Scottish Premiership
RangersRangers2Partick ThistlePartick Thistle0

Scottish Premiership: Rangers 2-0 Partick Thistle

Rangers' James Tavernier and Niko Kranjcar celebrate
Niko Kranjcar (right) opened the scoring for Rangers

Rangers eased to victory in their first Glasgow derby against Partick Thistle for eight years.

Thistle held their own for the opening half hour, but Niko Kranjcar crashed the ball high into the net after good work from Barrie McKay.

Seven minutes later, midfield colleague Andy Halliday curled in the second.

That was enough for Mark Warburton's side to secure a win that moves them up to fifth place and remain seven points behind leaders Celtic.

Thistle stay stuck at the bottom of the Premiership after a run without a victory of seven games.

Rangers have now gone 24 meetings with the visitors from Maryhill since January 1993 without suffering a defeat.

Kranjcar class

Croatian midfielder Kranjcar has failed to be convincing since joining Rangers in the summer, but this was a performance scattered with moments of aplomb.

Even though the 32-year-old does not have the physical capability to impose himself on a game for 90 minutes, he still has the skill and awareness to be an influence.

His first effort on goal came after four minutes, but with Rangers manager Mark Warburton watching from the stands as he served a one-game touchline ban, the home side were nervous until Kranjcar opened the scoring in the 33rd minute.

After a smart exchange of passes with Jason Holt, he expertly made space in a crowded penalty area to lash the ball high into the net. His last involvement was to rifle a free-kick high over the bar, but there was an impact to his overall play.

Defensive resolve

Rangers' Kenny Miller and Andy Halliday celebrate
Andy Halliday (right) celebrates his goal against Thistle

Krancjar's goal was only the third time this season that the Ibrox side has opened the scoring in a Premiership game. That would have been pleasing for Warburton, but more significantly his side managed to deliver a clean sheet.

Only Motherwell, Kilmarnock, Hamilton and Inverness Caledonian Thistle had conceded more goals than Rangers before kick-off and the goalkeeper, Wes Foderingham, had only kept one clean sheet in the league this season.

There were moments of alarm, with the goalkeeper having to stop a Ryan Edwards header, and also good fortune. After the break, Chris Erskine scurried through on goal and his shot bundled beneath Foderingham, but the ball did not have enough pace to roll over the line before it was cleared.

Rangers were two goals ahead by then after Halliday converted a Martyn Waghorn cross with a low, composed finish.

Thistle woes

Alan Archibald's side has not won a Premiership game since the beginning of August and, although the Thistle manager has been satisfied with performances in recent weeks, the slump in results will be worrying for him.

Thistle are capable of assured football, but they lack decisiveness in the final third. They were the league's lowest scorers before kick-off and there is a growing sense that their good play is undone by a failure to create clear chances.

The defence survived further scares, with Waghorn just failing to convert a Barrie McKay cross and Holt twice trying his luck with shots, but Thistle remain a side that needs an immediate fillip.

Rangers assistant manager David Weir: "We've spoken the last few weeks about performances and not getting the result - and I think today it was probably more about the result than it was about the performance.

"Ideally, you get both, but if we're being honest, the result was probably more important.

"It was different being on the touchline. It was unusual. I was in contact with the manager via the phone.

"But we're very similar in our thoughts and we know the team well enough to know what's going well, what's not going well, what we need to be better at. Our views are very similar.

"Hopefully he'll be back on the touchline next week and I'll enjoy being back on the bench."

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald: "You have got to score goals when you get chances and we never took our chances.

"I thought Chris Erskine's shot was going in. He had one similar last week he took it on his right foot.

"But this is why we are in the position we are in. We don't put away our chances."

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 1Foderingham
  • 2Tavernier
  • 24SenderosBooked at 45mins
  • 6Wilson
  • 5Wallace
  • 16Halliday
  • 19KranjcarSubstituted forForresterat 74'minutes
  • 23Holt
  • 33WaghornSubstituted forGarnerat 62'minutes
  • 9Miller
  • 10McKaySubstituted forDodooat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Kiernan
  • 7Garner
  • 14Dodoo
  • 15Forrester
  • 17Hodson
  • 25Gilks
  • 29O'Halloran

Partick Thistle

  • 12Scully
  • 23GordonBooked at 57mins
  • 15Devine
  • 5Lindsay
  • 3Booth
  • 19Edwards
  • 6Osman
  • 7AmooSubstituted forElliottat 65'minutes
  • 16AzeezSubstituted forMcDaidat 79'minutes
  • 11Lawless
  • 10ErskineBooked at 44minsSubstituted forWelshat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Welsh
  • 13Barton
  • 14Elliott
  • 18Wilson
  • 20McDaid
  • 22Fraser
  • 35Stuckmann
Referee:
Stephen Finnie
Attendance:
49,680

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamPartick Thistle
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home12
Away7
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away6
Fouls
Home9
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Rangers 2, Partick Thistle 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Rangers 2, Partick Thistle 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by James Tavernier.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Declan McDaid (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Ziggy Gordon.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sean Welsh (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Declan McDaid (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  8. Post update

    Andy Halliday (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle).

  10. Post update

    Danny Wilson (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Declan McDaid (Partick Thistle).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Declan McDaid replaces Adebayo Azeez.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Danny Wilson.

  14. Post update

    Harry Forrester (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Ziggy Gordon (Partick Thistle).

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Sean Welsh replaces Chris Erskine.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Harry Forrester replaces Niko Kranjcar.

  18. Post update

    Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Kenny Miller (Rangers).

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Niko Kranjcar (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.