Scottish Premiership
Rangers2Motherwell1

Rangers 2-1 Motherwell

Rangers came from behind to beat Motherwell and claim a first home Scottish Premiership win of the season.

Scott McDonald's first-half tap-in from Marvin Johnson's pass put the visitors in front.

Harry Forrester levelled for the home side, firing in from outside the box midway through the second half.

And the hosts, who paraded new signing Joe Garner at half-time, took the lead in stoppage time through Kenny Miller's strike.

Defensive insecurities

Scott McDonald scores
Scott McDonald (far right) tapped into an unguarded net for Motherwell's opener

Mark McGhee's Motherwell arrived at Ibrox believing they were better equipped to be competitive than for their recent visit to Celtic Park in the Betfred Cup, when they conceded five goals.

With Lionel Ainsworth and Marvin Johnson providing pace and threat on the flanks, they were also able to take advantage of the home side's familiar failings.

There were claims of offside from the Rangers players when McDonald tapped in Johnson's cross from close range, but the striker was unmarked as he pounced on the ball after it bounced off Rob Kiernan's leg.

Motherwell were bright and confident, while the home side lacked assertiveness. They toiled to create openings and were booed off at half-time.

Finding the right midfield balance

Rangers started with the same central trio for the second consecutive game - Joey Barton, Jordan Rossiter, and Andy Halliday - but the chemistry still does not seem right. As individuals they all contribute to the team, but collectively the dynamic is less effective than last season.

It was once Niko Kranjcar came on that penetration and guile was added to the home side's passing.

It was the Croat's clever lobbed pass that sent Miller scurrying into the penalty area, and although Motherwell goalkeeper Craig Samson rushed out to thwart him, the ball ran to Forrester and he swept it in confidently.

Kranjcar was the creator again in time added on, although his cross was aimed at another substitute, Michael O'Halloran, who failed to connect. The ball ran to Miller, though, and he finished ruthlessly.

Niko Kranjcar
Kranjcar contributed to both Rangers goals

McGhee's work in progress

Having pressed the Rangers players and performed on the front foot in the first half, Motherwell were less convincing after the break. There was an inevitable response from the home side to being a goal down, but the visitors were unable to build on their good work from the opening period.

McDonald troubled Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham with a smart volley, while Danny Wilson had to head over his own crossbar to clear another Motherwell attack.

The Rangers goalkeeper also had to push away a Johnson effort, but Motherwell did not have the wherewithal to hold on to their lead. There is progress being made by the likes of Chris Cadden, Craig Clay and Ben Heneghan, but Motherwell need to find consistency.

Reaction

Rangers manager Mark Warburton: "We lacked penetration in the first half and conceded a poor goal but the second half was much, much better. Thankfully we got our reward in the end.

"How concerning is the performance? We can turn around and say we were below bar but got three points. We'll take that."

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee: "If you play poorly, you go away thinking how can we talk? You can't look each other in the eye, we're all down and wondering what we do next. We're scratching our heads.

"Instead of that we've got a lot to build on, a lot to be positive about. I thought the performance was superb."

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 1Foderingham
  • 2Tavernier
  • 4Kiernan
  • 6Wilson
  • 5Wallace
  • 18Rossiter
  • 8Barton
  • 16HallidaySubstituted forKranjcarat 56'minutes
  • 15ForresterSubstituted forO'Halloranat 65'minutes
  • 9Miller
  • 10McKaySubstituted forDodooat 56'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Hill
  • 14Dodoo
  • 17Hodson
  • 19Kranjcar
  • 25Gilks
  • 27Bates
  • 29O'Halloran

Motherwell

  • 1Samson
  • 2Tait
  • 4Heneghan
  • 6McManus
  • 15Chalmers
  • 7Ainsworth
  • 20ClaySubstituted forBlythat 87'minutes
  • 14Lasley
  • 12Cadden
  • 11Johnson
  • 77McDonald

Substitutes

  • 13Brill
  • 18Lucas
  • 19Blyth
  • 23Thomas
  • 24McFadden
  • 25Ferguson
  • 27MacLean
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
48,716

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home18
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home14
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 2, Motherwell 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Rangers 2, Motherwell 1.

Attempt missed. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt saved. Michael O'Halloran (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! Rangers 2, Motherwell 1. Kenny Miller (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Jacob Blyth replaces Craig Clay.

Attempt missed. Niko Kranjcar (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Foul by Joseph Dodoo (Rangers).

Craig Clay (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Joseph Dodoo (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Joey Barton (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt saved. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. Jordan Rossiter (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Craig Clay.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Richard Tait.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Keith Lasley.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Joe Chalmers.

Foul by Danny Wilson (Rangers).

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Stephen McManus.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Richard Tait.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Michael O'Halloran replaces Harry Forrester.

Goal!

Goal! Rangers 1, Motherwell 1. Harry Forrester (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box to the centre of the goal.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Joe Chalmers.

Attempt blocked. Joseph Dodoo (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Niko Kranjcar.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Rob Kiernan.

Foul by Jordan Rossiter (Rangers).

Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Niko Kranjcar replaces Andy Halliday.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Joseph Dodoo replaces Barrie McKay.

Foul by Lee Wallace (Rangers).

Chris Cadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Joey Barton (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Danny Wilson (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Stephen McManus.

(Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ben Heneghan (Motherwell).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers32105327
2Celtic22006336
3Ross County32016516
4Aberdeen31202115
5Hearts31116334
6Dundee31115414
7St Johnstone311145-14
8Partick Thistle21013213
9Motherwell310245-13
10Kilmarnock310235-23
11Hamilton302134-12
12Inverness CT3003310-70
View full Scottish Premiership table

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