Leon Balogun, Joe Aribo and Bongani Zungu were in action as Rangers stretched their unbeaten start to the 2020-21 Scottish Premiership season with a 2-1 victory over Dundee United on Sunday.
The triumph stretched the Gers’ unbeaten run to 26 matches across all competitions this campaign, with 17 of them coming in the Scottish top-flight.
First-half goals from James Tavernier and Connor Goldson were enough for Steven Gerrard’s side to outclass their hosts at Tannadice Park, despite Liam Smith’s 33rd-minute equaliser.
After helping Rangers to a 2-0 win over Lech Poznan in Thursday’s Europa League outing, Aribo and Zungu were dropped to the bench as the latter continues to wait for his first start in the Premiership since his loan signing from French side Amiens.
Nigeria’s Balogun partnered Goldson in the heart of Rangers’ defence and he was on parade for the duration while Aribo and Zungu were introduced in the final 10 minutes of the encounter.
Although he did not make any tackles, Balogun produced a solid presence in the defence by managing the most clearances (three) and the second-highest interceptions (two) for the Gers.
Aribo, on his part, could only manage three touches in the encounter while Zungu completed 10 passes with a 50 per cent accuracy.
In his post-game reaction, Gerrard defended the late introduction of the South Africa international who made his third league appearance.
“In-terms of game management, I thought bringing Cedric Itten and Bongani Zungu into the game really helped us control the final part of the game,” Gerrard told the club website.
“And look, I can’t ask for any more from these players. We park the league up for a week now and the challenge is to get them rested and ready for a big quarter-final match on Wednesday.”
Sunday’s victory to take Rangers’ tally at the top of the Premiership table to 47 points from 17 matches, with a 15-point gap separating them from second-placed Hibernian.
Next up for Gerrard’s men is a trip to St. Mirren for their League Cup quarter-final outing on Wednesday before they welcome Motherwell to Ibrox Stadium for a league fixture on December 19.