Clinical Rangers Pick Up The Points At Ibrox

RANGERS produced a stunning performance on Remembrance Day at Ibrox, with Scott Arfield, Kemar Roofe (2), Joe Aribo (2), James Tavernier (2) and substitute Brandon Barker on target in a memorable 8-0 victory over Hamilton Academical.

Brian Rice’s players would have arrived at the stadium hoping to take something from this Scottish Premiership fixture, but between the 15th and 19th minutes they let their concentration slip and the Light Blues took full advantage, scoring three goals during this period.

Arfield and Roofe both found the net having returned to Steven Gerrard’s starting eleven before Aribo made it 3-0. From there it only got worse for the visitors.

Nigeria internationalist Aribo then added a fourth with 35 minutes played and it could have been more in the first half, with Rangers enjoying 78 percent possession and having 13 attempts on goal, with eight on target, before the break.

The second half saw Bongani Zungu make his Gers debut and his side continued to show their class, with Roofe making it 5-0 nine minutes after the restart.

Substitute Brandon Barker bagged his side’s sixth with a well-taken finish before man of the match Tavernier scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season – the first from the penalty spot – as Rangers continued to play with impressive aggression and quality.

After a minute’s silence was observed for our fallen heroes, Gerrard’s team started the match in a positive manner, with Tavernier swinging in a wicked back-post cross from the right which was nervously put out of play by Lee Hodson.

From the corner that followed Borna Barisic delivered and a left-foot shot from Connor Goldson was heading for the top corner but Ryan Fulton flicked the ball over the bar impressively.

The Accies goalkeeper was being kept on his toes in the early stages and he again did well to palm away a powerful Tavernier drive from distance before Defoe put an effort wide from similar range.

The opening goal was always going to be crucial in this match and Rangers got it with just 15 minutes on the clock.

A mix-up between Hamilton’s centre-halves Hakeem Odoffin and Ben Stirling allowed Defoe to intelligently release Ryan Kent on the left flank. He waited before providing a perfect cut-back for the onrushing Arfield who coolly slotted home for 1-0.

Goal number two arrived two minutes later to stun the visitors. Tavernier again put in a fantastic cross and Roofe rose to bullet a fine header back across goal and into the far corner of the net.

Hamilton were now up against it and within 60 second Rangers had found the net for a third time with a combination of great play and a little bit of luck.

Aribo made a powerful run from deep after receiving the ball and when he cut inside from the right his left-foot shot took a deflection off Scott McMann before it beat the helpless and frustrated Fulton.

It was relentless, attacking football from the league leaders with Hamilton under constant pressure from a side in great form and high in confidence.

On 35 minutes the fourth goal arrived and it was Aribo who claimed his second of the game.

Once again Tavernier was involved when he curled in a beautiful, low cross and although there were no takers Roofe was able to collect it before it ran out of play. He teed up Aribo who launched a shot high into the roof of the net.

The half ended with Fulton again making a good stop, this time from Arfield’s netbound shot, before he, and his Hamilton teammates, walked dejectedly up the Ibrox tunnel.

Zungu and Calvin Bassey went on for Ryan Jack and Borna Barisic for the start of the second half, and Rangers continued where they left off and never looked like taking their foot off the gas.

On 54 minutes Roofe made it 5-0 from close range after Kent had crossed to Defoe and his effort clipped the post before falling for the former Anderlecht forward.

Another substitute, Brandon Barker, then added a sixth with an ice cool right-foot finish after the hour mark following excellent build up play from the marauding Bassey and a clever assist from Defoe.

On 64 minutes, Defoe was brought down in the 18-yard box.

Referee Steven McLean rightly awarded a penalty and Tavernier went down the middle with his perfectly-taken spot kick.

The captain was leading the way on the pitch with his powerful running and desire to get forward and four minutes after his penalty he made it 8-0 when he was first to react in the box to blast home a shot after Roofe had an effort saved.

That was to be the end of the scoring but this was to be a perfect afternoon for Gerrard’s men prior to the international break as they produced one of their best performances of the season against a Hamilton side that had no answer to the quality the Light Blues showed throughout this one-sided contest.

RANGERS: McLaughlin; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic (Bassey 45), Aribo (Hagi 69), Jack (Zungu 45), Arfield (Itten 73), Roofe, Defoe, Kent (Barker 58)

SUBS NOT USED: McGregor, Helander, Kamara, Morelos

GOALS: Arfield 16, Roofe 18, Aribo 19, 36, Roofe 54, Barker 62, Tavernier 65pen, 69

HAMILTON: Fulton; Hodson, Odoffin, Stirling, Easton, McMann, Collar, Hughes (Smith 55), Callachan (Mimnaugh 71), Ogkmpoe (Winter 55), Moyo

SUBS NOT USED: Gourlay, Stanger, Martin, Smith, Johnson, Thomas

BOOKINGS: Moyo, Callachan

REF: Steven McLean

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