Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone0RangersRangers3

Steven Gerrard says Rangers need to be on guard after 3-0 win at St Johnstone

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland

Rangers need to "guard against anything that can come our way", said Steven Gerrard after his side maintained their 16-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Goals from Kemar Roofe, Glen Kamara and Ianis Hagi secured a 3-0 win for Rangers over St Johnstone in Perth.

It was an 11th straight league win for the Ibrox side.

"The challenge is to keep people fit and healthy and in a good place and in good form," said Gerrard.

"This is a different situation with Covid and this type of stuff, so we need to guard against anything that can come our way.

"But if we keep everyone fit and fresh we're a good team and we'll win football matches. That's the challenge for me, just go game to game. Don't get too ahead of ourselves and stay balanced."

St Johnstone substitute Michael O'Halloran was sent off after receiving two bookings inside three minutes and was on the park for just six minutes in total.

And a third straight league loss leaves Callum Davidson's team 10th in the division, above Hamilton Academical on goal difference.

The hosts' Murray Davidson and Kamara were unsuccessful with early efforts before Rangers went in front.

Kamara squared for Hagi to shoot and Roofe was on hand to convert after Zander Clark had blocked. A quick check from the striker that he was not offside confirmed he had scored for the 11th time this season.

Finland international Kamara was the beneficiary moments later as he glided on to Joe Aribo's perfectly timed pass in behind the St Johnstone defence and nudged the ball home with the outside of his right foot.

There was no let up from Gerrard's side in the second half with Hagi thundering the ball under Clark after Roofe's effort was blocked.

Substitute Stevie May almost pulled one back for the hosts when he got goal-side of the Rangers defence but Allan McGregor would not be beaten.

Amid a series of substitutions, O'Halloran came on for Danny McNamara and was quickly booked for a foul on Roofe's replacement Alfredo Morelos. And the winger saw red after a rash challenge on Borna Barisic met with the same punishment.

Morelos slipped a shot wide soon after but Rangers' work was done.

Man of the match - Glen Kamara

Glen Kamara celebrates
If there can be one criticism of Kamara this season, it would be lack of goals but he doubled his season's tally in Perth and put in another commanding midfield performance

What did we learn?

St Johnstone did not do much wrong before falling behind but could not find an answer after Rangers started scoring. May and Ali McCann came on at half-time but were barely on the park two minutes when Hagi struck Rangers' third.

One of Rangers' strengths this season has been the amount of different scorers and Kamara became the club's 14th scorer in the league.

Hagi has had a largely frustrating first half of the season but certainly staked his claim for more game time with a hand in two of the goals.

Gerrard's men were clinical in both boxes with their defensive prowess registering a 21st clean sheet in all competitions this term.

What did they say?

'Reckless' O'Halloran disappoints Davidson

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: "We limited them to very few chances. It's a throw-in and we deal with it all wrong. Five or six minutes later, we're 2-0 down and it's an uphill struggle. We conceded right after half-time. And that's it, game's over.

"I'm really disappointed with Michael O'Halloran. It was reckless going into that challenge already being booked. Just stay on your feet."

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: "We really stood up to the physicality of St Johnstone. They are a well-organised team, they are right up for it and compete well, so we had to match that and at the right times we were very clinical and showed our quality.

"We're very pleased with the run we're on in the league. With 19 games gone, to return 53 points is a really good effort from the players."

What's next?

Rangers are involved in the first Premiership match on Boxing Day, at home to Hibernian (12:30 GMT), before St Johnstone take on hosts Aberdeen later on Saturday (15:00).

Player of the match

RoofeKemar Roofe

with an average of 7.99

St Johnstone

  1. Squad number15Player nameMcNamara
    Average rating

    5.00

  2. Squad number6Player nameGordon
    Average rating

    4.93

  3. Squad number19Player nameRooney
    Average rating

    4.90

  4. Squad number4Player nameMcCart
    Average rating

    4.86

  5. Squad number9Player nameKane
    Average rating

    4.86

  6. Squad number13Player nameBryson
    Average rating

    4.84

  7. Squad number10Player nameWotherspoon
    Average rating

    4.81

  8. Squad number24Player nameBooth
    Average rating

    4.78

  9. Squad number8Player nameDavidson
    Average rating

    4.77

  10. Squad number7Player nameConway
    Average rating

    4.73

  11. Squad number1Player nameClark
    Average rating

    4.70

  12. Squad number14Player nameMay
    Average rating

    4.58

  13. Squad number18Player nameMcCann
    Average rating

    4.53

  14. Squad number26Player nameCraig
    Average rating

    4.06

  15. Squad number17Player nameMelamed
    Average rating

    4.01

  16. Squad number11Player nameO'Halloran
    Average rating

    3.50

Rangers

  1. Squad number25Player nameRoofe
    Average rating

    7.99

  2. Squad number18Player nameKamara
    Average rating

    7.83

  3. Squad number17Player nameAribo
    Average rating

    7.74

  4. Squad number7Player nameHagi
    Average rating

    7.71

  5. Squad number2Player nameTavernier
    Average rating

    7.56

  6. Squad number14Player nameKent
    Average rating

    7.55

  7. Squad number10Player nameDavis
    Average rating

    7.54

  8. Squad number31Player nameBarisic
    Average rating

    7.53

  9. Squad number6Player nameGoldson
    Average rating

    7.48

  10. Squad number1Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    7.37

  11. Squad number5Player nameHelander
    Average rating

    7.27

  12. Squad number11Player nameItten
    Average rating

    7.10

  13. Squad number15Player nameZungu
    Average rating

    7.08

  14. Squad number20Player nameMorelos
    Average rating

    7.05

  15. Squad number37Player nameArfield
    Average rating

    6.89

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Clark
  • 19Rooney
  • 6Gordon
  • 4McCart
  • 15McNamaraSubstituted forO'Halloranat 77'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 13BrysonSubstituted forCraigat 82'minutes
  • 8DavidsonSubstituted forMcCannat 45'minutes
  • 24Booth
  • 7ConwaySubstituted forMayat 45'minutes
  • 10WotherspoonBooked at 60mins
  • 9KaneSubstituted forMelamedat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11O'Halloran
  • 12Parish
  • 14May
  • 17Melamed
  • 18McCann
  • 22Hendry
  • 26Craig
  • 46Ferguson

Rangers

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 5Helander
  • 31Barisic
  • 17Aribo
  • 10DavisSubstituted forZunguat 77'minutes
  • 18Kamara
  • 7HagiSubstituted forIttenat 82'minutes
  • 25RoofeSubstituted forMorelosat 64'minutes
  • 14KentSubstituted forArfieldat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Bassey
  • 9Defoe
  • 11Itten
  • 15Zungu
  • 16Patterson
  • 20Morelos
  • 26Balogun
  • 33McLaughlin
  • 37Arfield
Referee:
Nick Walsh

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home36%
Away64%
Shots
Home9
Away10
Shots on Target
Home2
Away5
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home13
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 0, Rangers 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 0, Rangers 3.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Cedric Itten (Rangers).

  4. Post update

    David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Stevie May.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bongani Zungu (Rangers) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked. Assisted by Borna Barisic with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Jamie McCart.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Liam Gordon following a set piece situation.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Scott Arfield (Rangers).

  10. Post update

    David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

  12. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Borna Barisic (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig replaces Craig Bryson.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Guy Melamed replaces Christopher Kane.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Scott Arfield replaces Ryan Kent.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Cedric Itten replaces Ianis Hagi.

  19. Booking

    Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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