In an enjoyable charity match, Ronny Johnsen put the visitors ahead with a well-worked goal in the early stages.
But the home side hit back through a trademark Jorg Albertz screamer, arguably one of the best strikes seen in Govan over the course of the 2012/13 season.
It would always take something special to beat that and, true to form, McCoist did what he does best with a second-half brace to win the game.
Alex Rae then completed the scoring late in the game with a good low effort that sneaked inside the far post.
The contest was watched by a crowd of 23,177 fans, with proceeds going to the Rangers Charity Foundation and UNICEF.
Reading the team sheet before the game began was like scanning a who’s who of the most successful players in British football over the last 20 years.
Turning out for the hosts, star turns such as Brian Laudrup, Richard Gough, Andy Goram, Lorenzo Amoruso and Albertz all won so much in their spells at Ibrox.
United’s squad itself wasn’t bad either, with Denis Irwin, Raimond van der Gouw, Dwight Yorke, David May and Johnsen all involved in their 1999 Champions League win.
Less than two minutes into the contest, Novo very nearly had the perfect start as he had the first chance of the match.
Laudrup broke out of defence and had an opportunity to run at the defence and make an opening for himself.
Instead he threaded through for Novo, whose intentions were perhaps too obvious as he shaped and shot to the right corner only to see Raimond van der Gouw save.
The Spaniard did have the ball in the net moments later with a smart lobbed finish but this time it was after referee Euan Anderson’s offside whistle had already gone.
United were more patient in their approach but full of tricks and flicks, it was Yorke who set up their opener after 17 minutes.
Rangers failed to deal with a corner properly and the ex-Trinidad and Tobago striker’s backheel found Johnsen, who passed coolly into the net.
Alex Rae tried to get the teams back on level terms with a drilled shot from the edge of the area which sneaked just wide.
Johnsen then came close to grabbing his second with a header which looped over Goram and over the bar too.
All of that was the prelude for a stunning equaliser from Albertz, who lived up to his nickname by hammering home to make it 1-1.
He rifled home from 25 yards and although van der Gouw got a hand to his blistering effort, there was no chance he was keeping it out.
Albertz very nearly doubled his tally as the interval approached and another rapid attempt flew just over this time.
Novo also found himself in space again after beating two men but his finish was off the mark when he only had van der Gouw to beat.
Rangers had the best of the first period and it was the same after the break as Novo and McCoist, on as a substitute, both tried their luck but without success.
As we’ve all known for long enough, however, it’s rare that time passes by without the manager making some kind of impact.
And with a quarter of the match to go McCoist put Gers ahead with a good finish from 18 yards which looked like it took a slight deflection on the way past van der Gouw.
Novo should have added a third but with all the time in the world to think about it, he hit the target and – unfortunately for him – the keeper too.
Instead, it was McCoist who made it 3-1 as he pulled rank over Albertz when a free kick was given and his effort skidded off the surface low into the net from 25 yards.
Rae then sealed a deserved victory five minutes from the end for Walter Smith’s side, who could have won by more as they provided plenty of entertainment on their way to their success.
RANGERS: Goram; Konterman, Gough, Amoruso, Numan; Rae, McCall, Albertz; Novo, Mols, Laudrup.
SUBS: Andrews, Durie, Hateley, McCoist, Steven, McSwegan.
MANCHESTER UNITED: van der Gouw; Martin, Berg, Dublin, Irwin; Johnsen, Fortune, Sharpe; Yorke, Beardsley.
SUBS: Anderson, Thomas, May, Robson.
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