Scottish Premiership
LivingstonLivingston0RangersRangers3

Livingston 0-3 Rangers: Champions win to stay unbeaten in Scottish Premiership

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland

Steven Gerrard has urged his Rangers players to "leave a legacy" by completing an unbeaten league season.

The Scottish Premiership champions host Aberdeen in Saturday's closing fixture after beating Livingston 3-0.

James Tavernier's penalty was followed by strikes by Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi as Rangers recorded a 25th clean sheet in the league and reached 99 points.

"Rangers have never hit 100 points plus, which is a big motivation for us," said Gerrard.

"They have got the clean sheet record now. The boys have got an opportunity not just to be champions but to leave a legacy from the season."

Rangers will receive the Premiership trophy after Saturday's home match with Aberdeen. Livingston remain in contention to jump above their next opponents St Johnstone into fifth place, with the sides level on points and Saints two goals better off.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas troubled Rangers in the early stages, creating space for Josh Mullin to force a save from Jon McLaughlin.

Hagi and Kent flashed shots wide of the Livingston goal before the first half's most contentious moment.

Kemar Roofe flicked the ball through for Hagi in behind the Livingston defence and the Romanian played the ball before he and goalkeeper Max Stryjek collided. Referee Don Robertson regarded it as a foul, despite protests that Hagi had knocked the ball wide.

Tavernier, having missed his past three penalties, stepped up and converted to the goalkeeper's right - his 19th goal this season.

And the club captain was involved in the second goal, his ball over the top finding Kent. The winger tried to lay off for Morelos but forced the striker wide then received the return pass to finish.

Livingston were inches away from halving their deficit on two occasions. Scott Pittman's volley rattled the bar and McLaughlin forced the ball clear under pressure from the chasing pack.

Then substitute Jaze Kabia was presented with their best chance after Nicky Devlin's deflected cross, the forward only able to hit the outside of the left-hand post.

Joe Aribo tested Stryjek moments later and Kabia was off target when he latched on to another Devlin delivery at the other end.

Rangers completed the scoring with a swift move on the left, Roofe's replacement Cedric Itten squaring for Hagi to apply a ruthless finish.

Man of the match - James Tavernier

James Tavernier scores a penalty
Tavernier showed character after recent misses from the spot and his all round performance was strong

What did we learn?

Livingston's mid-season 14-match unbeaten run has been the catalyst for their top-half finish but they have won just once since that sequence ended in early February.

Emmanuel-Thomas is a commanding presence in attack, but needs more support from wide areas if Livingston are to finish the season on a high.

Amid injuries and suspensions, Rangers listed only six substitutes and midfielder Aribo played in an unfamiliar left-back role.

He looked far from out of place but there was a deliberate ploy from the visitors to attack on the other side with Tavernier, Kent and Hagi - a tactic that stretched the hosts.

What did they say?

Livingston manager David Martindale: "Wee bit disappointed. I'm quite happy with the performance in spells in the game. Rangers were far more clinical in our box.

"We had more than enough chances to take something from the game. We've hit the bar, we've hit the post, we've also had another chance."

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: "Tonight we get the clean sheet record and Saturday gives us the opportunity to go break 100 points, which will round off an incredible league campaign.

"Our record at home has been ever so strong - we just need to go and do the final piece now."

What's next?

Rangers complete their campaign against Aberdeen on Saturday (12:30 BST) while Livingston play their last game of the season away to St Johnstone on Saturday (12:30).

