Partick Thistle 2-2 Rangers: Pedro Caixinha's men miss chance to move level with Celtic and Aberdeen
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 16/09/17 1:55pm
Rangers missed the chance to draw level with Ladbrokes Premiership pace-setters Celtic and Aberdeen as they were held to a 2-2 draw by 10-man Partick Thistle at the Energy Check Stadium.
Alfredo Morelos gave Rangers the perfect start with his eighth goal in six games.
But boss Pedro Caixinha's hopes of recording three straight wins for the first time since his March appointment were wrecked when Blair Spittal and Chris Erskine fired back for the hosts.
Erskine's red card for a lunge on Morelos handed the initiative back to Gers and Jags were denied their first win of the season as Graham Dorrans equalised with 13 minutes left.
But there was no winner for Rangers, who could have topped Scotland's top flight for the first time since December 2011 had they claimed a 4-0 win, and Caixinha is again set to face some difficult questions having watched his side drop seven points from their first six games of the campaign.
Thistle were without first-choice goalkeeper Tomas Cerny as he failed to recover from a stomach injury, meaning Ryan Scully started in goal.
And Caixinha had to tinker with his plans too when skipper Lee Wallace trudged off after 12 minutes following a tangle with Miles Storey, with on-loan Cardiff defender Declan John sent on for his debut.
The early stages were a cagey affair as both sides looked for an opening, but Morelos needed just half a chance to break the deadlock.
Josh Windass saw his shot blocked by Danny Devine's head. Spittal had the chance to clear the danger for Thistle but when he hesitated for a second, Ryan Jack stole possession.
The former Aberdeen man fed Morelos and while the angle was against the Colombian, it made no difference as he drove the opener past Scully.
Windass passed up two chances late in the half, while Daniel Candeias spurned another when the winger scuffed his shot shortly after the restart.
The Jags soon took advantage of the visitors' profligacy as they levelled.
Fabio Cardoso was penalised for climbing over Storey and Spittal got lucky when his free-kick skipped off Bruno Alves' shoulder and flew past Wes Foderingham as the Gers wall came apart.
By the hour mark Thistle were ahead. With Rangers failing to press quickly, Ryan Edwards fed the unmarked Spittal out wide and with the winger played onside by James Tavernier, he was able to find Erskine for a simple tap-in.
But joy turned to despair for Erskine five minutes later as referee Willie Collum flashed him a straight red as he lost control of the ball before throwing himself studs-first at Morelos.
The man advantage gave Rangers a renewed sense of urgency after a laboured spell following the break and they got their reward in the 77th minute as Dorrans swept home a smart equaliser from 20 yards.
The Ibrox men poured forward in the final moments desperately searching for a winner, but Thistle held firm.