Motherwell 0-3 Rangers

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland

Rangers ended Motherwell's unbeaten start to the Scottish Premier League season with victory at Fir Park.

Steven Naismith's head appeared to get the final touch as Rangers took the lead from a corner and Kyle Lafferty fired a second on half-time.

Motherwell's Chris Humphrey and Rangers' Steven Davis and Naismith all hit the bar after the break.

Gregg Wylde completed the scoring with his first senior goal five minutes from the end.

The Ibrox side's third straight league win will boost confidence ahead of Thursday's Europa League play-off second leg against Maribor at Ibrox, with the Slovenians currently leading 2-1 in the tie.

With youngsters Jordan McMillan and Ross Perry drafted into the Rangers defence in place of Kirk Broadfoot and Carlos Bocanegra, Motherwell were looking to take advantage of any uncertainty and an early Tom Hateley corner was punched away by goalkeeper Allan McGregor under pressure from Jamie Murphy.

Ross Perry and Nicky Law
Perry (left) gave an assured performance in the Rangers defence

Rangers responded with Nikica Jelavic heading off target twice from set pieces.

Both goalkeepers were called into action within a matter of seconds as McGregor beat out Murphy's shot and then Lafferty's effort brought out the best in Motherwell's Darren Randolph.

The aerial prowess of Jelavic was instrumental in Rangers' opener, even if the striker may not be able to claim the goal as his own.

The Croatian attacked Davis's corner and the ball nicked off the head of Naismith as it crashed into the net.

Nicky Law's powerful shot from the left-hand corner of the box stung the palms of McGregor before Jelavic headed a dangerous Wylde corner over at the other end.

Murphy thought he had levelled when he tucked away at the end of a rehearsed corner routine but referee Craig Thomson penalised the striker for using his arm to control the ball, albeit probably unintentionally.

Juanma Ortiz carved open the Motherwell defence to set up Lafferty on the right-hand side of the area and, as the angle began to narrow, the forward confidently smacked the ball home off the post for Rangers' second.

Lafferty tested Randolph and Naismith flashed a shot beyond the far post as Rangers looked to extend their advantage in the early stages of the second half.

Humphrey lifted a cross onto the Rangers crossbar and the visitors were also denied by the goal frame when Davis's rasping drive and then Naismith's dipping header struck Randolph's bar.

But Rangers did get a third late on as Davis's long ball sent Wylde racing down the inside left channel and the winger kept his cool to place the ball beyond Randolph.

Live text commentaryexternal-link

Top Stories