Rangers showed the authority of champions as they swept Airdrie aside to secure the League One title.

Lee McCulloch's first-half hat-trick, which included two penalty kicks, established a lead that allowed the home fans to revel in the occasion.

Visiting keeper Grant Adam conceded a spot-kick after just 100 seconds and a second award followed for a Gregor Buchanan trip on David Templeton.

McCulloch's third came with a low drive just before the interval.

And when the final whistle confirmed unbeaten Rangers as champions with eight games to spare, the home crowd indulged in a sense of triumph.

Rangers had not allowed any anxiety to settle upon the home fans. If there was discontent following Sunday's 1-1 draw with Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup, it was abruptly dispelled.

The home players sought to redeem themselves by being adventurous on the ball and tireless in their pursuit of it.

Airdrie might have been left in disarray by Rangers' sense of purpose. Certainly, Adam was rash as he charged from his goal and bundled into Andy Little. There were enough defenders in attendance to save the goalkeeper from being sent off, but McCulloch showed no mercy with the spot kick.

The Airdrie back line was left perplexed as Little's powerful running opened up spaces, while Templeton was particularly prominent. The winger showed quick feet and ingenuity, with one run into the penalty area ending with Buchanan clumsily tripping him.

McCulloch, again, drilled the penalty kick past Adam.

The Rangers captain was mostly untroubled in defence - only a Caolan McAleer effort from long range caused Cammy Bell, the Rangers goalkeeper, to be briefly anxious - and he completed his hat-trick with a bundled effort from just inside the penalty area.

The only concern for Rangers were the first-half injuries that forced off Little and Templeton, but setbacks could be endured.

The rewards of a long season were all but confirmed by half-time, and Rangers were less intense after the break.

Bilel Mohsni thought he had scored with one effort, only for the ball to bounce back off the upright. The defender celebrated anyway, leaping high into the air as he jogged back into defence, and the gleefulness was in keeping with the home crowd's mood.

Airdrie remained committed, but that was merely the backdrop to the occasion.

The Rangers fans sang about being champions, about "going up" and in celebration of manager Ally McCoist.

This was a cathartic display, but also a fitting way to secure the title. The players and staff celebrated afterwards, a moment free of any of the other anxieties that still crowd round the club.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Rangers

  • 01 Bell
  • 02 Foster Booked
  • 05 Wallace
  • 08 Black
  • 06 McCulloch
  • 03 Mohsni
  • 04 Aird
  • 11 Law
  • 09 Daly
  • 07 Little (Clark - 46' )
  • 10 Templeton (Peralta Sosa - 46' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Clark
  • 14 Shiels
  • 15 Peralta Sosa
  • 16 Simonsen
  • 17 Faure
  • 18 Crawford
  • 19 Smith

Airdrieonians

  • 01 Adam Booked
  • 02 Barr (Stewart - 62' )
  • 11 Boyle
  • 08 McCormack
  • 05 Buchanan Booked
  • 06 Milojevic Bjekovic
  • 07 McAleer Booked
  • 04 Watt
  • 09 Lister (Cadden - 75' )
  • 10 Parker (Coogans - 80' )
  • 03 Bain

Substitutes

  • 12 Cadden
  • 14 Coogans
  • 15 Stewart
  • 16 Coult
  • 17 McCluskey
  • 18 Evans
  • 19 Ward
Ref: Brian Colvin
Att: 41,343

Match Stats

Shots

21 6

On target

8 3

Corners

12 1

Fouls

8 18

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Rangers 3, Airdrieonians 0.

90:00 +2:27 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Rangers 3, Airdrieonians 0.

90:00 +1:48

Ian Black (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +1:48

Foul by Scott Stewart (Airdrieonians).

90:00 +0:09 Booking

Booking Caolan McAleer (Airdrieonians) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +0:05

Fraser Aird (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +0:05

Foul by Caolan McAleer (Airdrieonians).

86:18

Attempt missed. Nicky Clark (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

81:20

Attempt missed. Fraser Aird (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

79:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Airdrieonians. Liam Coogans replaces Keigan Parker.

78:54 Booking

Booking Richard Foster (Rangers) is shown the yellow card.

78:46

Foul by Richard Foster (Rangers).

78:46

Nicky Cadden (Airdrieonians) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:36

Corner, Airdrieonians. Conceded by Ian Black.

74:21 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Airdrieonians. Nicky Cadden replaces James Lister.

73:26

Foul by Fraser Aird (Rangers).

73:26

Patrick Boyle (Airdrieonians) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:39

Arnold Peralta (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:39

Foul by Liam Watt (Airdrieonians).

68:24 Booking

Booking Gregor Buchanan (Airdrieonians) is shown the yellow card.

68:13

Nicky Clark (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:13

Foul by Gregor Buchanan (Airdrieonians).

