Scottish Premiership
RangersRangers5Ross CountyRoss County0

Rangers 5-0 Ross County: Steven Gerrard has 'loved ride so far' after 150th game in charge

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport Scotland

Steven Gerrard said "I've loved the ride so far" after Premiership leaders Rangers marked his 150th game in charge with a thumping win over Ross County.

It extends his side's lead over reigning champions Celtic to 23 points.

Ryan Kent, Filip Helander and Joe Aribo had them 3-0 up by half-time, with Ryan Jack and Connor Goldson also scoring.

"To be 150 games in, I'm delighted, but it's not about me, it's about this team and getting the group successful as soon as possible," boss Gerrard said.

"That's the challenge. That's what I'll be judged on. It's been a hell of a journey. It's been intense and challenging, but I'm loving it."

Third-bottom County struck woodwork twice after the break, but Rangers could even afford a missed penalty from James Tavernier as they remain unbeaten in the league this season.

John Hughes' side had arrived buoyed by last week's 4-1 thumping of Aberdeen, but they never looked in danger of spoiling the occasion for Gerrard as he became the fastest-ever Rangers manager to reach his 150th game in charge - his 926 days beating Dick Advocaat by 24 hours.

By bravely handing 17-year-old Leo Hjelde - signed on loan from Celtic 24 hours earlier - his debut and dropping winger Regan Charles-Cooke and forward Jermaine Hylton, Hughes had signalled his intent to keep it tight.

County's high press did manage to trouble Rangers - but only for the six minutes it took for the hosts to score with their first foray into the Highlanders' box.

Hjelde was too late on the scene as Kent looped in a headed finish after being found unmarked by Alfredo Morelos' knock across the face of goal.

Top scorer Tavernier blotted his copybook by having a weak spot kick saved by Ross Laidlaw, although justice was probably done as Morelos looked to be fouled outside the area.

Rangers remained relentless and Kent fired a low effort against a post before Helander shrugged off his marker to rise in space and head home a Borna Barisic corner.

The defending was similarly poor as Aribo sidestepped Charlie Lakin and Iain Vigurs before a sublime curling finish.

County started the second half with plenty of purpose and midfielder Harry Paton sent a low drive off the inside of a post and centre-half Alex Iacovitti should have done better than loop a header off the bar when found unmarked at a free-kick.

Gerrard responded with a clutch of substitutions and one of the replacements, Jack, fired low past Laidlaw on the midfielder's return from injury before Goldson rounded off the scoring with a stooping header from a corner.

It was perhaps a fitting flourish considering the centre-half has featured in 142 of Gerrard's games in charge.

Man of the match - Ryan Kent

Rangers' Ryan Kent is congratulated by Alfredo Morelos
It was an all-round team performance from Rangers, but Kent did more than most with a goal and another strike against a post

What did we learn?

If Celtic were hoping that last weekend's draw with Motherwell, which ended a run of six straight wins, would knock Rangers out of their stride, they were sadly disappointed.

Neil Lennon will have found little grounds for renewed optimism about securing a 10th consecutive title from an efficient performance with few signs of the post-New Year stumbles suffered by Gerrard's side in the last two seasons.

County came into the game after a mini-revival, having only lost once in four games, but former Celtic centre-half Hughes will consider this dismantling of his experimental defence in isolation.

Especially so considering Dingwall men have never beaten Rangers in 15 meetings and have now lost nine games in succession against the Glasgow side while failing to score in their last six.

What they said

Rangers manger Steven Gerrard told Rangers TV: "I thought it was a really strong performance, another home win and a clean sheet - obviously five different scorers.

"We flipped the formation a bit to a 4-3-2-1 to be a bit more bold and aggressive and really take the game to Ross County and I thought we looked really dangerous throughout."

Ross County manager John Hughes told Sky Sports: "We were set up to be hard to beat and, if you do that and give away two poor goals early on, you are up against it.

"However, our season will not be defined by games against Rangers - credit to them for the way they play football and pass - but we showed plenty of spirit and will learn from this."

What's next?

Rangers next travel to Edinburgh to face fourth-top Hibernian for what Gerrard described as "a huge game" on Wednesday (19:45 GMT), when County also host the side one place below them - Motherwell (18:00).

