Gers Dismantle Dundee United

RANGERS roared out of the international break with a comprehensive dismantling of Dundee United at Ibrox this afternoon.

Ryan Kent, James Tavernier, Kemar Roofe and Scott Arfield all netted in the rout for Gers’ sixth win from seven league matches so far, while they also set a new Scottish top-flight record by opening the campaign with seven clean sheets on the bounce.

Manager Gerrard had named one change to his starting XI, with Leon Balogan coming in for Fil Helander – although just prior to kick, off Helander swapped back in for Balogan. There was then a further alteration then just 11 minutes in, with Ryan Jack having to be replaced by Glen Kamara.

Those changes didn’t at all perturb the Light Blues, however, and they grabbed a stunning opening goal on 13 minutes. Ianis Hagi picked up slightly to the left of goal, and nutmegged Ryan Edwards to play-in Ryan Kent, who was just in front of him inside the area. He had so much to do with Lewis Neilson in front of him, but Kent turned him inside out to work the angle for the shot, before Scotland’s Player of the Month for August pulled-off a nutmeg of his own, calmly placing the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist to hand Gers that early lead they always crave.

They continued to press for more, but they were then dealt another blow on 19 minutes, with Brandon Barker pulling-up. Alfredo Morelos came on to replace him. Fil Helander was to head a Ryan Kent corner over at the back post before, on 38 minutes, Rangers grabbed a deserved second.

Borna Barisic’s cross from the left took a slight nick off Luke Bolton, and that was to carry it all the way to the back post. Sliding in there were both Morelos and James Tavernier, with the skipper, on his 250th Rangers appearance, getting the final touch to carry it into the back of the net. It ensured Gers had a cushion at half-time, and they started the second half looking for even more.

Kemar Roofe was denied by an excellent save from Siegrist as United struggled to get out, before Hagi fired over a Morelos ball dropped into the back post on the stretch. Kent missed a super opportunity from close-range at the end of a fabulous passing move between Tavernier and Roofe before Rangers suffered another injury blow. Ryan Edwards followed through on Alfredo Morelos in a challenge, hurting the Gers striker and forcing a lengthy stoppage in play. Morelos had to be carried off, and Scott Arfield came on to replace him while Calvin Bassey was subbed on for Borna Barisic.

The long stoppage didn’t upset the home side’s momentum, however, with Siegrest making a fine double save from Hagi and then, with almost his first touch, a rocket of a shot from Calvin Bassey. The pressure was to finally tell on the stretched United defence on 68 minutes, though, at the end of another flowing Gers move.

The ball eventually reached Scott Arfield on the edge of the area, and he drove for goal – and while Siegrist looked poised to save, Kemar Roofe popped up to divert it beyond the ‘keeper for his second Gers goal and the Light Blues’ third of the afternoon.

And Gerrard’s men didn’t stop there. Arfield came close again on the end of a Connor Goldson cross – the centre half having stayed forward from a corner. Siegrest again came to the visitors’ rescue, blocking from Arfield after Roofe put him through, before United threatened really for the first time in the game on 86 minutes, Ian Harkes cracking the crossbar on the volley from 18-yards out.

Rangers were, however, to grab a massively merited fourth on 87 minutes, and it came from Scott Arfield – the Canadian captain having been outstanding since coming on. Ianis Hagi broke away down the right and slipped it inside for Arfield who curled a brilliant effort from just inside the area beyond Siegrist for 4-0.

RANGERS: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, Hagi, Jack (Kamara, 11), Davis, Kent, Barker (Morelos, 22(Arfield, 58), Roofe, Helander, Barisic (Bassey, 58).

SUBS NOT USED: Firth, Edmundson, Itten, Patterson, Stewart