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Summary

  1. Lee Erwin gives Motherwell lead
  2. Stephen McManus heads in a second
  3. Lionel Ainsworth scores third just after half-time
  4. Darren McGregor heads one back for Rangers
  5. Rangers aiming for third successive promotion
  6. Motherwell have been in top flight since 1985

Live Reporting

By Colin Moffat

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Motherwell celebrate going 3-0 up

    I'll sign off now. Remember you can see highlights online from midnight and on Sportscene, which starts at 23:50 on BBC Two Scotland.

    Congratulations to Motherwell on a fine victory at Ibrox. Sunday's second leg should be a belter!

  2. Post update

    Just to recap, Lee Erwin and Stephen McManus scored to give Motherwell a 2-0 interval lead following a strong start from Rangers. Lionel Ainsworth added a third early in the second half, which really knocked the stuffing out of the hosts. However, Rangers rallied late on and a Darren McGregor goal gives them something to fight for in Sunday's second leg.

  3. Post update

    Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough

    "It was becoming a long night. Rangers were throwing everything at us but it was a fantastic performance. We came here with a game plan and we executed it. Everyone showed what they can do, I knew we had a performance coming.

    "We needed to be patient and pick the right passes at the right time. It's probably the best performance in my time and we'll need another one on Sunday. Nobody is getting ahead of themselves."

  4. Post update

    Motherwell deserve a huge slap on the back for that performance. They soaked up a lot of pressure, George Long made a string of impressive saves and they knocked in three goals away from home. Not bad for a team supposedly low on confidence...

  5. Post update

    Sorry to remind Hibs fans of last year's play-off, but the Edinburgh side had a two-goal lead going into their home leg of the final and managed to blow it; going down after a penalty shoot-out with Hamilton Accies.

  6. Post update

    BBC Sportsound pundit Derek Ferguson

    "It was a strange game and it shows you how quickly things can turn. I thought it was done and dusted at 3-0 but maybe that goal from Darren McGregor has just kept it alive."

  7. Post update

    Motherwell defender Stephen McManus

    "We've given ourselves a half-decent chance but we know it's going to be tough, we know how good Rangers are. It was a real team performance from us. Some of us have been around a long time and know this tie is still open."

  8. FULL-TIME

    Rangers 1-3 Motherwell

    A huge step in the direction of Premiership survival for Motherwell as they take a two-goal cushion into Sunday's second leg at Fir Park.

  9. Post update

    Rangers fire a free-kick into the mixer as the four minutes of added time are up. Motherwell scramble it clear...

  10. CLOSE!

    Defender Stephen McManus, scorer of Motherwell's second goal, is a relieved man as a Haris Vuckic effort spins off him in a congested penalty area and flies inches wide.

  11. CLOSE!

    Haris Vuckic drives at the retreating Motherwell defence as we enter stoppage time and slams a low, angled shot narrowly wide.

  12. DISALLOWED GOAL

    Kris Boyd brings down a cross from Andy Murdoch on his chest and rifles the ball home from seven yards but the striker had edged offside and the assistant's flag was up nice and early.

  13. SUBSTITUTION

    Lee Erwin, scorer of the evening's opening goal, is off and Craig Moore is on to help see this one out for Motherwell.

  14. Post update

    Rangers have their tails up now as Motherwell are forced deeper and deeper. The visitors have six men strung across the 18-yard line and another four just in front of them.

  15. SUBSTITUTION

    Just before that goal, Motherwell made a change, replacing midfielder Stephen Pearson with defender Simon Ramsden.

  16. GOAL

    Rangers 1-3 Motherwell (McGregor)

    A few home fans have missed this one as they head home early. Nicky Law floats in a corner and Darren McGregor is up early to bullet a header in. Will that lift Rangers for a grandstand finish?

  17. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Dean Glass on Twitter: "I think a lot of us owe motherwell an apology for underestimating them! #bbcscotfootball"

    Anthony Duncan on Twitter: "@BBCSportsound dont you think we are over hyping Hearts for next season seeing how bad Rangers are ?? #bbcscotfootball"

  18. Post update

    No, Stuart McCall hasn't forgotten he's no longer Motherwell manager as he ploughs into the opposition technical area. He's simply determined to retrieve the ball and get play started again as quickly as possible. Ian Baraclough isn't perturbed in the slightest, giving his opposite number a friendly pat on the back.

