Rangers: Do Steven Gerrard's side have cause for concern before Malmo tie?

Dundee United ended the 40-game streak of unbeaten Rangers gamesSteven Gerrard described the midweek meeting between Malmo and Gerrard as "possibly our biggest game together". However, his Rangers team enters the Champions League qualifier with doubts.The Scottish champions, who were running away from the title last season, lost their 41 league matches on Saturday. They failed to even score against Dundee United at Tannadice. This was their first pointless game since losing to Hamilton Academical in March 2020.Rangers were 16 games short of matching the run set in 2017 by Brendan Rodgers Celtic, but it was more urgent for them to find form in the time available to reverse a 2-1 loss in the first leg qualifying round when the Swedish champions arrive in Ibrox on Tuesday.Rangers should be concerned if they suffer two defeats in five consecutive days."Not the Rangers that we've seen in Gerrard's leadership"Dundee United's success came from knowing when to press Rangers, and when to stay off them. They were a complete surprise to the Ibrox team, leaving them with little time for the ball.Even though United conceded more possession in the second half, dropping from 36% to 29% in each half, their adored visitors couldn't find enough opportunities.Sportsound's Mark Hateley, a former forward for Ibrox, stated that "Rangers weren't at this game." "It seemed that they were concentrating on other matters. It will be a huge disappointment, especially after Malmo's midweek loss."This is not the Rangers that Steven Gerrard has seen." It was a lackluster effort, lack of enthusiasm... but it also shows how important a crowd is - Dundee United continued to thrive.Willie Miller, a fellow Sportsound pundit, said: "Rangers looked stunned. They were looking for the next step. Dundee United tried to press them, but they couldn't handle it. Rangers believed it was inevitable.Rangers miss the spark of dangerous duoRangers' Alfredo Morelos' heatmap in his 82 minute match against Dundee UnitedRangers were determined in their pursuit for the title last season. Rangers averaged 2.44 goals per match to the opposition's 0.56. They also had an xG (expected goal) of 2.00.They have played only three games this term - a 3-0 victory over Livingston at home, and away games to Malmo United and Dundee United. It is a small sample. They arrived at Tannadice having a xG of 1.09, while their opponents were 0.26.Although their shots on target, passing accuracy, and possession are similar, Rangers' final third has been less intimidating.Familiarity is either lacking or high levels of it. Alfredo Morelos was the first choice striker last year, but Saturday marked his return from international engagements. Hateley noticed his lack of match sharpness and said that the Colombian was only weeks away from being a regular in the team.Last weekend, Ianis Hagi was in front three with Fashion Sakala (Ryan Kent) against Livingston. Scott Wright was replaced by Cedric Itten for Sakala in the match against Malmo. Morelos won against United with Wright, Itten, and Jermain Foe all coming in late from the bench.Gerrard's 'biggest' game is MalmoRangers' Champions League ambitions are in jeopardy on Tuesday when they host Malmo at Ibrox. Rangers' first-leg goal in the 95th minute by Steven Davis gave them hope for the second leg. However, they must score against Malmo at Ibrox to make it to the play-off round.Gerrard expressed disappointment with the "quality" of his players at Tannadice, and asked them to be more inventive in continental competition.He said, "We must accept it, suck up the pain and get ready to face the next three days." "We don't have the time to be sorry for ourselves. Accept what comes our way over the next 24 to 48 hour and get them ready to play Tuesday, which will be the largest game we have ever played together."I have a job in the next 48 hours. It's certain that the level of the previous two performances will not be sufficient.