Player of the match

KentRyan Kent

with an average of 8.24

Rangers

  1. Squad number14Player nameKent
    Average rating

    8.24

  2. Squad number8Player nameJack
    Average rating

    8.22

  3. Squad number31Player nameBarisic
    Average rating

    7.92

  4. Squad number10Player nameDavis
    Average rating

    7.92

  5. Squad number17Player nameAribo
    Average rating

    7.91

  6. Squad number5Player nameHelander
    Average rating

    7.88

  7. Squad number7Player nameHagi
    Average rating

    7.87

  8. Squad number6Player nameGoldson
    Average rating

    7.78

  9. Squad number16Player namePatterson
    Average rating

    7.77

  10. Squad number9Player nameDefoe
    Average rating

    7.65

  11. Squad number11Player nameItten
    Average rating

    7.64

  12. Squad number18Player nameKamara
    Average rating

    7.59

  13. Squad number2Player nameTavernier
    Average rating

    7.51

  14. Squad number20Player nameMorelos
    Average rating

    7.49

  15. Squad number1Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    7.42

  16. Squad number15Player nameZungu
    Average rating

    7.42

Ross County

  1. Squad number8Player nameShaw
    Average rating

    5.31

  2. Squad number1Player nameLaidlaw
    Average rating

    5.25

  3. Squad number23Player nameNaismith
    Average rating

    5.12

  4. Squad number19Player nameLakin
    Average rating

    5.11

  5. Squad number4Player nameHjelde
    Average rating

    5.03

  6. Squad number5Player nameMorris
    Average rating

    5.02

  7. Squad number24Player namePaton
    Average rating

    5.02

  8. Squad number6Player nameDraper
    Average rating

    4.99

  9. Squad number11Player nameVigurs
    Average rating

    4.95

  10. Squad number22Player nameTillson
    Average rating

    4.94

  11. Squad number14Player nameHylton
    Average rating

    4.93

  12. Squad number15Player nameWatson
    Average rating

    4.91

  13. Squad number2Player nameRandall
    Average rating

    4.88

  14. Squad number16Player nameIacovitti
    Average rating

    4.77

  15. Squad number28Player nameAndreu
    Average rating

    4.76

  16. Squad number17Player nameCharles-Cook
    Average rating

    4.74

Line-ups

Rangers

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1McGregor
  • 2TavernierSubstituted forPattersonat 70'minutes
  • 6Goldson
  • 5Helander
  • 31Barisic
  • 10DavisSubstituted forJackat 61'minutes
  • 18KamaraSubstituted forZunguat 61'minutesBooked at 76mins
  • 7Hagi
  • 17AriboSubstituted forIttenat 62'minutes
  • 14Kent
  • 20MorelosSubstituted forDefoeat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Bassey
  • 8Jack
  • 9Defoe
  • 11Itten
  • 15Zungu
  • 16Patterson
  • 25Roofe
  • 26Balogun
  • 33McLaughlin

Ross County

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 5Morris
  • 16IacovittiBooked at 13mins
  • 4HjeldeBooked at 64mins
  • 23Naismith
  • 6DraperSubstituted forTillsonat 71'minutes
  • 11VigursSubstituted forAndreuat 70'minutes
  • 19LakinSubstituted forCharles-Cookat 59'minutes
  • 2RandallSubstituted forWatsonat 53'minutes
  • 24PatonSubstituted forHyltonat 59'minutes
  • 8Shaw

Substitutes

  • 7Gardyne
  • 9Mckay
  • 14Hylton
  • 15Watson
  • 17Charles-Cook
  • 22Tillson
  • 25Donaldson
  • 28Andreu
  • 31Munro
Referee:
Euan Anderson

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home70%
Away30%
Shots
Home28
Away7
Shots on Target
Home11
Away2
Corners
Home11
Away2
Fouls
Home12
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Rangers 5, Ross County 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Rangers 5, Ross County 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ianis Hagi (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Borna Barisic.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Cedric Itten (Rangers).

  5. Post update

    Tony Andreu (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Connor Goldson (Rangers).

  7. Post update

    Oli Shaw (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Rangers 5, Ross County 0. Connor Goldson (Rangers) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Borna Barisic with a cross following a corner.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Keith Watson.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cedric Itten (Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nathan Patterson with a cross.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ryan Kent (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cedric Itten.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Ross Laidlaw.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ryan Jack (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nathan Patterson.

  14. Post update

    Jermain Defoe (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Tillson (Ross County).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

    Foul by Regan Charles-Cook (Ross County).

  18. Post update

    Foul by Bongani Zungu (Rangers).

  19. Post update

    Regan Charles-Cook (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Booking

    Bongani Zungu (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers2522306575869
2Celtic22137248183046
3Aberdeen2312653124742
4Hibernian2411763324940
5Livingston239593029132
6Dundee Utd2461081929-1028
7Kilmarnock2373132428-424
8St Mirren2165101624-823
9St Johnstone2458112233-1123
10Ross County2555151848-3020
11Motherwell2347121935-1619
12Hamilton2354142147-2619
View full Scottish Premiership table

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