  19. GREAT SAVE!

    George Long stops a header from Kris Boyd

    George Long is having some night! Richard Foster swings in a cross for Kris Boyd to meet with a thumping header at the back post but the Motherwell keeper is somehow able to keep it out with his outstretched arms.

  20. SUBSTITUTION

    Now Motherwell make a change as we enter the final 20 minutes, with Stevie Hammell replaced at left-back by Anthony Straker.

  21. SUBSTITUTION

    Shane Ferguson is on for his Rangers debut, having arrived injured from Newcastle in January. He's only played two games all season as far as I can see, both internationals for Northern Ireland. Defender Marius Zaliukas is the man to make way.

  22. Post update

    Motherwell are in the hunt for goal number four as Lionel Ainsworth blazes a shot high over the crossbar, with the Rangers defence all at sea trying to defend a low delivery from Marvin Johnson.

  23. YELLOW CARD

    Motherwell defender Louis Laing goes in the book for a clumsy hack at Kenny Miller.

  24. Post update

    Tom Walsh looks to inspire his more experienced team-mates as he goes it alone but the Rangers substitute's strike from distance is a long way off target.

  25. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Kaptain.OFF ‏on Twitter: "#bbcscotfootball Motherwell got their tactics spot on. Great counter-attacking football."

    Robbie Devenney on Twitter: "At what time will league reconstruction be brought up tomorrow? I am going for 9.07am #bbcscotfootball"

  26. Post update

    There are just 950 Motherwell fans packed into a small corner of the stadium but they are making quite a racket as Lionel Ainsworth sets up a corner kick in front of them. The home supporters have gone very quiet as the visitors continue to look sharp on the break.

  27. SUBSTITUTION

    And that was to be Nicky Clark's last contribution, with Kris Boyd taking his place up front.

  28. Post update

    Tom Walsh gets a nice early touch as the 18-year-old pings in a cross from the right for Nicky Clark to head high and wide.

  29. SUBSTITUTION

    Rangers make a change, with teenager Tom Walsh on for Dean Shiels.

  30. PENALTY APPEAL

    The home fans are screaming for a penalty as the ball pops up off Marvin Johnson's knee and strikes his hand. Nothing doing from referee Bobby Madden... It was very similar to the Dean Shiels incident at Easter Road on Saturday and Rangers got the benefit of the doubt on that occasion.

  31. GREAT SAVE!

    Rangers respond as Haris Vuckic races on to a throw-in and it needs a good save from George Long at his near post to deny the Slovenian playmaker.

  32. GOAL

    Rangers 0-3 Motherwell (Ainsworth)

    Lionel Ainsworth

    Is that game over? Stephen Pearson bounds forward through the middle of the park and slips a pass to Lee Erwin. The Motherwell striker then cuts inside and lays off a pass to Lionel Ainsworth, who smashes home a low shot from the edge of the penalty box. It went right through keeper Cammy Bell but the ball was really moving...

  33. KICK-OFF

    Motherwell get us back up and running...

  34. Post update

    Here come Motherwell, with a spring in their step, for the second half. The home side follow 30 seconds or so later and get a rousing reception from the packed stands.

  35. Post update

    You'll need to stay up late if you want to see highlights of this match. Sportscene is on BBC Two Scotland at 23:50 and there will be online highlights available from midnight.

  36. Post update

    And what next for Motherwell? Do the visitors sit in and protect their lead? A third goal would surely kill the tie ahead of Sunday's second leg at Fir Park. "Same again, lads," will be the message from manager Ian Baraclough.

  37. Post update

    How do Rangers respond to this setback? The subs are out warming up but there's not much there in terms of attacking options. Will forgotten man Kris Boyd get the chance to be a hero?

  38. HALF-TIME

    Rangers 0-2 Motherwell

    Motherwell lead 2-0 at the interval

    Loud boos ring out at Ibrox as the teams trot up the tunnel. Motherwell were under the cosh for 25 minutes but goals from Lee Erwin and Stephen McManus have put the visitors in control of this tie.

