CHAMPIONS Rangers remain unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership after drawing 1-1 with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park this evening.
Scott Wright’s first goal for the club 10 minutes into the second half looked to be the difference between the two sides, but Saints claimed a 94th-minute leveller thanks to a Liam Craig penalty.
Boss Steven Gerrard named seven changes to his side - from the team which so excellently won the Old Firm Scottish Cup tie on Sunday, out went Allan McGregor, Nathan Patterson, Filip Helander, Scott Arfield, Joe Aribo, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos.
Their places were taken in the XI by Jon McLaughlin, the returning James Tavernier, starting debutant Jack Simpson, Ianis Hagi, Kemar Roofe, Scott Wright and Cedric Itten.
That meant it was a back five of McLaughlin in goal with Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Simpson and Borna Barisic in front of him.
Steven Davis and Glen Kamara sat in front of the defence, with Roofe in-behind Itten and Wright and Hagi either side.
McLaughlin made an early save as Liam Craig threatened from a Saints corner, before repeating the feat soon after, clutching a Guy Melamed header which was straight at him.
At the other end, Simpson ought to have opened his Rangers account, heading over a superb Hagi chipped ball at the back pot having stayed forward from an earlier corner.
Rangers had done well to weather the early storm from the home side, and had really asserted themselves as the dominant team.
Scott Wright was denied by an alert Zander Clark following a lovely ball over the top for the winger from Roofe, but the scores were to remain level going into the break.
Gers began the second half on top, and hit the front on 55 minutes. The ever-lively Steven Davis picked up a slack Saints ball midway inside their half, and drove forward.
Scott Wright was there for a pass, and from just inside the area, he curled a lovely, right-footed finish past Zander Clark for his first Rangers goal.
Saints thought they had a penalty just two minutes later, with the home side claiming the ball had come off Scott Wright’s hand inside the area.
Referee Euan Anderson initially appeared to award a goal-kick, but after protests and a discussion with the near-side assistant, awarded a penalty. Then, following further chat with the linesman, awarded a goal-kick.
Substitute Scott Arfield tested Clark with a decent effort from distance six minutes from time, and that appeared to be that, until the very final play of the game.
Referee Anderson adjudged Simpson to have handled the ball inside the area, with Liam Craig’s resulting spot-kick too far beyond the reach of McLaughlin as he attempted to save.
RANGERS: McLaughlin, Tavernier (Patterson, 62), Goldson, Simpson, Barisic (Bassey 77), Kamara, Davis (Arfield, 69) Hagi (Defoe, 77), Roofe, Wright (Aribo 69), Itten.
SUBS NOT USED: McGregor, Helander, Kent, Morelos.
ST JOHNSTONE: Clark, Kerr, Gordon, McCart, Booth (Tanser, 73), Craig, Wotherspoon (Bryson, 78), May (O’Halloran, 73), Melamed (Kane, 22), McCann, Rooney.
SUBS NOT USED: Parish, Brown, Gilmour, Ferguson.
REFEREE: Euan Anderson
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