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Rangers 2-0 Livingston: Steven Gerrard's side go six points clear in Premiership

Rangers 2-0 Livingston: Steven Gerrard's side go six points clear in Premiership

Rangers moved six points clear of Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a comfortable win over Livingston.

With Celtic dropping points at Aberdeen, Steven Gerrard’s side took full advantage to increase their lead at the league summit, having played one game more.

For Livingston, it is a second defeat in a row and they remain ninth in the table.

Since a 0-0 draw between the pair in August, both have had little problem in scoring. Rangers have hit 32 goals in 11 games, Livingston 17 in nine.

Each side had a lot to be motivated for in this fixture, too. Rangers were eyeing the chance to increase their lead at the top, while Livingston knew a win would lift them into the top six.

But Gary Holt’s men were made to pay early on for a lack of concentration in their own box. Ianis Hagi collected the ball and fed Jermain Defoe, whose shot was blocked, but the Livi defence ignored the threat of Aribo who slotted in unmarked six yards out.

As simple as the first was, Rangers’ second was a touch of class from Defoe. The 38-year-old – making his first start of the season – met James Tavernier’s inch-perfect long ball and glided a low, first-time shot past Livingston goalkeeper Max Stryjek from the edge of the box.

Livingston had failed to score on the road only once this season, and they almost elicited an instant response when Connor Goldson directed a cross off his own post. Agonisingly for Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, the ball bounced off him and into the arms of goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Good deliveries into the box just evaded Defoe and Tavernier when a tap-in would have secured a third goal for Rangers. But it was all very flat from the home side and Livi were threatening from set-pieces.

Jordan Jones was introduced as Gerrard attempted to spark some life into his side, and the Northern Ireland international forced a fine fingertip save from Stryjek.

A goal from the visitors would have made for a nervy ending, but McGregor had little to contend with as Rangers eased to another three points.

Man of the match

Ianis Hagi (right) takes on Livingston's Jason Holt

What did we learn?

Rangers did the hard work early on to race into a two-goal lead. But, after an Old Firm victory and Europa League success over Standard Liege on Thursday, coupled with Gerrard making five changes, there was a lethargy about Rangers after those early goals as they coasted to the three points. However they were never really required to get out of second gear after getting their noses in front.

After four wins in a row, Livingston have now lost two on the bounce. They conceded cheap goals against Kilmarnock last week, and were undone far too easily for Joe Aribo’s opener.

What’s next?

With Celtic not in league action next week, Rangers could go nine points clear at the Premiership summit when they travel to Kilmarnock on Sunday, but they have a midweek Europa League tie at home to Lech Poznan of Poland first.

Livingston host Motherwell – who are level on points with them – on Saturday.

Player of the match

with an average of 7.68

Rangers

  1. Squad number9Player nameDefoe

    Average rating
  2. Squad number2Player nameTavernier

    Average rating
  3. Squad number7Player nameHagi

    Average rating
  4. Squad number17Player nameAribo

    Average rating
  5. Squad number5Player nameHelander

    Average rating
  6. Squad number10Player nameDavis

    Average rating
  7. Squad number3Player nameBassey

    Average rating
  8. Squad number8Player nameJack

    Average rating
  9. Squad number1Player nameMcGregor

    Average rating
  10. Squad number6Player nameGoldson

    Average rating
  11. Squad number14Player nameKent

    Average rating
  12. Squad number37Player nameArfield

    Average rating
  13. Squad number25Player nameRoofe

    Average rating
  14. Squad number11Player nameItten

    Average rating
  15. Squad number22Player nameJones

    Average rating

Livingston

  1. Squad number10Player nameSibbald

    Average rating
  2. Squad number18Player nameHolt

    Average rating
  3. Squad number8Player namePittman

    Average rating
  4. Squad number12Player nameSerrano

    Average rating
  5. Squad number14Player nameMullin

    Average rating
  6. Squad number2Player nameDevlin

    Average rating
  7. Squad number6Player nameBartley

    Average rating
  8. Squad number27Player nameGuthrie

    Average rating
  9. Squad number3Player nameBrown

    Average rating
  10. Squad number9Player nameEmmanuel-Thomas

    Average rating
  11. Squad number11Player nameForrest

    Average rating
  12. Squad number25Player nameEfe Ambrose

    Average rating
  13. Squad number15Player namePoplatnik

    Average rating
  14. Squad number32Player nameStryjek

    Average rating

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 5Helander
  • 3Bassey
  • 10Davis
  • 8JackBooked at 89mins
  • 17AriboSubstituted forArfieldat 75′minutes
  • 7HagiSubstituted forJonesat 84′minutes
  • 14KentSubstituted forIttenat 75′minutes
  • 9DefoeSubstituted forRoofeat 64′minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Itten
  • 18Kamara
  • 20Morelos
  • 22Jones
  • 25Roofe
  • 26Balogun
  • 31Barisic
  • 33McLaughlin
  • 37Arfield

Livingston

  • 32Stryjek
  • 25AmbroseSubstituted forMullinat 45′minutes
  • 27GuthrieBooked at 68mins
  • 3Brown
  • 2Devlin
  • 6Bartley
  • 10SibbaldSubstituted forForrestat 67′minutes
  • 12Serrano
  • 8Pittman
  • 9Emmanuel-ThomasSubstituted forPoplatnikat 85′minutes
  • 18Holt

Substitutes

  • 5Fitzwater
  • 11Forrest
  • 13Lokotsch
  • 14Mullin
  • 15Poplatnik
  • 17Robinson
  • 29Taylor-Sinclair
  • 33Lawson
  • 39Pignatiello

Referee:
Nick Walsh

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Rangers 2, Livingston 0.

  • Source: BBC

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