Rangers 4-1 Dundee United: Leaders need another 10 points to win the Scottish Premiership


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Ianis Hagi’s goal ended Dundee United’s strong opening half-hour
Ianis Hagi’s goal ended Dundee United’s strong opening half-hour

The Rangers only need 10 more points to win the Scottish Premiership after beating Dundee United at Ibrox.

Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent gave Steven Gerrard’s team an interval lead after Lawrence Shankland and Louis Appere turned down chances for a great United.

Joe Aribo scored a staggering third to kill the match, before goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist threw Alfred Morelos’ cannon into the net.

Borna Barišić missed a penalty before Marc McNulty received a late consolation.

The Rangers have now played 30 of their 38 league games and led the nearest Celtic challenger with 18 points before visiting Ross County at 19:30 GMT.

As their last game is before the division of the Old Firm derby, Gerrard’s team could claim the title by winning the next three league matches.

United from Micky Mellon are one point behind sixth-placed St Mirren, who have an away game.

The visitors took the first chance when Shankland played on the edge of the Rangers ball after a nice move and went further away from his man, only for Allan McGregor to suffocate the shot.

United encouraged and Nicky Clark sent Appere, McGregor rushed from his line to make a block.

Rangers, with no injured captain and top scorer James Tavernier, responded, and Arib’s bending gave Siegrist a chance to impress with a touch.

Steven Gerrard went to his bench as early as the 27th minute when Glen Kamara took over Ryan Jack, and McGregor again held his side by defeating the mighty Appere drive.

United enjoyed the best, but Rangers took the lead as Aribo patiently walked along the left edge of the penalty area before Hagi’s movement redirected his shot and crooked-legged Siegrist.

A second goal followed within three minutes. Barisic’s interception was led by Leon Balogun, and Kent’s strike came from the unfortunate Ryan Edwards to leave Siegrist helpless again.

Two turned naked and the tide turned. Steven Davis took a volley from the volley before Siegrist denied Morelos from close range with a stunning save, the striker also failed to force a rebound.

And Aribo scored a goal three minutes into the second period, playing one or two with Morelos from the left and thundering a shot into the opposite corner.

Morelos approached with a header, but found the net a little unintentionally when Siegrist’s panicked cannon bounce bounced off him and crashed into the net.

But Siegrist redeemed himself by refusing Barisic’s shot, after Jeando Fuchs was penalized for a challenge at Morelos.

Defender Jack Simpson made his Rangers debut as a replacement for Philip Helander, but would not be part of a clean sheet.

Substitute McNulty exchanged passes with Shankland and went a low shot past McGregor to become the second away player to score a league goal at Ibrox this season.

And 16-year-old quarterback Kerr Smith made his late debut from the United bench.

Man of the match – Joe Aribo

Joe Aribo takes a shot from Ianis Hagi
Assistance (pictured) and a goal for a nice day by midfielder Rangers

What have we learned?

The Rangers played most of Thursday’s 4-3 win in the Europa League over Royal Antwerp without Tavernier, and how the team will function in the right-back’s robbery absence was not a complete mystery.

Stand-in Balogun showed his attacking abilities on the second goal and was solid in defense.

After two wins, United’s confidence showed in the first half and they performed ambitiously in the first half hour, not risking any good chances they created.

The top six in their first season in the first flight remains the goal, although games with Aberdeen and Celtic in the next three will be a difficult task.

What did they say?

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard told Sky Sports: “I thought we were second best in the first 15, 20 minutes, but we started playing with a little bit of quality and a little bit of style.

“I’m really happy with a lot of our attacking game. On the back of Europe, it’s a fantastic result for us.”

Dundee United manager Micky Mellon told Sky Sports: “The goals we gave and the chances we created in the first half … we could have one or two.

“They get turns for goals and things like that, but that’s what teams do at the top of the league, they seem to go for them.”

What’s next?

The Rangers are playing their last 32 games against Royal Antwerp on Thursday (17:55 GMT). Dundee United visit Kilmarnock on Saturday (15:00) for business leagues.

Match player

AriboJoe Aribo

Rangers

  1. Detachment number17Player nameAribo

  2. Detachment number37Player nameArfield

  3. Detachment number23Player nameWright

  4. Detachment number14Player nameKent

  5. Detachment number20Player nameMorelos

  6. Detachment number1Player nameMcgregor

  7. Detachment number4Player nameThe Simpsons

  8. Detachment number18Player nameChambers

  9. Detachment number7Player nameHagi

  10. Detachment number6Player nameGoldson

  11. Detachment number26Player nameBalogun

  12. Detachment number10Player nameDavis

  13. Detachment number31Player nameBarišić

  14. Detachment number9Player nameDefoe

  15. Detachment number5Player nameHelander

  16. Detachment number8Player nameJack

Dundee United

  1. Detachment number1Player nameSiegrist

  2. Detachment number24Player nameShankland

  3. Detachment number2Player nameSmith

  4. Detachment number10Player nameClark

  5. Detachment number27Player nameAppé

  6. Detachment number6Player nameReynolds

  7. Detachment number12Player nameEdwards

  8. Detachment number66Player nameFuchs

  9. Detachment number23Player nameHarkes

  10. Detachment number18Player nameButcher

  11. Detachment number9Player nameMcNulty

  12. Detachment number43Player nameSmith

  13. Detachment number17Player nameRobson

Assemble

Rangers

Forming 4-3-3

  • 1Mcgregor
  • 26Balogun
  • 6Goldson
  • 5HelanderReplaced byThe Simpsonsu 67 ‘minutes
  • 31Barišić
  • 8JackReplaced byChambersu 27 ‘minutes
  • 10DavisReplaced byWrightu 63 ‘minutes
  • 17Aribo
  • 7HagiReplaced byArfieldu 63 ‘minutes
  • 20MorelosReplaced byDefoeu 67 ‘minutes
  • 14Kent

Replacements

  • 4The Simpsons
  • 9Defoe
  • 11Itten
  • 18Chambers
  • 23Wright
  • 24Stewart
  • 33McLaughlin
  • 37Arfield
  • 61King

Dundee Utd

Forming 4-1-2-1-2

  • 1Siegrist
  • 2Smith
  • 12Edwards
  • 6Reynolds
  • 17RobsonBooked at 51min
  • 18ButcherBooked in 7 minutes
  • 66FuchsBooked for 66 minutes
  • 23HarkesReplaced bySmithu 90 + 2 ‘minutes
  • 10Clark
  • 27AppéReplaced byMcNultyu 68 ‘minutes
  • 24Shankland

Replacements

  • 3Spörle
  • 5Connolly
  • 9McNulty
  • 14Hoti
  • 15Chalmers
  • 19Mehmet
  • 20Bolton
  • 30Neilson
  • 43Smith

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