DESPITE leveling matters in the second half against Kilmarnock this afternoon, Rangers were unable to find a winner against their Ayrshire opponents in the Scottish Premiership.
The Light Blues fell behind to a Conor McAleney strike in the first half but equalised through Alfredo Morelos in the second. Gers pushed for a winner, but couldn’t find it despite having opportunities.From the side which was beaten in the Scottish Cup in midweek by Aberdeen, boss Steven Gerrard made four changes.
Nikola Katic came in at centre-half to replace Joe Worrall, Andy Halliday swapped-in for Borna Barisic at left-back, and the places of Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack in midfield were taken by Lassana Coulibaly and Steven Davis.
Katic found himself beaten by Eamonn Brophy in the opening stages of the match, with the Killie striker slamming an effort into the side netting, but in doing so, looked to pick up a hamstring strain and had to be replaced by Conor McAleny.
At the other end, Andy Halliday fired a free-kick over the bar and Ryan Kent dragged a shot from the edge of the area straight at Daniel Bachmann, before Steven Davis danced his way into the area and forced Bachmann into a strong save to tip the ball over his bar.
Davis again let fly for goal, this time from just outside the box with Bachmann again making a stop, before James Tavernier tried his luck from a free-kick, with Bachmann again there to save.
Then, on the half-hour in a rare foray up the park, Kilmarnock took the lead.
A long ball forward from Kirk Broadfoot put McAleny in a foot race with Katic, with the Killie man able to get clear, round the outrushing Allan McGregor and finish into the empty net.
Gers continued to hold the bulk of possession, but Killie should have made it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time, with Alan Power being played-in to the right of Alan McGregor’s goal before dragging his shot wide of the far post.
A clearly unhappy Steven Gerrard made two changes at half time, replacing Andy Halliday with Borna Barisic, while Eros Grezda came on for Daniel Candeias.
Again though, it was the visitors who should have struck next, with Youssouf Mulumbu firing over on the volley from a Chris Burke cutback.
Grezda had a half chance when a Tavernier ball from deep dropped at his feet at the back post, but under pressure he couldn’t get enough purchase on the ball to trouble Bachmann.
The goalkeeper then did well to save at the feet of Alfredo Morelos when the Colombian managed to wriggle away from Stuart Findlay before he saved a decent drive from the edge of the box from Lassana Coulibaly.
Then, on 64 minutes the equaliser arrived courtesy of some wonderful play from Alfredo Morelos.
A ball forward from Tavernier found the striker on the edge of the area, though he had Gary Dicker marking him.
Morelos did wonderfully to not only hold off Dicker, but spin away from him too and finish beyond Bachmann.
Super Tavernier play sent Davis in for a shot, which he dragged wide from a slight angle to the right of goal before McGregor saved well at the other end from Rory McKenzie as Killie threatened a winner.
Jermain Defoe had the chance at the end of a super break which was led by Glen Kamara and Morelos while in injury time, McAleny came inches away from a second as Burke whiped in a free-kick.
RANGERS: McGregor; Tavernier, Katic, Goldson, Halliday (Barisic, 45); Coulibaly (Defoe, 64), Jack, Kamara; Candeias (Grezda,45), Morelos, Kent.
SUBS NOT USED: Foderingham, Worrall, McCrorie, Lafferty.
KILMARNOCK: Bachmann, O’Donnell, Taylor, Broadfoot, Power (Millar, 72), McKenzie, Dicker, Findlay, Mulumbu (Tshibola, 69), Brophy (McAleney, 5), Burke.
SUBS NOT USED: MacDonald, Bruce, Boyd, Millen.
REFEREE: Greg Aitken