Livingston 0-3 Rangers: The champions win and remain undefeated in the Scottish Premiership


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Ianis Hagi scores for Rangers against Livingston
Ianis Hagi scored third place for the Rangers at the Tony Macaroni Arena

The Rangers are just one game away from ending the undefeated Scottish Premiership campaign after blowing past Livingston.

James Tavernier brought the champions from the white spot after keeper Max Stryjek knocked down Ianis Hagi.

Ryan Kent finished one or two with Alfred Morelos tapping on the other side of the visitors and Hagi hit in their third.

Scott Pittman and Jaze Kabia hit the tree at Livia’s best opportunities.

Rangers Steven Gerrard will receive the Premiership trophy after Saturday’s home match against Aberdeen. Livingston is still competing to jump over the next opponent St. Johnstone in fifth place, with level points, and the Saints two goals better.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas worried the Rangers in the early stages, creating space for Josh Mullin to deny salvation to Jon McLaughlin.

Hagi and Kent fired a shot next to Livingston’s goal before the most controversial moment of the first half.

Kemar Roofe spilled the ball for Hagi behind Livingston’s defense, and the Romanian played the ball before he and Stryjek collided. Referee Don Robertson considered it a foul, despite protests because Hagi hit the ball wide.

Tavernier, having missed his last three penalties, stepped up and switched to the goalkeeper’s right side – his 19th goal of the season.

And the club captain was involved in the second goal, his ball over the top found by Kent. The winger tried to fire for Morelos, but violently forced the attacker to receive the return ball for the end.

Livingston was two inches away from halving the deficit on two occasions. Pittman’s shot rang the crossbar and Rangers keeper Jon McLaughlin forced the ball under the pressure of the chase.

Then Kabia’s replacement was given their best chance after a deflected cross by Nicky Devlin, a striker who hit only the outside of the left post.

Joe Aribo tested Stryjek moments later, and Kabia was out of the goal when he jumped the second delivery of Devlin at the other end.

Rangers scored from a swift counterattack from the left, Roofe’s deputy Cedric Itten, who had a reckless finish by Hagi.

Man of the match – James Tavernier

James Tavernier takes the penalty
Tavernier showed character after recent misses from the spot and his all-round performance was strong

What have we learned?

Livingston’s 14-season unbeaten streak was the catalyst for their first-half finish, but they won only once since that series ended in early February.

Emmanuel-Thomas has a commanding presence in attack, but he needs more support from wide areas if Livingston wants to end the season at its peak.

Amid injuries and substitutions, the Rangers counted just six substitutes, and midfielder Aribo played in an unknown left-back role.

He looked far from the place, but visitors deliberately tricked the attack from the other side with Tavernier, Kent and Hagi – a tactic that stretched the hosts.

What did they say?

Livingston manager David Martindale: “We were disappointed. I’m pretty happy with the effect in the spells in the game. The Rangers were far more clinical in our lodge.

“We had more than enough chances to get something out of the game. We hit the crossbar, hit the tripod, we had another chance.”

What’s next?

Rangers completes the campaign against Aberdeen on Saturday (12:30 BST), while Livingston on Saturday (12:30) plays their last away game away at St Johnstone.

Match player

PayerMatej Poplatnik

Livingston

  1. Detachment number15Player namePayer

  2. Detachment number6Player nameBartley

  3. Detachment number21Player nameMcMillan

  4. Detachment number25Player nameEfe Ambrose

  5. Detachment number37Player nameKabia

  6. Detachment number5Player nameFitzwater

  7. Detachment number18Player nameHolt

  8. Detachment number9Player nameEmmanuel-Thomas

  9. Detachment number10Player nameSibbald

  10. Detachment number8Player namePittman

  11. Detachment number28Player nameDiani

  12. Detachment number23Player nameLongridge

  13. Detachment number27Player nameGuthrie

  14. Detachment number14Player nameMullin

  15. Detachment number2Player nameDevlin

  16. Detachment number32Player nameStryjek

Rangers

  1. Detachment number14Player nameKent

  2. Detachment number10Player nameDavis

  3. Detachment number2Player nameTavernier

  4. Detachment number7Player nameHagi

  5. Detachment number9Player nameDefoe

  6. Detachment number20Player nameMorelos

  7. Detachment number6Player nameGoldson

  8. Detachment number18Player nameChambers

  9. Detachment number17Player nameAribo

  10. Detachment number33Player nameMcLaughlin

  11. Detachment number11Player nameItten

  12. Detachment number25Player nameRoofe

  13. Detachment number61Player nameKing

  14. Detachment number4Player nameThe Simpsons

  15. Detachment number23Player nameWright

  16. Detachment number24Player nameStewart

Assemble

Livingston

Forming 4-2-3-1

  • 32StryjekBooked at 41min
  • 2Devlin
  • 5FitzwaterReplaced byAmbroseu 85 ‘minutes
  • 27Guthrie
  • 23Longridge
  • 8PittmanBooked in 31min
  • 18HoltReplaced byBartleyu 60 ‘minutes
  • 10SibbaldReplaced byMcMillanu 61 ‘minutes
  • 28Diani
  • 14MullinReplaced byKabiau 60 ‘minutes
  • 9Emmanuel-ThomasReplaced byPayeru 74 ‘minutes

Replacements

  • 4Lithgow
  • 6Bartley
  • 11Forrest
  • 12Serrano
  • 15Payer
  • 21McMillan
  • 25Ambrose
  • 37Kabia
  • 40Maley

Rangers

Forming 4-3-3

  • 33McLaughlin
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 4The SimpsonsBooked in 23 minutes
  • 17AriboReplaced byKingu 86 ‘minutes
  • 18Chambers
  • 7HagiReplaced byStewartu 86 ‘minutes
  • 10Davis
  • 25RoofeReplaced byIttenu 80 ‘minutes
  • 20MorelosBooked in 30 minutesReplaced byDefoeu 80 ‘minutes
  • 14KentReplaced byWrightu 84 ‘minutes

Replacements

  • 1Mcgregor
  • 9Defoe
  • 11Itten
  • 23Wright
  • 24Stewart
  • 61King

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