back-to-back one-out singles. After Domingo Acevedo pulled pinch-hitter Jonah Heim back with a groundout, Miller lined a 1-1 down the left. Garcia scored easily, but pinch-runner Eli White was kicked out at home by a powerful throw from left fielder Tony Kemp. "It was hard to tell because there was a lot of contact, but I felt like I had my hand in there," White said. "It was so bang-bang that it was hard to tell if he was blocking the record." But the umpires initiated a crew chief review and reversed the first call, ruling that Sean Murphy, A's catcher, illegally blocked the plate. "I've been trying to build up from where I usually try to, and then a lot of things come together at once," Murphy said. “I was just trying to play with the ball and make the day. That's just part of trying to play with the ball.” A's manager Mark Kotsay protested between the innings and was thrown out. The game helped Texas earn their first series win of the season after losing their first four. Rangers have won three games in a row after losing five in a row. Four Rangers pitchers combined on a three-hitter. Brock Burke (2-0) hit three outs for the win and Matt Bush hit the ninth for his first save. Montas was dominant before getting into trouble in the eighth round. Rangers starter Martín Pérez was just as sharp after two bumpy games. He threw six innings with two shots. "The key today was to keep the ball down, everything down," said Pérez. The A's turned two doubles, including a rare 4-6-3-5, to end the fifth. With runners in first and second place, Calhoun hit a sharp grounder against Oakland second baseman Christian Lopes, who threw Nick Allen to shortstop for an out. After Allen's relay was wide for first and Christian Bethancourt pulled out of the pocket, the former catcher vigilantly threw to third baseman Sheldon Neuse who tagged Kole Calhoun, who climbed back to the pocket. After a quick check, the call was approved, although Rangers manager Chris Woodward was confused. "I don't think (Neuse) wanted to put his foot in the way, but I just don't see how that's allowed, how that's not called what it was later called in the game for the catcher," Woodward said. (Calhoun) clearly returned the game to base, but the foot got in the way. Rangers: Spencer Howard is expected to be activated from the 10-day injured list for Sunday's start. ... García was fine after being hit in the hand by a throw from Montas in the fifth. Athletics: OF Stephen Piscotty and LHP Kirby Snead have been removed from the COVID-19 injured list. Howard (0-0, 18.00 ERA) will make his second start of the season in the series finale. He was flagged for six carries in three innings against the Blue Jays on April 10. Athletics left Cole Irvin (1-1, 4.32 ERA) won two of his five starts against Rangers last season.

Read

Rangers of ten dig deep to drive Motherwell away in Fir Park

The Gio van Bronckhorst man reduced the gap between them and Celtic to three points ahead of the Hoops clash at Dingwall (Author: Gardener)

MotherwellFootball Scotland C updates including transfer news, analysis and commentary delivered straight to your inbox every day for free. Something went wrong, please try again later. Thank you for your subscription! Title hopes alive with a struggling 3-1 win over Motherwell at Fir Park. In a game brought up 24 hours to help the Light Blues prepare for Thursday night's Europa League semi-finals against RB Leipzig, the vastly changed visitors took the lead by 14 minutes, although it was unclear whether home keeper Liam Kelly could pull it off had into his own net after a header from Connor Goldson or whether Scott Wright was getting the finishing touches. Ibrox defender Leon Balogun was shown a red card by referee Nick Walsh for a fierce tackle on Dean Cornelius in the 29th minute before Well striker Ross Tierney equalized in the 35th minute. There was no doubt that it was Wright who scored Rangers' second goal two minutes into the second half before skipper James Tavernier scored a penalty just after the hour mark to hand the points back to Govan. With four games remaining for Rangers, Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side are now three points behind leaders Celtic, who play in Ross County on Sunday before the final Old Firm game of the season in Parkhead next week. The focus now turns to this week's Europa League semi-final first leg in Germany, where the Rangers boss must come up with a plan that again fails to take into account some of his key players. Kemar Roofe is on the touchline with a knee injury alongside fellow striker Alfredo Morelos and midfielder Aaron Ramsey was also absent with a hamstring as Van Bronckhorst made eight substitutions for the side that began the 2-1 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic last week. Only Tavernier and fellow defenders Goldson and Borna Barisic kept their place as the visitors started with Wright, Fashion Sakala and loanee Manchester United winger Amad Diallo. Rangers' first chance came in the 11th minute and should have resulted in a goal. Sakala pierced through the Well defense and met Diallo 12 yards from goal, but his shot was saved by Motherwell skipper Kelly for a corner. The Steelmen defended the first delivery for another corner that Diallo and Tavernier clipped. The Gers captain moved to the back post where Goldson's header was parried by Kelly in the air and the ball was on its way over the line while Wright was there to ensure the pressure from Callum Slattery. Rangers' Leon Balogun (R) is sent off by referee Nick Walsh for a foul on Motherwell's Dean Cornelius. Minutes later, Gers keeper Allan McGregor saved a long-range shot from Slattery, but that corner fell flat. More trouble soon followed for Rangers as a mistake by Bassey was finally punished by Tierney when he headed in from eight yards off a Jake Carroll cross from the deep left. Momentum had shifted towards the home side by the break, but it changed early in the second half when Sakala drove onto the Motherwell defense and put the ball on Wright to drive Kelly deep from the edge of the box. Referee Walsh pointed to the spot as well, defender Bevis Mugabe brought the Zambian international down in the box and Tavernier sent Kelly the wrong way with the penalty spot to give Govan's side some breathing room. Kelly made a save against Sakala in the 82nd minute, but by then the points were safe. For your chance to win home tickets to Cinch SPFL games in ALL FOUR divisions each week simply enter our sweepstakes below. You can enter once a week for a chance to win.

Read