fbpx
Top Stories

Rangers 3-0 Livingston: Philippe Clement’s side go three points off Celtic

Cantwell
Todd Cantwell added Rangers’ third in a comfortable victory.

Rangers cut the gap to Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic to three points as they dispatched with bottom club Livingston in professional fashion.

A palpable sense of expectation engulfed Ibrox ahead of kick-off after their Old Firm rivals’ draw at Aberdeen earlier in the day, giving Philippe Clement’s side the chance to go within a win of top spot with a game in hand.

The forlorn visitors – now winless in 16 league games – showed resolve to restrict Rangers, but Fabio Silva’s first goal for the club and Rabbi Matondo’s curler both went in off an opponent late in the first half to ease the anxiety.

Todd Cantwell’s swept finish at the end of a searing move gave the impression of a side in control as Rangers ramped up the pressure in the title race.

Gusts of wind in Govan were the hosts’ biggest asset in the opening stages as Shamal George fumbled at balls into the box, before doing well to scoop out a James Tavernier corner that looked destined for the back of the net.

A resolute visiting defence forced frustration in an expectant crowd, but Silva’s deflected volley from a corner lifted weight off their shoulders and paved the way for Matondo to add a second before the break.

There may have been some fortune in their first-half goals but, in a title tussle of fine margins, Rangers were content just to head into the break with a comfortable lead to build on.

That confidence showed in the link-up between Ross McCausland and Cantwell in a moment of real quality, with the latter’s cool finish adding gloss to a gritty performance.

McCausland’s header in behind and an audacious Silva overhead kick could have made their victory more sparkling, though capitalising on the champions’ slip-up was the only matter of importance for Clement’s challengers.

Player of the match – Fabio Silva (Rangers)

Silva celebrates
His first goal in blue may not have been the prettiest, but Silva’s impressive hold-up play and deft touches will ease some concern in the Rangers’ fans who felt their side should have added a striker in January.

Rangers do their job as clock winds down for Livi – analysis

Will this be a showing that will live long in Rangers’ fans memory? Probably not.

But after Celtic dropped points for the sixth time this season in the early kick-off, the vast majority of those inside Ibrox would have taken any kind of victory to narrow the gap at the top.

The hosts still had their moments and Clement was able to flex some muscle in making six changes, displaying the options that he has at his disposal in what is set to be a chaotic and crucial second half of the season.

Silva had his best performance since moving north from Wolves, while Oscar Cortes got on to show the type of energy he’ll hope to give his new side in the final third.

For 40 minutes, Livingston were rigid and showed the “fire in their belly” that David Martindale insisted he and his staff still hold despite their turgid run of form.

But that fire didn’t burn bright at the opposite end of the park, registering a xG of absolute zero.

It’s the second time since the end of December that Livingston have failed to register a single shot of target, albeit both against the Old Firm.

Not many would have expected them to get anything from Ibrox, but with the clock winding down and their position at the bottom of the table looking more certain by the week, every game counts if they are to beat the drop.

What’s next?

It’s Rangers turn to take on managerless Aberdeen as they meet at Ibrox on Tuesday (20:00 GMT), while Livingston travel to fourth-placed Kilmarnock on Wednesday (19:45).

Line-ups

Rangers

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Butland
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 27BalogunSubstituted forSouttarat 22′minutes
  • 31BarisicSubstituted forYilmazat 61′minutes
  • 8JackSubstituted forLawrenceat 61′minutes
  • 4Lundstram
  • 45McCauslandSubstituted forWrightat 76′minutes
  • 13Cantwell
  • 17MatondoSubstituted forCortésat 61′minutes
  • 7Fábio SilvaSubstituted forDessersat 76′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Yilmaz
  • 5Souttar
  • 9Dessers
  • 11Lawrence
  • 16Cortés
  • 23Wright
  • 28McCrorie
  • 38King
  • 43Raskin

Livingston

Formation 5-4-1

  • 1George
  • 12Brandon
  • 2DonnellanSubstituted forNottinghamat 73′minutes
  • 6Obileye
  • 20SangareSubstituted forBradleyat 73′minutes
  • 29PenriceSubstituted forAndersonat 45′minutes
  • 8Pittman
  • 18Holt
  • 4CarsonSubstituted forKellyat 73′minutes
  • 22ShinnieSubstituted forMackayat 60′minutes
  • 19NoubleSubstituted forKellyat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Anderson
  • 10Kelly
  • 11Mackay
  • 16Bradley
  • 21Nottingham
  • 23McGovern
  • 24Kelly
  • 33Yengi
  • 40Lawal

Referee:
John Beaton

Attendance:
49,688

Live Text

Player of the match

KellyStephen Kelly

Rangers

  1. Squad number1Player nameButland

  2. Squad number45Player nameMcCausland

  3. Squad number2Player nameTavernier

  4. Squad number13Player nameCantwell

  5. Squad number17Player nameMatondo

  6. Squad number4Player nameLundstram

  7. Squad number8Player nameJack

  8. Squad number31Player nameBarisic

  9. Squad number7Player nameFábio Silva

  10. Squad number6Player nameGoldson

  11. Squad number27Player nameBalogun

  12. Squad number16Player nameCortés

  13. Squad number9Player nameDessers

  14. Squad number23Player nameWright

  15. Squad number11Player nameLawrence

  16. Squad number5Player nameSouttar

  17. Squad number3Player nameYilmaz

Livingston

  1. Squad number10Player nameKelly

  2. Squad number1Player nameGeorge

  3. Squad number9Player nameAnderson

  4. Squad number21Player nameNottingham

  5. Squad number11Player nameMackay

  6. Squad number16Player nameBradley

  7. Squad number12Player nameBrandon

  8. Squad number24Player nameKelly

  9. Squad number18Player nameHolt

  10. Squad number20Player nameSangare

  11. Squad number8Player namePittman

  12. Squad number4Player nameCarson

  13. Squad number6Player nameObileye

  14. Squad number29Player namePenrice

  15. Squad number22Player nameShinnie

  16. Squad number2Player nameDonnellan

  17. Squad number19Player nameNouble

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button