Under new manager Steven Gerrard, Glasgow Rangers have now won eight of their 13 league games played, after beating a decent, dogged, defensively minded Livingston 3-0 at Ibrox at the weekend.
The score ended up slightly flattering the ‘Gers, who were becoming frustrated for long spells by Gary Holt’s hard-working and well drilled Livingston side.
They were slightly unlucky not to score an equaliser when a Jacobs’ shot took a wicked deflection that was saved by Scotland’s No.1 phenomenal goalkeeper, the one and only Allan McGregor.
Daniel Candeias scored with a header in the 20th minute from an accurate Glenn Middleton corner, but in fairness to Livi, they had the game’s best chance when Halkett knocked a shot off the outside of the post with only 10 minutes on the clock.
The Light Blues have now won nine, drawn three and lost to Livingston only once in recent years. That disastrous 1-0 defeat did come the last time the two sides met back in September.
Rangers played badly that day on Livi’s dreadful plastic pitch, which every team hates to playing on. They redeemed themselves a bit by earning another three points with three well-taken goals.
This result has placed an ever-improving Rangers team above Hearts into second place, but unfortunately, still two points behind Glasgow Celtic.
Kyle Lafferty was picked ahead of Alfredo Morelos to start this game with the Villarreal game coming up this Thursday night at Ibrox, deemed much more important to rest him for. The fact that Rangers won the game, proved the right decision to keep him fresh.
This led to a decent physical battle between the tall Lafferty and Craig Halkett, but the Light Blues sorely missed the strength and movement of their Colombian striker.
As soon as Morelos was introduced in 62 minutes, he immediately brought an improvement to the side, just when Livi were looking for their leveler, Rangers were finding more room.
His late goal came at the right time to seal the game for Rangers against a very plucky Livingston, and proved him invaluable in his current form to Gerrard’s team.
The Colombian scored the crucial second strike only 10 minutes from time to ease the tension from the ever-increasing, edgy home crowd.
Morelos was very harshly booked by petty referee Nick Walsh. He was fouled by Alan Lithgow and appeared to ignore the whistlers demands to come over to him for his lecture.
This booking will keep the frontman out of the Dundee away game in two weeks time. He is undoubtedly a marked man with referees in Scotland.
However, he took his frustrations out on Livi by whipping in a front post cross two minutes from time to allow attacking midfielder Scott Arfield to score again for the third goal.
With several really surprising defeats for Aberdeen and Hearts today, coupled with both Hibs and Kilmarnock drawing, it helped turn this into a good day for Rangers in this very competitive SPFL.
Ovie Ejaria and Arfield struggled to create any clear cut chances throughout the game, and Lafferty, Candeias and Middleton were well looked after by an impressive back four display from a decent Livingston side.
The Ibrox club will have to improve a great deal in the final third, if they are to win these games more comfortably in future.
Starting X1: McGregor: Tavernier, Goldson, McAuley, Halliday: Jack, Arfield, Ejaria: Candeias, Lafferty, Middleton.
Subs: Worrall, Foderingham, Flanagan, Rossiter, Morelos, Coulibaly, Grezda