66:32

Bilel Mohsni (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

66:32

Foul by James Lister (Airdrieonians).

65:39

Attempt saved. Jon Daly (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

61:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Airdrieonians. Scott Stewart replaces Craig Barr.

59:32

Attempt saved. James Lister (Airdrieonians) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

56:16

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Gregor Buchanan.

55:49

Fraser Aird (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

55:49

Foul by Gregor Buchanan (Airdrieonians).

54:38

Attempt missed. Bilel Mohsni (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

54:28

Bilel Mohsni (Rangers) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

53:51

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Grant Adam.

53:45

Attempt saved. Lee Wallace (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

52:05

Attempt missed. Fraser Aird (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

47:41

Attempt saved. Lee McCulloch (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

47:11

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Patrick Boyle.

46:34

Arnold Peralta (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:34

Foul by Keigan Parker (Airdrieonians).

45:00

Second Half begins Rangers 3, Airdrieonians 0.

45:00 +2:09 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Rangers 3, Airdrieonians 0.

45:00 +1:41

Attempt missed. Nicky Clark (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

45:00 +0:32 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Rangers. Arnold Peralta replaces David Templeton because of an injury.

45:00 +0:13 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Rangers. Nicky Clark replaces Andrew Little because of an injury.

44:59

Attempt missed. Patrick Boyle (Airdrieonians) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

40:42 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Rangers 3, Airdrieonians 0. Lee McCulloch (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nicky Law.

39:40

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Stefan Milojevic.

37:04

Ian Black (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

37:04

Foul by James Lister (Airdrieonians).

35:47

Attempt saved. Nicky Law (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

34:46

Foul by Lee Wallace (Rangers).

34:46

Craig Barr (Airdrieonians) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:00

Attempt missed. Caolan McAleer (Airdrieonians) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

31:02

Foul by Lee Wallace (Rangers).

31:02

James Lister (Airdrieonians) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

30:45

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Jamie Bain.

30:12

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Gregor Buchanan.

29:23

Attempt saved. James Lister (Airdrieonians) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

28:49

Ian Black (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:49

Foul by Caolan McAleer (Airdrieonians).

27:50

Lee McCulloch (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

27:50

Foul by James Lister (Airdrieonians).

27:18

Attempt missed. Andrew Little (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is too high.

26:50

Attempt saved. Nicky Law (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

25:14

Nicky Law (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:14

Foul by Craig Barr (Airdrieonians).

23:59

Attempt missed. David Templeton (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

23:45

Bilel Mohsni (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

23:45

Foul by Keigan Parker (Airdrieonians).

22:02

Attempt saved. Darren McCormack (Airdrieonians) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

20:54 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Rangers 2, Airdrieonians 0. Lee McCulloch (Rangers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

20:21

Penalty Rangers. David Templeton draws a foul in the penalty area.

20:15

Penalty conceded by Jamie Bain (Airdrieonians) after a foul in the penalty area.

19:01

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Gregor Buchanan.

18:00

Andrew Little (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:00

Foul by Stefan Milojevic (Airdrieonians).

17:19

Attempt missed. Ian Black (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

16:19

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Gregor Buchanan.

15:30

Foul by Bilel Mohsni (Rangers).

15:30

James Lister (Airdrieonians) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:02

Attempt missed. Lee McCulloch (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

14:32

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Caolan McAleer.

13:56

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Darren McCormack.

13:47

Attempt blocked. Jon Daly (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

12:11

Attempt missed. Jon Daly (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

10:44

Attempt missed. Bilel Mohsni (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is too high.

10:19

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Gregor Buchanan.

8:50

Foul by Nicky Law (Rangers).

8:50

Keigan Parker (Airdrieonians) wins a free kick on the right wing.

7:53

David Templeton (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

7:53

Foul by Caolan McAleer (Airdrieonians).

7:38

Lee McCulloch (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

7:38

Foul by James Lister (Airdrieonians).

5:40

Foul by Jon Daly (Rangers).

5:40

Stefan Milojevic (Airdrieonians) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

4:40

Andrew Little (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:40

Foul by Stefan Milojevic (Airdrieonians).

4:09

Attempt missed. Caolan McAleer (Airdrieonians) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

2:33 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Rangers 1, Airdrieonians 0. Lee McCulloch (Rangers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

2:01 Booking

Booking Grant Adam (Airdrieonians) is shown the yellow card.

2:00

Penalty Rangers. Andrew Little draws a foul in the penalty area.

1:54

Penalty conceded by Grant Adam (Airdrieonians) after a foul in the penalty area.

1:01

Foul by Lee McCulloch (Rangers).

1:01

Grant Adam (Airdrieonians) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:36

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Gregor Buchanan.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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