Player of the match

PoplatnikMatej Poplatnik

with an average of 7.93

Livingston

  1. Squad number15Player namePoplatnik
    Average rating

    7.93

  2. Squad number6Player nameBartley
    Average rating

    7.04

  3. Squad number21Player nameMcMillan
    Average rating

    6.94

  4. Squad number25Player nameEfe Ambrose
    Average rating

    6.92

  5. Squad number37Player nameKabia
    Average rating

    6.75

  6. Squad number5Player nameFitzwater
    Average rating

    6.65

  7. Squad number18Player nameHolt
    Average rating

    6.53

  8. Squad number9Player nameEmmanuel-Thomas
    Average rating

    6.42

  9. Squad number10Player nameSibbald
    Average rating

    6.39

  10. Squad number8Player namePittman
    Average rating

    6.39

  11. Squad number28Player nameDiani
    Average rating

    6.35

  12. Squad number23Player nameLongridge
    Average rating

    6.31

  13. Squad number27Player nameGuthrie
    Average rating

    6.30

  14. Squad number14Player nameMullin
    Average rating

    6.28

  15. Squad number2Player nameDevlin
    Average rating

    6.11

  16. Squad number32Player nameStryjek
    Average rating

    5.91

Rangers

  1. Squad number14Player nameKent
    Average rating

    6.60

  2. Squad number10Player nameDavis
    Average rating

    6.53

  3. Squad number2Player nameTavernier
    Average rating

    6.49

  4. Squad number7Player nameHagi
    Average rating

    6.32

  5. Squad number9Player nameDefoe
    Average rating

    6.26

  6. Squad number20Player nameMorelos
    Average rating

    6.24

  7. Squad number6Player nameGoldson
    Average rating

    6.21

  8. Squad number18Player nameKamara
    Average rating

    6.16

  9. Squad number17Player nameAribo
    Average rating

    6.15

  10. Squad number33Player nameMcLaughlin
    Average rating

    6.14

  11. Squad number11Player nameItten
    Average rating

    6.10

  12. Squad number25Player nameRoofe
    Average rating

    6.06

  13. Squad number61Player nameKing
    Average rating

    5.92

  14. Squad number4Player nameSimpson
    Average rating

    5.91

  15. Squad number23Player nameWright
    Average rating

    5.87

  16. Squad number24Player nameStewart
    Average rating

    5.85

Line-ups

Livingston

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 32StryjekBooked at 42mins
  • 2Devlin
  • 5FitzwaterSubstituted forAmbroseat 85'minutes
  • 27Guthrie
  • 23Longridge
  • 8PittmanBooked at 31mins
  • 18HoltSubstituted forBartleyat 60'minutes
  • 10SibbaldSubstituted forMcMillanat 60'minutes
  • 28Diani
  • 14MullinSubstituted forKabiaat 60'minutes
  • 9Emmanuel-ThomasSubstituted forPoplatnikat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Lithgow
  • 6Bartley
  • 11Forrest
  • 12Serrano
  • 15Poplatnik
  • 21McMillan
  • 25Ambrose
  • 37Kabia
  • 40Maley

Rangers

Formation 4-3-3

  • 33McLaughlin
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 4SimpsonBooked at 23mins
  • 17AriboSubstituted forKingat 86'minutes
  • 18Kamara
  • 7HagiSubstituted forStewartat 86'minutes
  • 10Davis
  • 25RoofeSubstituted forIttenat 80'minutes
  • 20MorelosBooked at 30minsSubstituted forDefoeat 80'minutes
  • 14KentSubstituted forWrightat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1McGregor
  • 9Defoe
  • 11Itten
  • 23Wright
  • 24Stewart
  • 61King
Referee:
Don Robertson

Match Stats

Home TeamLivingstonAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home29%
Away71%
Shots
Home9
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away5
Corners
Home1
Away5
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Livingston 0, Rangers 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Livingston 0, Rangers 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cedric Itten (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Connor Goldson following a corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Efe Ambrose.

  5. Post update

    Hand ball by Greg Stewart (Rangers).

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jon Guthrie (Livingston) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jaze Kabia with a cross following a set piece situation.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Connor Goldson (Rangers).

  8. Post update

    Matej Poplatnik (Livingston) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Cedric Itten (Rangers).

  10. Post update

    Marvin Bartley (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Leon Thomson King replaces Joe Aribo.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Greg Stewart replaces Ianis Hagi.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jon Guthrie (Livingston) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jaze Kabia with a cross following a corner.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Livingston. Efe Ambrose replaces Jack Fitzwater.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Livingston. Conceded by James Tavernier.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Scott Wright replaces Ryan Kent.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Livingston 0, Rangers 3. Ianis Hagi (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Cedric Itten.

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Foul by Scott Pittman (Livingston).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Cedric Itten replaces Kemar Roofe.

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