Ayr United 0
Rangers 2
Scottish Cup (Fifth Round)

Ayr United
0 - 2

Scottish Cup (Fifth Round)
Saturday, February 10th, 2024
Attendance: 43,454

None. Barisic (10'), Fábio Silva (76')

Team Managers
Scott Brown
Philippe Clement

Starting Eleven
31. Robbie Mutch
5. Sean McGinty
14. George Stanger
20. Roy Syla
3. Patrick Reading
22. Mark McKenzie
17. Nick McAllister
8. Ben Dempsey
15. Jamie Murphy
16. Anton Dowds
11. Logan Chalmers
1 Butland
2 Tavernier
6 Goldson
5 Souttar
31 Barisic
8 Jack
43 Raskin
23 Wright
42 Diomande
16 Cortés
7 Fábio Silva

1. Charlie Albinson
21. Harry McHugh
4. Frankie Musonda
24. Scott Tomlinson
10. Aiden McGeady
23. Jack Sanders
27. Max Guthrie
30. Fraser Bryden
9. Kurt Willoughby
3 Yilmaz
4 Lundstram
9 Dessers
13 Cantwell
17 Matondo
26 Davies
28 McCrorie
38 King
45 McCausland

Scott Tomlinson for Nick McAllister (63)
Fraser Bryden for Logan Chalmers (63)
Kurt Willoughby for Mark McKenzie (78)
Max Guthrie for Jamie Murphy (83)
31 Barisic for Yilmaz at 61'
8 JackSubstituted for Lundstram 70'
43 Raskin for King 85'
42 Diomande for Cantwell 61'
16 Cortés for Matondo 61'

Sean McGinty
Roy Syla
Mark McKenzie
Gabio Silva

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

William Collum (Referee)

Photography by SNS Group

Match Report

Rangers secured safe passage into the Scottish Cup quarter-finals with Borna Barisic's early opener and Fabio Silva's late strike decisive in a gripping contest at Ibrox.

Recent signing Oscar Cortes, making his first start, set the tone early on with a low curling effort that clipped the edge of the far post.

The hosts' intensity was relentless at that stage and Cortes broke down the left, regained possession, and fed Barisic who didn't hesitate as he slammed home via a deflection.

It looked ominous for former Celtic captain Scott Brown's Ayr, but they gradually began to cause problems with Anton Dowds threatening on a number of occasions as the visitors countered well. Some Premiership teams might take note of the second-tier side's approach.

They increasingly established themselves but had goalkeeper Robbie Mutch to thank for an outstanding save just before half-time when Barisic's fierce shot deflected off George Stanger.

That was the platform for a superb start to the second half and Ayr mustered an excellent opening from a corner. Ben Dempsey found incredible space on the edge of the box but his volley flashed wide.

At that stage, to add to the drama, everyone experienced something of a flashback when referee Willie Collum raced to book Brown, much to the delight of the home support, as he chirped away at the officials on the touchline.

Rangers upped the intensity again though and Scott Wright, James Tavernier and Silva all failed to convert good opportunities to seal the result.

The crucial second arrived when substitute Todd Cantwell dinked a delightful chip across goal. The ball eventually fell to Silva on the turn and he slammed home from close range.

Philippe Clement's side progress but a lot of credit must go to the Championship club, who showed quality and resilience to make this a genuine contest in which they more than held their own.

What they said
Rangers manager Philippe Clement: "It was a mature performance from the team and the most positive thing was we could give minutes to the players who have just come in and players who have been injured."

"The fans here are incredibly loyal and incredibly fanatic. It gives a good signal to the team that the fans are behind them."

Ayr United manager Scott Brown: "We stuck by our guns, we had a game plan. The young ones did really well today. They expressed themselves really well. We need to get points on the board now. The league's the priority.

"It was only a matter of time [before I was booked]. He [referee Willie Collum] should've sent off Fabio Silva for his second tackle. It's a pressure situation, people can't deal with it."

Match report written by BBc

Squad Statistics (as at February 10th, 2024)

2023-24 All Time
Robbie Mutch (GK) - 11 - 11 -
George Stanger23 251251
Sean McGinty30 3011075
Patrick Reading24 31 - 1423
Roy Syla23 211211
Nick McAllister23 221682
Mark McKenzie23 27314112
Jamie Murphy - 267267
Ben Dempsey24 1937211
Logan Chalmers23 2273310
Anton Dowds27 207207
Scott Tomlinson (sub) - 9 - 10 -
Kurt Willoughby (sub) - 2 - 2 -
Max Guthrie (sub) - 1 - 1 -
Fraser Bryden (sub)19 254577

League Table (as at February 10th, 2024)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Dundee United 22 14 6 2 48
2. Raith Rovers 22 13 5 4 44
3. Partick Thistle 22 10 7 5 37
4. Morton 22 9 5 8 32
5. Airdrieonians 21 8 4 9 28
6. Queen's Park 23 7 5 11 26
7. Ayr United 23 7 5 11 26
8. ICT 23 6 6 11 24
9. Dunfermline Athletic 22 6 6 10 24
10. Arbroath 22 5 3 14 18