Phillips stars in Rangers revival

Date published: Tuesday 20th January 2015 9:39

Phillips stars in Rangers revival

The winger scored a second-half double to inspire the visitors’ stunning fightback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Molineux.
Charlie Austin started the comeback in the first half before Phillips took centre stage to prove his Barclays Premier League pedigree.
West Brom still want the 24-year-old and Phillips, who also assisted Austin’s goal, was the difference as Rangers got their first Championship win of the season.
Benik Afobe and Kevin McDonald had put Wolves ahead inside the first 25 minutes but they lost control as soon as Austin pulled a goal back.
All eyes were on Afobe before the game and the in-demand striker, reportedly interesting Norwich, took his tally to three in four outings.
The hosts had released a strongly-worded statement to issue a hands off warning over Afobe and insisted he would not be sold.
And the 22-year-old proved he was not distracted by the transfer talk with a fiery opening.
The former Arsenal man could have nodded the hosts ahead inside two minutes, but planted his six-yard header, from Dave Edwards’ deep cross, wide.
It set the early tone with relentless Wolves snapping at the visitors whose sluggish approach left them trailing.
Although Emi Martinez almost spilled Massimo Luongo’s shot into his own net Wolves were sharper all over the pitch and deservedly took the lead after 18 minutes.
Rangers had continually gifted Wolves too much space on the flanks and James Henry cashed in as his cross caused chaos in the box.
The ball pinballed around before falling to Afobe to stab in from five yards.
Eight minutes later it was 2-0 when Henry was again afforded the freedom of the right and his centre was only headed out to McDonald, who lashed in a rasping half volley from 18 yards.
It was all slick Wolves deserved but while they remained in control they failed to force a game-clinching third, allowing Rangers to hit back.
Austin had been anonymous until the 38th minute when he pulled a goal back, powerfully heading in Phillips’ excellent cross.
Unsettled, Wolves at least tested Rob Green after the break as the keeper denied Afobe before Rangers levelled after 52 minutes.
Luongo did well to keep the ball and feed Phillips for the winger to cut inside from the right and his shot took two slight deflections before creeping low past Martinez.
Wolves had relinquished their position of control and, even though Afobe’s free- kick brushed the side netting and he fired wide from 18 yards, worse was to follow.
Confidence growing, Rangers – who were unrecognisable from their chaotic opening minutes – looked to Phillips for inspiration and he provided it with 18 minutes left.
Wolves sat off the winger 25 yards out and, while Martinez got a hand to his low effort, it rolled over the line.
Luongo could have finished it when his shot was saved by Martinez while McDonald’s effort deflected inches wide and Green beat away Scott Golbourne’s late effort as Wolves failed to recover.

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