  39. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    David B on Twitter: "Pleasantly surprised so far, Motherwell seem to be back on form #bbcscotfootball"

  40. Post update

    Stephen McManus takes a big risk with a header back to his goalkeeper and Kenny Miller is haring after it. Out comes George Long with a brave, diving punch and he clatters into the advancing striker.

  41. Post update

    Nicky Clark gets in between two Motherwell defenders to meet a lovely cross from Lee Wallace but makes a hash of header from 10 yards, knocking the ball down and wide.

  42. GOAL

    Rangers 0-2 Motherwell (McManus)

    Stephen McManus scored the second goal for Motherwell

    The visitors extend their lead in simple fashion as Marvin Johnson drives in a free-kick from the right and Stephen McManus gets across his marker to steer a strong header into the corner of the net.

  43. Post update

    The ball is rolled short to Scott McDonald but the Motherwell striker's weak, curling effort is easily gathered by Cammy Bell.

  44. YELLOW CARD

    Darren McGregor is cautioned for chopping down Lee Erwin and Motherwell line up a free-kick 25 yards out.

  45. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Jeremy Wood on Twitter: "#bbcscotfootball Rangers luck finally running out? Meeting a team that can score this time. #COYM"

  46. CLOSE!

    Rangers threaten from a corner as Darren McGregor's header is saved by the diving George Long. The loose ball falls to Nicky Clark, who can only shoot straight at the legs of the grounded keeper. A bit more composure required there...

  47. Post update

    Rangers are caught short of numbers at the back as Motherwelll speed forward but Stephen Pearson's pass for Lionel Ainsworth is a bit too beefy and blue shirts get back to scramble clear the winger's eventual cross.

  48. CLOSE!

    Lee Erwin is causing Rangers all sorts of trouble now as he gets his head to a corner kick from eight yards and it bounces off Lee Wallace on its way just past the post.

  49. GOAL

    Rangers 0-1 Motherwell (Erwin)

    Lee Erwin (left) celebrates his Motherwell goal

    Lee Erwin is mobbed by his Motherwell team-mates after cutting in from right and letting fly with a shot, which takes a huge deflection off Darren McGregor's dangling leg to give keeper Cammy Bell no chance.

  50. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Leigh Wilson on Twitter: "Rangers playing well. They just don't have that cutting edge in the final third #bbcscotfootball #Rangers"

  51. Post update

    Lee Erwin gets his head to a Josh Law delivery near the penalty spot but it catches the Motherwell striker near his ear and trundles into the arms of Cammy Bell.

  52. GREAT SAVE!

    Richard Foster races down the right and his cut-back causes mayhem in the Motherwell box as Stephen McManus and Keith Lasley get in a tangle. The ball breaks to Nicky Law and his powerful, rising strike is beaten away by George Long.

  53. Post update

    Rangers continue to hog the ball, with Lee Wallace prominent down the left, but the visitors are working hard to protect their penalty box.

  54. CLOSE!

    Vintage Kenny Miller... The Rangers striker prods the ball beyond Stephen Pearson then darts past Keith Lasley and takes aim for the far corner with a curling shot from 22 yards. With keeper George Long at full-stretch, the ball fizzes narrowly wide.

  55. Post update

    Motherwell make their first meaningful foray up the park, with Marvin Johnson whipping in a good, low cross from deep and goalkeeper Cammy Bell needs to be alert to smother the danger.

  56. Post update

    Lee Wallace bombs down the left to meet a pass from Nicky Law but the full-back's inviting cross flashes across goal without finding a team-mate.

  57. Post update

    It's been a confident start from the home side, who are knocking the ball from flank to flank in search of an opening.

  58. Post update

    Louis Laing has the ball taken off his toes by Rangers striker Nicky Clark on the right edge of the penalty box and Josh Law is over like a flash to bail out his team-mate with a good block.

  59. KICK-OFF

    Referee Bobby Madden peeps his whistle and Rangers get us started.

  60. Post update

    It's loud. Very loud. The teams are out and exchanging perfunctory handshakes.

