Inverness CT 1-4 Rangers
Ruthless Rangers responded to the threat of losing their jobs by thumping Inverness at Caledonian Stadium.
Steven Davis sidefooted home from close range after six minutes and Sone Aluko drove into the far corner 10 minutes later for the side in administration.
Andrew Little broke clear to finish after 36 minutes, only for Steve Williams to head a reply four minutes later for lively Inverness.
But Lee McCulloch's 72nd-minute tap-in ensured the victory for Rangers.
It steadies the Ibrox ship following last week's home defeat by Kilmarnock, coming at the end of a week in which they were deducted 10 points after calling in the administrators.
And it comes days before an expected announcement about the future of players and other staff.
Rangers narrowed the gap with leaders Celtic to 20 points but more importantly moved Ally McCoist's side six points clear of third-top Motherwell in the race for a Champions League qualifying place.
McCoist dug deep into his depleted resources to give starting places to inexperienced trio Ross Perry, Andrew Little and Salim Kerkar with Lee Wallace injured, Sasa Papac suspended and veteran striker David Healy dropped to the bench.
Inverness lumped the ball forward immediately in an attempt to exploit Perry's lack of height in defence.
However, it was Kerkar and Little who made the bigger impact on the game at the other end in a whirlwind start for the Ibrox side.
Kerkar's low cross into the six-yard box was turned into the net by captain Davis, who had started the swift break with a pass to Maurice Edu.
Billy McKay, who came into the home side along with Gregory Tade and Williams in place of David Proctor, Claude Gnakpa and Shane Sutherland, drove the ball across the face of the Rangers goal as the game flowed from end to end.
Aluko missed a great chance when he headed wide after being found unmarked at the back post by a Davis cross.
However, the winger soon atoned for that when he fired into the far corner from 18 yards after McCulloch laid off Little's low cross into his path.
Greg Tansey twice threatened from long range, skewing one effort wide of the far post then having another effort beaten away by goalkeeper Allan McGregor before Dorin Goian cleared his lines.
McKay was inches away from connecting within the Rangers six-yard box before Rangers stretched their lead further.
Kerkar, making his first start for the Ibrox club, sent a superb ball inside full-back Josh Meekings and Little coolly lifted it over goalkeeper Ryan Esson from 10 yards.
Inverness replied following a disputed corner when Williams rose to head in Tansey's inswinging corner from 12 yards.
Tade volleyed over as the home side took heart in the final move of the first-half, with manager Terry Butcher withdrawing Meekings at half-time and bringing on David Proctor.
Caley Thistle cleared twice off their own line in quick succession when a Davis corner struck Edu's shoulder before being prevented from crossing the line by the same part of Ross's anatomy then Esson's studs prevented Davis's low drive extending Rangers' lead.
Little was again involved in the move that led to Rangers' fourth goal before Kerkar's low shot was spilled by Esson and McCulloch pounced to tap the ball over the line.
The veteran was cruelly denied a second goal when his thunderbolt struck the underside of the bar and television replays showed it had possibly crossed the line before bouncing clear.
- 01 Esson
- 19 Shinnie
- 22 Gillet Booked
- 24 Williams
- 26 Meekings (Proctor - 46' )
- 07 Hayes
- 08 Tansey
- 11 Ross (Gnakpa - 71' )
- 09 Foran Booked
- 15 Tade (Tudur-Jones - 88' )
- 21 McKay
- 12 Tuffey
- 03 Tokely
- 14 Proctor
- 25 Gnakpa
- 04 Tudur-Jones
- 18 Sutherland
- 20 Winnall
- 01 McGregor
- 02 Goian
- 04 Broadfoot
- 18 Bocanegra
- 32 Perry
- 06 McCulloch
- 07 Edu
- 08 Davis
- 19 Aluko (Wylde - 85' )
- 28 Kerkar (Celik - 81' )
- 34 Little (Hemmings - 85' )
- 25 Alexander
- 21 Bedoya
- 24 Celik
- 27 Wylde
- 41 McCabe
- 15 Healy
- 38 Hemmings
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The match has reached full-time.90:00 +1:22
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Billy McKay by Dorin Goian. Johnny Hayes fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save made by Allan McGregor.90:00 +0:09
The assistant referee flags for offside against Richie Foran. Free kick taken by Allan McGregor.88:13
Greg Tansey has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.87:27
Free kick crossed left-footed by Johnny Hayes.87:27 Substitution
Substitution Owain Tudur Jones joins the action as a substitute, replacing Gregory Tade.87:27
Unfair challenge on Claude Gnakpa by Carlos Bocanegra results in a free kick.87:15
Lee McCulloch has an effort at goal.86:46
Gregg Wylde takes a inswinging corner to the near post.86:06
Corner taken by Gregg Wylde, Claude Gnakpa makes a clearance.85:36
Corner taken left-footed by Greg Tansey.85:07
Corner taken left-footed by Greg Tansey, clearance by Carlos Bocanegra.84:08 Substitution
Substitution Andrew Little leaves the field to be replaced by Kane Hemmings.84:08 Substitution
Substitution Gregg Wylde joins the action as a substitute, replacing Sone Aluko.82:36
Greg Tansey takes the inswinging corner, Steven Davis makes a clearance.80:33
Free kick awarded for a foul by Maurice Edu on Richie Foran. Johnny Hayes crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Allan McGregor makes a save.80:06 Substitution
Substitution Mervan Celik replaces Salim Kerkar.79:28
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrew Little by Johnny Hayes. Dorin Goian takes the direct free kick.78:32
Gregory Tade is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Allan McGregor takes the indirect free kick.75:33
Foul by Steve Williams on Ross Perry, free kick awarded. Allan McGregor takes the free kick.
