Rangers got back to winning ways at McDiarmid Park with a generally comfortable win against St Johnstone.

Michael Beale’s side earned a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Danilo and Rabbi Matondo. The Brazilian forward was forced off through injury after his header, while Matondo arrived to make his impact felt from the bench once more.

Our writers pick apart the game’s big talking points below…

A win that will dampen the noise levels

Rangers needed a result and Michael Beale needed a performance. In that regard, it was a job that was only half done at McDiarmid Park. The three points collected thanks to Danilo’s header and a clinical finish from Matondo were the main positive for Beale to take back down the A9. The search for the other highlights will take slightly longer to reach a conclusion after another low-key outing. Beale’s position has become untenable in the eyes of many supporters following the capitulation to PSV Eindhoven and Old Firm defeat that saw his side fall four points adrift of Celtic in the title race. The fortnight between that Ibrox loss and this fixture has been full of conjecture and speculation as Beale has been written off and names of potential replacements have been muted. That list may yet be required in the coming weeks and months, but this victory bought Beale some breathing space at a time when he must have been feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders. The targets for this tranche of fixtures are clear for Rangers. They must be point-perfect in the Premiership, overcome Livingston in the League Cup and make an encouraging start to their Europa League campaign in the matches with Real Betis and Aris Limassol. Every win buys Beale a bit more time. Yet that is only a short-term solution and his side must move through the gears sooner rather than later if he is to get the chance to deliver success in the long run.

Chris Jack

Did fans see more identity?

"The team's got a new look to it. The fans are trying to see what that actually is and with 9 games in the first month of the season, there's not been much time between to improve some areas. We've had two weeks now, the excuses have got to be removed." Speaking before the game in a sit-down interview with Sky, Beale reacted to a point of criticism levelled at his team often this season - what exactly is the identity and style he’s opting for? Rangers had control before the interval without wowing those watching, capped with a slick team goal that captured some of the themes this international break would’ve been spent refining, but failing to exude the attacking intensity and intentionality desired. Heading into half time while Beale would’ve been relatively pleased, Twitter timelines hardly gushed with praise. And yet, Rangers had been in total control, conceded 0.01xG and scored a well-worked team goal. In opposition, they’d failed to really turn on the style or push on from their goal advantage. As Beale conceded before the game the new look of this season needs better performances and consistent results to convince. This group haven’t yet earned the trust of the support this season to make grinding victories a comfortable afternoon and Matondo’s finish from the bench ultimately made the final 10 minutes more enjoyable. For this writer, there were some good signs, even if the need for a greater level of ruthlessness at points stands out. The task is to keep the wins coming as Matondo's late impact ensured. 

READ MORE: Meet Danilo, Rangers' new arrival according to his ex-manager

Joshua Barrie

More starting 11 change

Beale vowed that the ‘strongest team’ would play at McDiarmid Park as he addressed his attacking options and confirmed the injuries to Todd Cantwell and Kieran Dowell at his pre-match media conference on Friday morning. Just over 24 hours on, that point was up for debate. Few would have predicted this line-up as six changes were made from the Old Firm defeat a fortnight ago. The return of Danilo was expected and Sam Lammers was always in contention given the options for that No.10 berth, but it was a surprise to see Ben Davies and Ridvan Yilmaz handed starts as John Lundstram and Tom Lawrence came into the midfield. Lawrence was understandably short of sharpness after just two appearances since he returned from a year out of action. The minutes here will stand him in good stead at least and he imposed himself more on the fixture than Yilmaz did, assisting Matondo’s late strike. Beale has mixed and matched his team throughout the course of the campaign and many supporters believe that a more settled line-up will be beneficial. Come the visit of Real Betis, Beale will have to change it up once again and the jerseys are very much up for grabs. Beale is searching for the answers to many questions that surround the side at present. Ultimately, he needs those he trusts with a starting spot to make the most of their opportunities and this was another afternoon where many failed to do so.

Chris Jack

Concern for Danilo

If Beale didn’t have bad luck, he would have no luck at all. The situation with Danilo summed that up as he gave Rangers the lead and then had to be replaced after receiving treatment on the park. The way in which the Brazilian has been used this term has been a source of much debate and Beale spoke pre-match about Danilo being “in the right moment physically and mentally to contribute” after what has been a stop-start few weeks at the beginning of his Ibrox career. This was a day when Beale needed his £6million recruit to show what he was all about. He did just that as he headed a James Tavernier cross beyond Dimitar Mitov but he didn’t get up to celebrate after a nasty clash with Liam Gordon. Both players had to be replaced. St Johnstone utilised concussion protocols as Sam McClelland took over from Gordon and both sides were permitted to make an extra substitution during the remainder of the match. The pictures that emerged of a groggy and dazed Danilo making his way down the tunnel showed the severity of the knock and the thoughts of many would have turned to the visit of Betis in midweek. Beale can only hope that the injury is not severe and that Danilo is not ruled out for the foreseeable future but the news that he left for hospital with a "suspected compound fracture" is concerning. 

Chris Jack

READ MORE: Can Rabbi Matondo make Rangers grade? Analysing winger with ex-coach

Matondo makes his mark again


Matondo secured the points for Rangers arriving from the bench late on, after an excellent through ball from Lawrence. The winger has started to make a habit of being a ‘finisher’ for Rangers as opposed to a starter and this cameo showed why. As the Rangers Review explored in greater detail in a detailed feature with his coach from Cercle Brugge, where Matondo enjoyed the best spell of his senior career, it’s never been a question of Matondo’s ability, but whether he can piece together those attributes consistently. This season, injected with confidence best seen in the home tie with PSV, he looks a new player. Gliding from his favoured left flank and capable of running into space late on in games like this, when the opposition commits themselves forward in a more obvious fashion. “If you have Rabbi Matondo with confidence on the pitch, that for me is a Premier League profile,” his coach Miron Muslic told us earlier in the week. The Welsh winger’s been a bright spark this season and with a composed finish into the far corner, his redemption arc continues to trend in an encouraging direction.

Joshua Barrie