Scottish Premiership
Hamilton0Rangers5

Hamilton Academical 0-5 Rangers: Visitors close gap on leaders Celtic

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Highlights: Hamilton Academical 0-5 Rangers

Five different scorers helped Rangers sweep aside Hamilton in the Scottish Premiership to extend their unbeaten run to eight games.

Four goals came in the first half, with Ryan Jack, Jermain Defoe, Scott Arfield and James Tavernier all scoring, the latter from the penalty spot.

Substitute Kyle Lafferty completed the rout with a late fifth.

Rangers narrowed the gap to Celtic to five points briefly before the league leaders' win over Motherwell.

Defeat leaves Hamilton four points ahead of bottom club St Mirren.

The home side made two half-time changes and switched to a back five to stem the tide of Rangers attacks, and the damage limitation succeeded before Lafferty's late conversion.

Hamilton did manage to break through Rangers' defence after the break, but Darian MacKinnon was offside as he turned in Tony Andreu's cross.

Midfield balance powers Rangers

Glen Kamara made his third start for Rangers, having established himself in the holding role with a quiet, effective authority.

The 23-year-old is a facilitator, controlling the tempo of Rangers' game, often breaking the lines with his passing, and also allowing Jack to play more assertively and dynamically.

With Arfield playing closer to the central striker Defoe, Rangers were able to command the game against a Hamilton side that started with two up front and a diamond in midfield which included 17-year-old Reegan Mimnaugh making his first start.

Jack had already created a chance for Defoe before opening the scoring himself, curling a shot beyond the reach of Hamilton goalkeeper Gary Woods from 25 yards.

As Hamilton reeled, they conceded again. A minute later, Tavernier swept a deep cross into the penalty area and Defoe scored with a diving header.

Arfield added to the scoresheet with a fiercely-struck effort from distance that whipped just under the crossbar, then Tavernier converted a penalty before the break after Ryan Kent was brought down by Ziggy Gordon.

Hamilton regrouped at half-time, changing shape and reverting to an element of doggedness to stem Rangers. Individuals still had to be alert, and Gordon and Woods both had to intervene to prevent Defoe and Daniel Candeias turning a Rangers counter-attack into a fifth goal.

Complacency was the only real threat to the visitors, although the Hamilton players and staff appealed loudly for a penalty when Joe Worrall cleared with a high boot from George Oakley.

Lafferty wrapped up a Rangers victory with a sure-footed finish from Candeias's cross, as the visitors kept pressing for goals in their pursuit of leaders Celtic, who also have a goal-difference advantage.

Jermain Defoe
Defoe gives his boots to a young fan

Rangers want to destroy teams - analysis

Former Rangers striker and Sportsound pundit Billy Dodds

They were emphatic. They've got this ruthless streak about them just now, maybe since they drew 0-0 with St Johnstone. That result apart, they look clinical, they want to destroy teams, and five different goalscorers as well.

Former Rangers and Scotland winger Neil McCann

Brian Rice has seen something tactically that needed to be addressed [at half-time], he's done it, and it's helped them massively, stopped the gaps, made them a lot more solid. Compliments to Rice and his side for stopping the bleeding and making this more of a contest.

Line-ups

Hamilton

  • 1Woods
  • 2McGowan
  • 4Gordon
  • 6Kilgallon
  • 46Sowah
  • 22AndreuBooked at 69mins
  • 18MacKinnon
  • 33MimnaughSubstituted forGogicat 45'minutes
  • 11Miller
  • 16McMillanSubstituted forMartinat 45'minutes
  • 9Oakley

Substitutes

  • 5Tshiembe
  • 13Gogic
  • 19Winter
  • 20Marsden
  • 25Martin
  • 28Smith
  • 30Boyd

Rangers

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 3Worrall
  • 16Halliday
  • 8Jack
  • 21Candeias
  • 18KamaraSubstituted forCoulibalyat 77'minutes
  • 37ArfieldSubstituted forDavisat 62'minutes
  • 14KentSubstituted forLaffertyat 62'minutes
  • 9Defoe

Substitutes

  • 10Davis
  • 11Lafferty
  • 13Foderingham
  • 17McCrorie
  • 19Katic
  • 23Coulibaly
  • 31Barisic
Referee:
Nick Walsh
Attendance:
5,827

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home3
Away22
Shots on Target
Home1
Away9
Corners
Home1
Away8
Fouls
Home16
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Rangers 5.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Rangers 5.

Attempt missed. Connor Goldson (Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Gary Woods.

Attempt saved. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Goal!

Goal! Hamilton Academical 0, Rangers 5. Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Daniel Candeias.

Attempt blocked. Andy Halliday (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Lassana Coulibaly replaces Glen Kamara.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Aaron McGowan.

Attempt blocked. Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) header from the left side of the six yard box is blocked.

Glen Kamara (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt blocked. Ryan Jack (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Andy Halliday (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Connor Goldson (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by George Oakley (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Steven Davis (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner from a direct free kick.

Booking

Tony Andreu (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Tony Andreu (Hamilton Academical).

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Darian MacKinnon.

Attempt blocked. Daniel Candeias (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Aaron McGowan.

Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Aaron McGowan (Hamilton Academical).

Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical).

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Gary Woods.

Attempt saved. Jermain Defoe (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Kyle Lafferty replaces Ryan Kent.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Steven Davis replaces Scott Arfield.

Joe Worrall (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical).

Ryan Kent (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Aaron McGowan (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Jermain Defoe (Rangers).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic27203464154963
2Rangers27167460204055
3Aberdeen27155745311450
4Kilmarnock27137737271046
5Hearts2713593332144
6Hibernian27108940301038
7St Johnstone27115112734-738
8Motherwell27113133039-936
9Livingston2797112828034
10Dundee2746172456-3218
11Hamilton2753191758-4118
12St Mirren2735192055-3514
View full Scottish Premiership table

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