Rangers 3-0 St Mirren: Steven Gerrard’s unstoppable side are now just ONE POINT away from winning the Scottish Premiership for the first time in 10 years – and it could happen TOMORROW if Celtic don’t beat Dundee United
- Ryan Kent opened the scoring for Steven Gerrard’s side in the 14th minute
- Just two minutes later, star striker Alfredo Morelos doubled Rangers’ lead
- Ianis Hagi scored Rangers’ third just after half-time as the hosts cruised to a win
- If Celtic don’t beat Dundee Utd on Sunday, Rangers will be Scottish champions
Rangers stand on the verge of finally putting a decade of hurt and anguish behind them after a 3-0 win over St Mirren moved Steven Gerrard’s team within touching distance of the title.
Gerrard and his players had to fight their way into Ibrox past thousands of supporters ignoring lockdown rules to celebrate their club’s impending crowning as domestic kings.
And the unbeaten Light Blues did not let their expectant faithful down as goals from Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos – who now has 15 for the season – and Ianis Hagi ensured they cruised to their 28th win from 32 games this term.
Rangers may even get their hands on a trophy they last lifted in 2011 before a financial meltdown forced them to battle back from the Third Division as early as Sunday if Celtic slip up away to Dundee United.
Ianis Hagi (second-left) celebrates his goal, Rangers’ third, in a comfortable win on Saturday
Steven Gerrard, banned from the touchline, watched his side dominate from the stands
Alfredo Morelos put Rangers two goals up inside 16 minutes with an accurate finish
The Colombian scored Rangers’ winner in midweek and was on the scoresheet again here
Ryan Kent opened the scoring for the Gers in the 14th minute against a helpless St Mirren
RANGERS 3-0 ST MIRREN – MATCH FACTS
Rangers: McGregor, Patterson, Goldson, Helander (Balogun 58), Barisic, Kamara, Davis (Arfield 59), Aribo, Hagi (Wright 74), Morelos (Defoe 73), Kent (Stewart 81)
Subs not used: Bassey, Simpson, Itten, McLaughlin
Goals: Kent 14, Morelos 16, Hagi 46
Manager: Steven Gerrard
St Mirren: Alnwick, Fraser, McCarthy, Shaughnessy, Tait, Doyle-Hayes, Erhahon (Reid 88), Connolly (MacPherson 71), McGrath (Flynn 71), Durmus (McAliister 55), Quaner (Obika 55)
Subs not used: Erwin, Lyness, Henderson, Jamieson
Booked: Shaughnessy, McGrath
Manager: Jim Goodwin
Referee: Steven McLean
If not, the Ibrox support can look forward to the dream scenario of finally putting an end to their bitter rival’s reign of dominance at Parkhead when they head to the Hoops’ patch on March 21.
On the sixth anniversary of the boardroom coup which saw Dave King and the Three Bears take control, the Gers support took over the streets to proclaim the long-awaited return of silverware.
The Scottish Government condemned their breach of Covid-19 rules but even the scorn of Holyrood was not going to dampen the mood of jubilation.
Most of the fans had cleared off by the time the game got underway but a small smattering stayed on, hoping to catch a glimpse of their heroes through the gates at the east end of the Main Stand.
And it took just 14 minutes for the sounds of their cheers to flood into stadium as Gers got the party started.
Ilkay Durmus cut out a Glen Kamara cross but his clearance was aimed straight at Connor Goldson, who immediately puts the Buddies back under pressure with a first-time pass into Kent’s feet.
The former Liverpool man faked right before driving left past Jake Doyle-Hayes as he drilled a stunning finish past former Gers keeper Jak Alnwick.
It was the early breakthrough Gers were hoping for but a major blow to St Mirren’s top-six ambitions given they could have sealed their highest finish since 1985 by repeating December’s Betfred Cup upset.
But bad went to worse for Jim Goodwin’s men within two minutes as Gers made it two.
Hagi worked the ball to Kamara 20 yards out, with the Finland midfielder angling a through ball for Morelos.
Rangers supporters broke lockdown restrictions to gather outside Ibrox Stadium on Saturday
Fans were in a party mood as Steven Gerrard’s side inch closer to an historic title triumph
The Colombian was running away from goal yet still found the purchase on the ball to pull off a brilliant finish which squeezed past Alnwick before clipping the far post on its way in for his eighth goal in the last 11 games.
Dylan Connolly could have given Saints a lifeline as he put the foot down to surge past Filip Helander but could only cut his shot wide of the target, while Rangers defender Goldson saw a header creep wide as he met Borna Barisic’s teasing set-piece delivery.
But the points that leave Gers with one hand on the league trophy were sealed just a minute into the second half.
Joe Aribo released Kent down the left and his pass was perfect for Hagi, who needed just one touch before slamming past the helpless Alnwick.
Kent celebrates giving his side the lead with a stunning finish past StMirren keeper Jak Alnwick
Hagi celebrates with a bow after his goal just after half-time after being played in by Kent
Gerrard – watching from the directors box after his run-in with John Beaton at Livingston in midweek – gave a satisfied smile, knowing his long wait for a first ever league title is almost over.
Rangers were heading towards their 30th clean sheet in 45 games this season but needed Allan McGregor to pull off a fine one-handed reaction stop as Jon Obika turned a loose ball towards the top corner.
Alnwick was on form too, denying Scott Arfield and Jermain Defoe late on, but Gers could care less. Their long wait to return to the top of Scottish football is almost over.
Supporters swarmed what is believed to be Gerrard’s car as the Rangers manager made his way to the stadium