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Motherwell vs Rangers. Scottish Premiership.

Fir Park.

Motherwell 1

  • G Edmundson (87th minute own goal)

Rangers 5

  • J Tavernier (12th minute pen, 37th minute pen)
  • J Jones (28th minute)
  • C Itten (75th minute, 80th minute)

Motherwell 1-5 Rangers: James Tavernier and Cedric Itten doubles keep visitors top

Report as James Tavernier and Cedric Itten's doubles help Rangers thrash Motherwell 5-1 at Fir Park to remain top of the Scottish Premiership, with Jordan Jones also on target for Steven Gerrard's side

Motherwell v Rangers badge 2:38
Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell and Rangers

James Tavernier and Cedric Itten both scored twice to help Rangers thrash Motherwell 5-1 at Fir Park on Sunday.

Tavernier's two goals came from the penalty spot (12 and 37) after handballs, with the visitors leading 3-0 at half-time after Jordan Jones' sensational strike - his first for the club.

Cedric Itten celebrates putting Rangers 4-0 up
Image: Itten put Rangers 4-0 up

Itten came off the bench to score twice in the second half - also the striker's first goals for Rangers - before George Edmundson's own goal handed the hosts a late consolation.

As a result, Steven Gerrard's side stay top of the Scottish Premiership, four points clear of champions Celtic, who host Hibernian later on Sunday, while Motherwell drop to ninth in the table.

Player ratings

Motherwell: Carson (6), Gallagher (6), Mugabi (6), Lamie (6), O'Donnell (5), Campbell (6), O'Hara (7), Polworth (5), Grimshaw (6), Watt (7), Lang (6)

Subs: White (6), Maguire (6), Seedorf (6), Long (6)

Away Team: McGregor (7), Tavernier (8), Goldson (6), Helander (6), Bassey (8), Davis (8), Kamara (6), Arfield (9), Jones (8), Morelos (8), Kent (7)

Subs: Edmundson (6), Hagi (6), Defoe (7), Itten (8), Balogun (6)

Man of the match: Scott Arfield

How Rangers stayed top of the table

The visitors headed to Fir Park on the back of an excellent display in Europe on Thursday and their confidence showed in a first half they dominated from start to finish, helped by Tavernier's early penalty.

Calvin Bassey, who impressed on his first start for the club, made good progress down the left, with his centre striking Bevis Mugabi on the hand, giving Robert Madden little option but to point to the spot.

James Tavernier puts Rangers ahead from the spot
Image: Tavernier puts Rangers ahead from the spot

The skipper stepped up to convert off the inside of the post and repeated the feat eight minutes before half-time after another handball award, with Liam Grimshaw the offender on this occasion.

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It was the same result as Tavernier scored off the opposite post, although all the talk at the break was of Jones' wonderful debut goal for the club, set up by Scott Arfield, and finished brilliantly by the Northern Ireland international.

Team news

Motherwell boss Steve Robinson made one change to the side that lost 3-0 in their Europa League clash with Hapoel Beer-Sheva on Thursday, with Bevis Mugabi returning to the line-up after missing that tie through suspension.

Rangers survived Thursday night's Europa League trip to Willem II unscathed after picking up no fresh injuries, but boss Steven Gerrard made two changes from that game. Borna Barisic and Ianis Hagi both dropped to the bench, with Jordan Jones and Calvin Bassey - on his debut - starting in their place.

Those three goals turned the second half into something of a training session for Rangers, who still improved their goal difference thanks to a quick-fire double from Itten.

The substitute's first was a sweetly-struck effort from the edge of the box, while his second was a close-range poacher's effort, before the home side grabbed a late consolation thanks to Edmundson's own goal as Steve Robinson's team scored their first second-half goal of the season.

Cedric Itten scores his second and Rangers' fifth goal at Fir Park
Image: Itten celebrates after scoring his second and Rangers' fifth goal at Fir Park

Man of the Match - Scott Arfield

The midfielder produced a sparkling display in the sunshine at Fir Park, running the game from start to finish and proving once again what a smart bit of business it was to bring him north from Burnley in 2018.

The 31-year-old best moment of the contest was his contribution to Rangers' second goal just before the half-hour mark as the Canada international picked up possession midway inside his own half, before playing a neat one-two with Alfredo Morelos and then releasing Jones down the right with an inch-perfect pass that dissected the hosts' defence.

Jordan Jones celebrates with Scott Arfield after doubling Rangers' lead
Image: Jones celebrates with Arfield after doubling Rangers' lead

What the managers said...

Steve Robinson: "To put it simply, we probably got what we deserved. Rangers were the better side. We looked completely jaded - both mentally and physically.

"The penalty early on kills us. I think that's eight penalties we have conceded now, so it's a statistic which doesn't read very well.

"The penalties are a concern. I think that's three or four handball penalties now. The rule itself is very difficult for the referees so I'm not going to criticise them.

"It makes life difficult but let me reiterate, we didn't lose the game because of the penalties. We lost the game because we weren't at the races."

preview image 1:58
Stephen Robinson hailed Rangers as they defeated Motherwell 5-1. Robinson admits his team were simply outplayed by a better side

Steven Gerrard: "Calvin [Bassey] is training ever so well and probably deserves an opportunity but whether I would have done it at Motherwell away is another question but Borna has some tightness up high around the hip area so he was a bit of a risk today and I was forced into that one.

"I'm very pleased with the performance, I thought our standards throughout the game were top. We got comfortable in the game pretty early when we scored the third goal and I was happy that the level never dropped.

"I'm pleased for Cedric he's come close on a couple of occasions. Attacking players love scoring goals so hopefully that will hopefully do his confidence the world of good.

"Goals are coming from different areas. The pleasing thing as a manager is that everyone's chipping in and getting goals."

preview image 2:05
Steven Gerrard was full of praise for his Rangers side as they made light work of in-form Motherwell by winning 5-1 at Fir Park

Analysis

Sky Sports' James McFadden:

"I thought he [Calvin Bassey] was solid, did everything that was asked of him. It is difficult as you know you are coming in for one of the star men in the team - Borna Barisic has been excellent - and he does what he has to do.

"He defends, makes sure he is not beaten easily, but also the desire to get forward. I thought he done really well, got in good positions, and considering it was his first start as well. He done his defensive work when he had to and he wanted too get forward, obviously puts the ball in for the penalty incident and he will be really happy with his work.

"And it is good for Rangers to see they have another player who can cover that left-back position and he can be very happy with his day's work."

Sky Sports' Kris Boyd:

"When Rangers signed Jordan Jones, you were looking for performances like that. He brings something different, Rangers have usually been playing with Hagi and Kent, but Jones disrupts the lines by powerful running. He is very, very quick and once he gets ahead, he is very difficult to stop.

"But he needs consistency - you can get away with it at Kilmarnock having one or two good ones, then a bad one, but the thing for Jordan is, if you are going to perform at a club like Rangers, you need to do it every week. But he does bring something different to the Rangers starting XI as no one does what he does.

"So if Jordan Jones plays to his strengths, there is a place for him at Rangers, but it is over to Jordan -he needs to do it every single day in training and every time he gets an opportunity on the pitch. But when you get given an opportunity, like he has on Thursday night and again today, then you have to take it. And he has definitely done that."

What's next?

Motherwell travel to Kilmarnock on Friday night (7.45pm), while Rangers take on Galatasaray at Ibrox in the Europa League qualifying play-offs round on Thursday evening (7.45pm), before hosting Ross County in the league on Sunday afternoon (3pm).

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