Livingston 0-2 Rangers: Alfredo Morelos' 22nd goal of the season seals routine away win
Joe Aribo opener sets Rangers on their way to victory over Livingston
Last Updated: 11/11/19 12:05am
Alfredo Morelos' 22nd goal of the season helped Rangers secure a 2-0 win over Livingston that keeps the pressure on leaders Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.
Steven Gerrard's side arrived at the Tony Macaroni Arena in buoyant mood after Thursday's fine 2-0 win over Porto in the Europa League, and they took the lead when Joe Aribo beat Matija Sarkic from the edge of the box (32).
Morelos added a slightly contentious second - with the Colombia striker appearing to be offside before his fine finish from out wide (52) - as the visitors eased to another three points.
The result keeps Rangers in second, level on points with Celtic but with an inferior goal difference after Neil Lennon's side beat Motherwell 2-0 on Sunday.
Livingston: Sarkic (8), Odoffin (5), Lamie (5), Guthrie (6), McMillan (6), Bartley (6), Crawford (6), Pittman (6), Lawless (5), Lawson (5), Dykes (5).
Subs: Stewart (5), Taylor-Sinclair (5), Jacobs (5).
Rangers: McGregor (6), Tavernier (6), Helander (6), Goldson (6), Barisic (7), Jack (7), Aribo (7), Kamara (7), Arfield (8), Kent (7), Morelos (8).
Subs: Stewart (n/a), Ojo (6), Defoe (n/a).
Man of the match: Alfredo Morelos.
How Rangers got the job done
Ibrox witnessed a famous win over 2004 Champions League winners Porto three days ago, but back in domestic action, this was all about getting the job done for Rangers.
Livingston, who have now gone five games without a win since they beat Celtic in last month, only had two shots on target and never looked like causing the Glasgow side any problems.
While the hosts remain seventh in the table, Rangers lost Ryan Kent to injury in the second period, but Gerrard revealed afterwards that it was only a dead leg.
It was Ryan Jack who went closest to breaking the deadlock in the seventh minute when his shot deflected off Scott Pittman, forcing Sarkic into a brilliant save.
But Rangers did find the breakthrough shortly after the half-hour mark as after Morelos had dragged Ricki Lamie out of position, Scott Arfield invited Aribo onto the ball, and his left-foot shot found the top corner.
Striker Lyndon Dykes returned from injury for Livingston after missing the last three games, Jack McMillan came in for Alan Lithgow and Steven Lawless replaced Keaghan Jacobs in midfield.
Rangers made two changes to the team that started against Porto. Steven Davis dropped to the bench and was replaced by Scott Arfield while Joe Aribo came in for Brandon Barker.
Playing with greater freedom, Rangers went in search of a second to kill the game before the interval, and Glen Kamara thought he had doubled his side's lead but his reversed shot from Kent's cut-back was superbly kept out by Sarkic.
Kent was hobbling moments into the second half after a collision with Marvin Bartley, but it was only after Morelos had extended Rangers' lead that the midfielder departed.
The striker may have moved fractionally too early as he was found by Borna Barisic down the left channel, but after out-muscling Hakeem Odoffin, the 23-year-old found the bottom corner with an unerring finish.
Rangers had chances to add extra gloss to the scoreline as Sarkic tipped Barisic's shot from Arfield's pass onto the post, but the visitors were made to settle for two.
What the managers said
Livingston boss Gary Holt told Sky Sports: "We got beat by a much better side, it's as simple as that. I don't think we were proactive in the game and were just trying to react to second balls.
"The second goal was a killer. We tried to get a foothold, but when you let a man like Morelos take a few touches and get inside, it's pretty criminal. We were too passive."
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard: "It's a really strong performance. We came here and competed very well and I'm pleased for the players who came into the team.
"I thought the moment had gone for Alfredo (for the second) but he dug it out of his feet and it's a really good finish. He deserves all the credit he's getting. He's come back this season and he's really focused on his football."
Livingston travel to face Celtic in the Scottish Premiership after the international break on Saturday, November 23 - kick-off is at 3pm. Rangers visit Hamilton the following day with kick-off at 12.15pm.