Scottish Premiership
RangersRangers3St JohnstoneSt Johnstone2

Rangers 3-2 St Johnstone

Rangers struck late to beat St Johnstone and move to within six points of second-placed Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.

Barrie McKay fired the hosts in front and Martyn Waghorn headed their second.

David Wotherspoon's curled strike reduced Saints' deficit before Rangers had Rob Kiernan sent off for his challenge on Graham Cummins.

Steven Anderson lashed in to bring the sides level but Emerson Hyndman's late shot gave the home side victory.

The Ibrox outfit, managed by interim boss Graeme Murty for a fourth successive match, extend their advantage over Hearts in the league to eight points while Tommy Wright's Saints remain a point off fourth place.

Positive Rangers

Hyndman twice shot wide and Jon Toral headed narrowly off target as Murty's side sought to take control.

McKay gave them the edge with a fine first-time strike after getting the break of the ball outside the box.

And Rangers built on their lead when Waghorn darted across the front post to flick home Kenny Miller's cross early in the second period.

Miller's replacement Joe Garner could have made it three but he smashed the ball against the post from point-blank range. The frame of the Saints goal was rattled again later by Hyndman at 2-2.

Saints fight back

St Johnstone celebrate
The Perth side were on course to take a point

The visitors had been well in the game throughout with Steven MacLean firing wide following a stray pass by Toral and Blair Alston fizzing a shot past the post.

Liam Craig was also off target with a header from Keith Watson's cross.

They eventually netted when Danny Swanson's replacement Wotherspoon swept a shot past Wes Foderingham.

Dramatic finale

Kiernan was dismissed for a needless lunge on Cummins, who had replaced Alston.

And Anderson - earlier booked for simulation - slotted home following Craig's corner.

Rob Kiernan is sent off
Kiernan was sent off for violent conduct

But Rangers regained the lead when substitute Danny Wilson launched the ball forward to Clint Hill and his knockdown dropped for Hyndman 18 yards out.

The American still had work to do but found the top corner with an emphatic finish - his third goal since joining on loan from Bournemouth in January.

What the managers said

Rangers' Graeme Murty: "We let Saints back in to the game by being a little loose at times. But the amount of forward play we had and chances we created, we could have won by three of four had we been a bit more clinical.

"If we are a bit more clinical those nervous moments don't come.

"My reaction at the time of the sending-off was to try and fix the problem. When I have a considered moment I'll have a look at it and decide what I actually think of the challenge.

"Rob has made the referee make a decision. The referee has made his decision based on what he saw and we will have to live with it. The fellas responded quite well after that.

"The main emotion is relief that a group of players who fully deserved the win managed to come off with three points. They showed a little bit of the spirit we've been asking for."

St Johnstone's Tommy Wright: "There was a lot of disappointment on Saturday [2-0 home loss to Kilmarnock] with the performance - but it's a different kind of disappointment tonight.

"We showed a lot of character to get back in the game.

"But we should see the game out and we didn't. I'm gutted for the lads because they showed both character and quality to get back in it. It's a huge disappointment."

Line-ups

Rangers

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Foderingham
  • 2Tavernier
  • 4KiernanBooked at 78mins
  • 3Hill
  • 5Wallace
  • 23Holt
  • 8ToralBooked at 47minsSubstituted forHallidayat 82'minutes
  • 20HyndmanBooked at 89mins
  • 33WaghornSubstituted forWilsonat 79'minutes
  • 9MillerSubstituted forGarnerat 64'minutes
  • 10McKay

Substitutes

  • 6Wilson
  • 7Garner
  • 15Forrester
  • 16Halliday
  • 17Hodson
  • 25Alnwick
  • 29O'Halloran

St Johnstone

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 12Clark
  • 22WatsonBooked at 54minsSubstituted forCoulsonat 82'minutes
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 6Anderson
  • 24Easton
  • 18PatonBooked at 69mins
  • 19Foster
  • 4AlstonSubstituted forCumminsat 66'minutes
  • 26CraigBooked at 60mins
  • 11SwansonSubstituted forWotherspoonat 70'minutes
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 3Scobbie
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 15Smith
  • 17Coulson
  • 27Thomson
  • 29Cummins
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
46,800

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home24
Away9
Shots on Target
Home11
Away4
Corners
Home11
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Rangers 3, St. Johnstone 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Rangers 3, St. Johnstone 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by David Wotherspoon.

  4. Post update

    Clint Hill (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Liam Craig (St. Johnstone).

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Rangers 3, St. Johnstone 2. Emerson Hyndman (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Clint Hill.

  7. Post update

    Joe Garner (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

  9. Booking

    Emerson Hyndman (Rangers) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Jason Holt (Rangers).

  11. Post update

    Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Emerson Hyndman (Rangers) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

  13. Goal!

    Goal! Rangers 2, St. Johnstone 2. Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joe Shaughnessy following a corner.

  14. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Clint Hill.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joe Garner (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael Coulson replaces Keith Watson.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Andy Halliday replaces Jon Toral.

  18. Post update

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

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Danny Wilson replaces Martyn Waghorn.

  20. Dismissal

    Rob Kiernan (Rangers) is shown the red card for violent conduct.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic27261073165779
2Aberdeen27164750242652
3Rangers2713773732546
4Hearts27108946351138
5St Johnstone27107103536-137
6Partick Thistle2788112932-332
7Dundee2786133137-630
8Kilmarnock26610102441-1728
9Ross County2769122945-1627
10Hamilton27412112639-1324
11Motherwell2666143053-2324
12Inverness CT27410133151-2022
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC