Alfredo Morelos' bite is back as Rangers warm up for Celtic with Michael Beale's most convincing win

Rangers have hardly proved rocksteady on their feet as they have racked up four straight victories under Michael Beale.
Connor Goldson celebrates after putting Rangers 2-0 ahead against Motherwell at Ibrox. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)Connor Goldson celebrates after putting Rangers 2-0 ahead against Motherwell at Ibrox. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Connor Goldson celebrates after putting Rangers 2-0 ahead against Motherwell at Ibrox. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Commendations are warranted for the Englishman on the back of the 3-0 success at home to Motherwell, though. A result that represents his first success by a convincing margin and completes a perfect 12-point haul since he took the reins last month.

In the predicament Beale was handed the job - the Ibrox side had won only two of their previous five top flight outings - it was always going to be a case of him setting his team on a path where they could pick their way through fixtures without falling over more than any rampaging. Kudos to Beale then for achieving that far from straightforward task, in wholly unpromising circumstances. All, of course, ahead of the true acid test of their stabilising that comes with their derby dust-up at home to Celtic next Monday.

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There weren’t any prizes for artistic merit to be dished out to Rangers over the, sometimes, scratchy manner in which they accounted for their Fir Park visitors. A side full of honest endeavour but devoid of any real craft. Rangers should be swatting aside such opposition. Beale said as much himself pre-match as he lamented the slip-ups prior to his Ibrox return that have allowed Celtic to have the plumpest of nine-point cushions at the cinch Premiership summit. And despite some shapelessness, sloppy passing and spells where they seemed to allow the encounter to drift aimlessly - all of which could be punished severely by their ancient adversaries - ultimately the home team did all that was required of them.

The greatest encouragement Beale surely will draw from the lancing of the Lanarkshire men will be the bite exhibited by Alfredo Morelos. As with Ryan Kent, the Colombian cuts a more potent figure under a coach whose trust in him stretches back years, to Beale’s influence in the Steven Gerrard era.

The 13th minute opener was a reflection of Rangers old dependables appearing renewed. A sweeping move in which Kent sashayed to feed Alex Lowry, led to the opening before the ball was shuttled to Borna Barisic. The Croatian, in his first appearance since the World Cup, then supplied a sumptuous sweeping cross that Morelos absolutely feasted on in bulleting a header high into the net. Only his fifth goal of the season - all in the league - if that seems a modest return it is worth noting that he has only started four top flight games. He was forced to leave the field in gingerly fashion subsequent to receiving treatment, but his 68th minute exit appeared precautionary.

Rangers’ second, just after the half hour mark, wasn’t the product of any lethal frontline play so much as fecklessness from Motherwell keeper Liam Kelly, meanwhile. A Barisic corner headed goalward by Connor Goldson as he was challenged by Ricky Lamie seemed to creep under his crossbar despite him being in position to touch it away.

Motherwell had their moments, but Rangers had many more with the visitors avoiding further damage courtesy of two goalline clearances. Further punishment arrived when Malik Tillman picked up the ball at the right-hand edge of the area and shimmied to find space and guide a low drive through the legs of marker Callum Slattery to find the far corner of Kelly’s net.



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