  61. Post update

    Motherwell have been in top flight since 1985 but their record against Rangers does not make for pleasant reading. The Steelmen lost 2-0 at Ibrox on their last visit; a League Cup tie in 2012.

    You need to go back to 2002 for 'Well's last victory in this fixture and it was 1997 when an Owen Coyle double last gave the men in claret and amber victory in the southside of Glasgow.

  62. Post update

    BBC Scotland's Richard Wilson at Ibrox

    "Motherwell look as though they're going to try to play on the front foot at Ibrox, with Ian Baraclough sending out his side with two wingers in Ainsworth and Johnson. Rangers are starting with Miller, Clark and Vuckic, which suggests there will be goals in the first leg. Both defences will be under pressure and both have been flawed this season. Drama is inevitable."

  63. Post update

    Of course, Stuart McCall is not the only link between the sides since we have a spot of sibling rivalry thrown into the mix as well.

    Like his manager, Nicky Law is up against his former team, having spent two seasons at Fir Park. But he is also going up against wee brother Josh, who moved to the Lanarkshire club last summer.

    Nicky and Josh share a flat, so the atmosphere might have been a bit tense over the last few days. And, if there wasn't enough spice already, Josh is getting married next week. Can you guess who the best man is?

  64. Post update

    That looks like a very positive line-up from the visitors, with two wingers and two strikers. Old-stagers Keith Lasley and Stephen Pearson will be the ones sitting tight in the middle of the park.

  65. Post update

    It's harder to characterise Motherwell since they have been so up and down but their league position certainly indicates more downs than ups.

    Back-to-back victories marked the arrival of boss Ian Baraclough in late December, then came a run of seven defeats and one draw. Three successive wins gave them hope in early April but there was only one more success in the final six matches of their Premiership campaign.

  66. Post update

    Defensively, the men in blue have been dogged and determined, while McCall has instilled a rigid organisation that was sorely missing under his predecessors this term; Kenny McDowall and Ally McCoist.

  67. Post update

    Rangers have been solid and pragmatic on their way to two victories, one draw and one loss in those play-off battles.

    However, the five goals scored along the way have all been impressive and there have been flashes of creativity, the main source of which has been Haris Vuckic.

    It's fair to say Mike Ashley is not the most popular chap with Rangers fans, due to various off-field shenanigans, but it was the Newcastle owner's influence that brought the Slovenian playmaker to Glasgow in January. The 22-year-old has knocked in nine goals and tends to be heavily involved in most of the team's best attacking work.

  68. Post update

    Stuart McCall served Rangers with distinction as a player, winning six titles in his seven seasons at Ibrox, and he's done a pretty good job since he stepped in as manager in mid-March.

    He's lost just two games in that time and Rangers are the last ones standing from the Championship, having seen off Queen of the South and Hibernian in this play-off race.

  69. Post update

    Ibrox is a sell-out tonight but there's a bit of snarl up on the major roads leading to the stadium. At the moment, there are no plans to alter the 19:45 kick-off.

  70. Post update

    Rangers midfielder Dean Shiels
  71. Post update

    Scott McDonald
  72. Post update

    Rangers revert to a more attacking line-up at home as striker Nicky replaces skipper Lee McCulloch.

    Motherwell bring back a host of experienced players who were rested for Saturday's 0-0 at home with Partick Thistle, including captain Keith Lasley and striker Scott McDonald.

  73. LINE-UPS FROM IBROX

    Rangers: Bell; Foster, McGregor, Zaliukas, Wallace; Vuckic, Murdoch, Shiels, Law; Miller, Clark. Subs: Robinson, Smith, McCulloch, Black, Boyd, Ferguson, Walsh.

    Motherwell: Long, Hammell, Law, McManus, Laing, Ainsworth, Lasley, Erwin, Johnson, Pearson, McDonald. Subs: Twardzik, Ramsden, Sutton, Moore, Watt, Straker, Grant.

  74. Post update

    Stuart McCall

    Stuart McCall started the season as manager of Motherwell and now he is intent on relegating the club he steered to three consecutive top-three finishes.

    Motherwell were second bottom when McCall resigned in November and that's where they ended up, so they take on Rangers over two games for a place in the top flight next season.

    Welcome to the first leg of the Scottish Premiership play-off.