Johnny Hayes takes a inswinging corner to the near post.74:09
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Johnny Hayes, Dorin Goian manages to make a clearance.73:53
Maurice Edu challenges Richie Foran unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Kenny Gillet.71:36
The assist for the goal came from Ross Perry.71:36 Goal scored
Goal! - Lee McCulloch - Inverness 1 - 4 Rangers Lee McCulloch gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Inverness CT 1-4 Rangers.71:12
Shot by Ross Perry. Save by Ryan Esson.70:15 Substitution
Substitution Claude Gnakpa is brought on as a substitute for Nick Ross.68:48
Effort on goal by Lee McCulloch from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.66:13
Inswinging corner taken by Steven Davis from the left by-line, comfortable save by Ryan Esson.64:09
Kenny Gillet concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee McCulloch. Dorin Goian restarts play with the free kick.63:46
Shot by Gregory Tade. Blocked by Sone Aluko.62:50
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Greg Tansey by Maurice Edu. Richie Foran restarts play with the free kick.62:16
Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrew Little on Greg Tansey. Free kick taken by Ryan Esson.61:40
Free kick taken by Dorin Goian.61:40 Booking
Booking Caution for Richie Foran.61:25
Unfair challenge on Sone Aluko by Richie Foran results in a free kick.60:16
Andrew Little challenges Steve Williams unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ryan Esson.59:14
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kirk Broadfoot by Gregory Tade. Allan McGregor takes the free kick.57:58
Greg Tansey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ross Perry. Allan McGregor restarts play with the free kick.57:20
Sone Aluko takes a shot from 12 yards. Save made by Ryan Esson.55:06
Steven Davis takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Johnny Hayes manages to make a clearance.54:55
Steven Davis has an effort at goal. Fantastic save by Ryan Esson.53:55
Corner from the right by-line taken by Sone Aluko, Maurice Edu takes a shot. Nick Ross makes a clearance.53:27
Steven Davis takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Graeme Shinnie.53:02
Steven Davis takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Kenny Gillet.52:35
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Davis, Steve Williams manages to make a clearance.49:51
Andrew Little fouled by Kenny Gillet, the ref awards a free kick. Shot on goal comes in from Sone Aluko from the free kick.48:45
The offside flag is raised against Gregory Tade. Free kick taken by Allan McGregor.48:00
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Johnny Hayes.47:53
The ball is crossed by Johnny Hayes, Dorin Goian makes a clearance.46:07
Steve Williams challenges Steven Davis unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Davis delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Johnny Hayes makes a clearance.45:01
The referee starts the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Josh Meekings goes off and David Proctor comes on.45:00 +0:58 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.45:00 +0:03
Free kick awarded for a foul by Carlos Bocanegra on Graeme Shinnie. Centre by Greg Tansey, Shot from deep inside the area by Gregory Tade goes over the bar.42:55
Foul by Josh Meekings on Salim Kerkar, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Carlos Bocanegra.41:30
Dorin Goian takes the direct free kick.41:30 Booking
Booking Kenny Gillet is given a yellow card.41:24
Andrew Little fouled by Kenny Gillet, the ref awards a free kick.41:06
Sone Aluko takes a shot. Comfortable save by Ryan Esson.39:30
Assist on the goal came from Greg Tansey.39:30 Goal scored
Goal! - Steve Williams - Inverness 1 - 3 Rangers Steve Williams finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Inverness CT 1-3 Rangers.39:05
Corner taken by Greg Tansey,38:43
Corner taken by Greg Tansey from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Dorin Goian.35:27
Assist by Salim Kerkar.35:27 Goal scored
Goal! - Andrew Little - Inverness 0 - 3 Rangers Andrew Little grabs a goal from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Inverness CT 0-3 Rangers.34:12
Sone Aluko takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.31:29
Unfair challenge on Kenny Gillet by Andrew Little results in a free kick. Kenny Gillet takes the direct free kick.26:35
Effort from 20 yards by Greg Tansey. Save by Allan McGregor.22:24
Greg Tansey has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.21:48
Foul by Dorin Goian on Billy McKay, free kick awarded. Graeme Shinnie restarts play with the free kick.16:45
Nick Ross concedes a free kick for a foul on Maurice Edu. Direct free kick taken by Maurice Edu.15:36
The assist for the goal came from Salim Kerkar.15:36 Goal scored
Goal! - Sone Aluko - Inverness 0 - 2 Rangers Sone Aluko grabs a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Inverness CT 0-2 Rangers.13:38
Header from close in by Sone Aluko misses to the right of the goal.12:38
Unfair challenge on Graeme Shinnie by Dorin Goian results in a free kick. Kenny Gillet takes the free kick.11:32
Greg Tansey concedes a free kick for a foul on Kirk Broadfoot. Direct free kick taken by Allan McGregor.10:22
Richie Foran challenges Lee McCulloch unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Steven Davis.9:08
Carlos Bocanegra gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Billy McKay. Greg Tansey takes the direct free kick.8:49
Shot by Sone Aluko from 25 yards. Ryan Esson makes a comfortable save.6:36
Graeme Shinnie fouled by Andrew Little, the ref awards a free kick. Graeme Shinnie takes the free kick.5:40
The assist for the goal came from Salim Kerkar.5:40 Goal scored
Goal! - Steven Davis - Inverness 0 - 1 Rangers Steven Davis gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Inverness CT 0-1 Rangers.4:44
Foul by Graeme Shinnie on Sone Aluko, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Ross Perry.1:58
Carlos Bocanegra gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Johnny Hayes. Johnny Hayes takes the direct free kick.0:00
The referee gets the match started.
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