RANGERS came from behind to take a point away from Motherwell this afternoon.
Trailing to a Devante Cole opener in the first half, Cedric Itten levelled matters in the second half. Gers had so much of the play, possession and territory, but couldn’t find a way through to secure the victory.
Boss Steven Gerrard named an unchanged side in Lanarkshire, trusting the same XI who delivered a 2-1 victory at Aberdeen seven days ago.
That meant Allan McGregor was in goal with James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun and Borna Barisic in front of him.
Steven Davis reached his 300th game for the club in the midfield today, with Glen Kamara and Joe Aribo beside him.
Up front, Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent played in support of Alfredo Morelos, the Colombian having grabbed both goals at Pittodrie last week.
Motherwell had a couple of early efforts which didn’t overly trouble McGregor, while at the other end, Gers worked it well to have Morelos nod down for the incoming Kamara, but a cluster of claret and amber bodies were able to clear the danger.
Joe Aribo had a 25-yard effort cleared for a corner, but it was the Steelmen who grabbed the lead with 20 minutes played.
Liam Polworth slipped a ball through to Tony Watt just wide of the target, and he cut it back for Devante Cole to slide in and finish well with McGregor stranded.
Gers responded well, and Morelos was inches wide with a header on the end of a super Barisic cross, but while they kept the pressure firmly on the home side, they couldn’t find a way through before the interval.
Into the second half then, and Gers had an early opportunity with Morelos bringing it down for Hagi to shoot just wide from a little inside the area.
Hagi then found Kent with a cross that his fellow 10 couldn’t turn goalwards with his head, while Kent tested home stopper Liam Kelly with a decent low effort from the edge of the area.
Goalscorer Cole prevented Connor Goldson levelling matters with a clearance off the line from the defender on the end of a Tavernier corner. Gers kept the pressure on from there, and Joe Aribo curled an effort over the bar after doing well to work the space for the shot.
Kent picked Tavernier out at the back post to nod across the face of goal, but nobody was following in for Gers to finish into an empty goal, while Goldson tested Kelly with a strike from the edge of the area that the home side were able to scramble away for a corner.
The goal was coming, and on 72 minutes it arrived – and unsurprisingly, it came from substitute Cedric Itten – his fourth goal in three matches against the Fir Parkers.
Borna Barisic dug out a super cross from the left to the back post, and the Swiss international stooped to nod beyond Kelly to bring his side level.
The pressure was kept on by the visitors with Well very much camped in and around their 18-yard box.
Three minutes into stoppage time, a Tavernier cross dropped for Jermain Defoe at the back post, and while he did so well to work space for the shot, Kelly was able to hold on as the match finished all square.
RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic, Kamara, Davis, Aribo. Kent (Barker, 88), Hagi (Itten, 54), Morelos (Defoe, 83).
SUBS NOT USED: McLaughlin, Bassey, Helander, Zungu, Patterson, Stewart.
MOTHERWELL: Kelly, Carroll, Campbell, Crawford (Maguire, 83), Mugabi, Seedorf (MacIver, 70), Polworth (Lamie, 80), Gallagher, Watt (Lawless, 70), O’Donnell, Cole.
SUBS NOT USED: Morrison, McGinley, White, Devine, Johnston.
REFEREE: Don Robertson
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