|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
RANGERS made it three wins from three in the Scottish Premiership with what was another very routine win over St Johnstone here at Ibrox tonight.
A sublime Borna Barisic free-kick had Gers ahead before Ryan Kent rounded off a fine move to put the home side 2-0 up at the break.
Joe Aribo made it three soon after the break as the Light Blues continued their excellent start to the season with another victory.
On what was an incredibly warm evening in Govan, boss Steven Gerrard entrusted the same XI to take-on the Saints.
And indeed, it was the visitors who had the opening chance of the game on five minutes – Callum Hendry showing some lovely touches around the edge of the area before going for goal and forcing Jon McLaughlin into a smart early save down to his right.
Ryan Kent responded with a shot from distance which went over goalkeeper Elliot Parish’s bar, but Callum Davidson’s side were well-organised and doing well to limit the Light Blues’ forays into their territory.
It looked like it would take something a little bit special to break the deadlock – and that’s exactly how it panned out with Borna Barisic striking a stunning free-kick on 21 minutes.
Alfredo Morelos was fouled 25-yards from goal, slightly to the right of centre. Barisic had plenty to do to get it up and over the wall, but he did so beautifully, and so far was Parish from keeping it out he didn’t even bother extending an arm.
The goal certainly settled Gerrard’s men, and they began to spray the ball about quickly and with real purpose, and on the end of that, both Alfredo Morelos and James Tavernier had efforts on goal from distance.
A super Ryan Kent cross then needed only a touch from a blue jersey as it flashed across the face of goal, before Kent got on the end of a super Barisic ball to make it 2-0 right on half-time.
It was another stunning goal from Gers on the end of a fabulous move. Joe Aribo broke the lines brilliantly to find Ianis Hagi in space, and in one move, he turned and played a super pass left for Barisic.
The Croatian’s brilliant night was extended as he delivered a sublime cross for Kent, and he applied the finish from 14-yards out to put Gers two to the good at the interval.
Half-time saw Filip Helander come on to replace Leon Balogun at centre-half, and within three minutes of the restart, the Light Blues were in for a third, with Parish denying Morelos at the end of another super move which Aribo showed great skill to cross for the Colombian.
Aribo was to go one better than setting one up, however, grabbing a third from the resulting corner. James Tavernier spotted his run and found him at the near post to bullet home and hand the home side an even greater cushion.
Helander came close to a fourth soon after, getting on the end of a Barisic free-kick cross from the left, before on the hour mark, Gerrard used the remaining four of his five per substitutions.
Steven Davis replaced Ryan Kent, Scott Arfield came on for Joe Aribo, Cedric Itten swapped for Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe was handed a debut, coming on for Ryan Jack.
Jon McLaughlin made a super save to deny Isaac Olaofe what would only have been a consolation from point-blank range, while Roofe was denied a debut goal by a fine block from Parish in goal for the visitors.
So 3-0 is how it finished once again – and Gers are off to Livingston on Sunday as they look to make it four on the bounce.
RANGERS: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, Hagi, Jack (Roofe, 60), Kent (Davis, 60), Aribo (Arfield, 65) Kamara, Morelos (Itten, 60), Balogun (Helander, 45), Barisic.
SUBS: Firth, Bassey, Patterson, Barker,
ST JOHNSTONE: Parish, Kerr, McCart, Gordon, Conway (Olaofe, 62), Wotherspoon, Craig (Rooney 62), Hendry (Robertson, 76), Booth (Tanser, 76), McNamara, McCann.
SUBS: Sinclair, Duffy, Ballanyne.
Match report was originally posted here.