3 - 1Full Time
KO 45 62 70 73 82 94 FT
RANGERS showed massive character to come from behind and defeat a well-drilled Motherwell at Ibrox this afternoon.
Trailing to an early Callum Lang strike, Gers scored on the 73rd, 82nd and 94th minutes through Kemar Roofe, Cedric Itten and then Roofe again to claim a thoroughly merited three points.
Yes, it was late – but it was no more than Steven Gerrard’s side deserved for the way they stuck to their game plan and kept moving the ball to eventually find the gaps they were looking for.
Gers began the game brightly, and forced the first opportunity inside two minutes. Lovely intricate play from Roofe saw him find Defoe with his back to goal just inside the area. He spun his man and got a shot away which goalkeeper Jordan Archer couldn’t hold, but Liam Grimshaw cleared the danger before the incoming James Tavernier could finish.
Defoe then had another effort from outside the area which slipped just by, but on their first attack, it was Motherwell who hit the front on six minutes.
James Tavernier sent a 20-yard free-kick over the bar as Gers looked to respond, while Archer had to turn behind a clever Defoe flick on the end of a Connor Goldson ball forward.
Steven Davis then played one for Ryan Kent to nod just wide with Archer beaten, while the goalkeeper gathered a Roofe effort on the spin.
The chances were starting to mount, Tavernier the next to pass one up on the end of a wonderful Barisic cross which he couldn’t quite turn in.
Aribo set up Roofe for an opportunity at the front post which Grimshaw did well to nip in and clear, while the offside flag denied Steven Davis the equaliser as he got the break of the ball from a Kent effort.
Allan Campbell then made a fine block to deny Defoe, while Archer held on to a deflected Davis effort.
Finally, the pressure told on 73 minutes with Kemar Roofe firing in an equaliser. James Tavernier’s super cross evaded Bevis Mugabe at the back post and dropped for Ryan Kent. Kent did superbly well to get the ball under control and feed Roofe, who turned and fired beyond Archer from close-range.
On 82 minutes, however, Gers did hit the front – and it was Cedric Itten grabbing his first goal at Ibrox.
James Tavernier’s corner evaded everyone in the middle and bounced up beautifully for the big Swiss striker at the back post, and he kept his composure to guide a header into the back of the net.
It was just rewards for the Light Blues who again showed the hard work they put in day-in, day-out on the training field.
Joe Aribo’s dancing feet took him into the area and he slid it for Roofe to hit from 10-yards out to seal the deal and ensure Gers claimed all three points.
RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Arfield (Hagi, 62), Kamara (Aribo, 45), Davis, Roofe, Kent, Defoe (Itten, 70).
SUBS: McLaughlin, Bassey, Zungu, Patterson, Barker, Stewart.
MOTHERWELL: Archer, Mugabi, Gallagher, Grimshaw (Polworth, 85), O’Donnell, Campbell, Crawford (Cole, 85), O’Hara, Watt (McGinley, 65), Lang (White, 76), Lamie.
SUBS: Chapman, Cornelius, Seedorf, Johnston, Maguire.
REFEREE: Don Robertson
Match report originally posted here.