Rangers 3-1 Dundee Utd

Nikica Jelavic's brace helped Rangers beat Dundee United to move 12 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

The striker headed the hosts ahead from Matt McKay's cross after Jon Daly had missed an excellent chance for United.

Jelavic's second came from the penalty spot following Paul Dixon's foul on Gregg Wylde inside the area.

Daly headed home before Garry Kenneth's own goal sealed Rangers' victory and Wylde received a late red card.

Second-place Motherwell take on Celtic on Sunday, with three points currently separating those two sides and the latter having played a game fewer than the Steelmen and two fewer than Rangers.

United were prominent in the early stages and captain Daly missed an excellent chance to score inside the penalty area, the striker scooping over from Johnny Russell's centre.

Keith Watson and Matt McKay
McKay (right) set up Rangers' opening goal in his first competitive start

The Tangerines continued to press and Russell sliced a shot wide from the edge of the area after being picked out by Scott Robertson.

Rangers, without long-term injury victim Steven Naismith and Kyle Lafferty who failed a late fitness test, deployed McKay in support of Jelavic.

And it was that combination that unlocked the United defence for the opening goal as the Australian's cross was bulleted home by the head of the unmarked striker.

Jelavic swivelled in the box to fire in a shot that was well saved by Dusan Pernis before Rangers lost Lee Wallace to injury, Wylde taking his place.

Sasa Papac took over from Wallace at left-back and the Bosnian did enough to put Daly off as the striker nudged the ball into the arms of McGregor from another Dixon cross.

Interview: Dundee United manager Peter Houston

The visitors began the second half as they had started the first and Kenneth came close with a long-range shot.

But United were undone when Dixon took Wylde out of the game inside the box and Jelavic converted the spot-kick.

The two-goal lead did not last long, however, as Kenneth ventured forward to cross for Daly, who beat McGregor with a well-placed header.

But the home crowd's nerves were settled when Steven Whittaker's cross towards Jelavic was headed into his own net by Kenneth.

The match ended in controversy as Wylde was sent off following an off-the-ball incident.

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