“It comes down to belief and going for it. We’ve been here too often and fallen short when the chances have been even.

“Ultimately, I think we deserved to win the game and I was under no illusions about the quality they possess. I asked them to step over the line and commit to the game.”

You won’t find many who would disagree with Michael Beale’s summation of last night’s win over Real Betis, unless you’re Manuel Pellegrini that is.

The Chilean told Spanish TV: “I think it's an unfair result considering what happened on the pitch.

“I'm very happy with the team's personality, they went out looking for the game from the start.

“From a corner, they unbalanced the game.”

Sorry, Manuel but the stats tell us this was a deserved victory for Rangers and a vital one at that for under-pressure boss Beale.

Rangers posted a Cumulative xG of 2.21 compared to the visitors' 0.66 with the La Liga outfit rarely testing Jack Butland.

Rangers Review:  (Image: StatsBomb)

On the rare occasions he was tested, he stood up and was his commanding self. The best chance Betis carved came in the first half when Abde Ezzalzouli’s effort was tipped away.

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It was the second clean sheet in as many games and given the calibre of opposition, to concede very few opportunities will provide some comfort moving forward.

At the opposite end of the pitch, the Shot Map highlights this was a game with few clear-cut opportunities but Rangers had the lion's share of them.

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The goal itself came after an outstanding point-blank save from Claudio Bravo to deny Kemar Roofe. The Post Shot xG of 0.83 tells us how impressive a stop it was but the 40-year-old was unable to prevent the ball from being prodded home thanks to a combination of Ben Davies and Abdallah Sima.

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The Senegalese was credited with having the final touch and it proved to be the decisive winning goal.


The only other real clear-cut opportunity fell to Rabbi Matondo in the first half when Roofe’s perfectly-weighted through ball was latched onto by the rapid Welshman.

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However, he was unable to capitalise and fired tamely at Bravo. It was a chance Matondo admitted he should’ve taken. “I 100 percent should have scored,” he explained.

“ I snatched at it a bit. On another day it would be a goal. It is something I will look at again and see what I could have done better at the time.”

Fortunately, it was a miss that Rangers weren’t ruing come full time.

There was a marked improvement in performance in the second half and Matondo said it took some words from the manager to instill the belief to take all three points. “He got us going,” he told the Rangers Review.

“He wasn’t too pleased with certain aspects of our game but overall we knew that we had to play better in the second half.

“I feel like we did that in aspects. Of course, there are going to be times when you have to dig in, especially in Europe and against teams like Betis. Overall, I feel that we deserved the win.”

If we analyse the Pass Networks and compare both halves, we can see Rangers played much of the second half in Betis’ half. Borna Barisic and Matondo were playing higher and wider with Tom Lawrence also more advanced before he was substituted.

Rangers Review:  (Image: StatsBomb)

It was a performance that highlighted a growing belief as the match wore on and it can only boost confidence heading into Sunday’s Premiership encounter with Motherwell.

READ MORE: The big Rangers talking points from win over Real Betis

A special word too for John Lundstram and Ben Davies. The Scouser is someone who often comes in for criticism but, despite three loose passes aside, he looked more like the player who played a huge role in Rangers’ run to Seville a couple of seasons ago.

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He boasted an 88.7 percent pass completion which was bettered only by Dujon Sterling whose five passes met their intended target and Davies who posted a 90.7 percent score from his 51 passes.

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In matches like this against top-quality opposition, retaining possession is pivotal and both should be commended for their use of the ball.

Overall, it was a positive result but it doesn’t mean the pressure on Beale dissipates. Speaking afterwards, he agreed. “We have had a couple of bangs on the head this season and we have heard it loud and clear from the outside,” he said.

“We have had two clean sheets since the international break and that is a real positive sign. But, nothing is done. It is just one performance. There was a lot that I’m happy with but there’s also things that we need to improve.”