Match ends, Rangers 4, Alloa Athletic 0.
Rangers 4-0 Alloa Athletic
Scottish Championship leaders Rangers rediscovered winning ways with a resounding victory over bottom side Alloa Athletic.
Clinical strikes by Martin Waghorn and James Tavernier had the Wasps worrying about a stinging defeat from early on.
The crossbar stopped visiting striker Michael Chopra pulling one back before Waghorn volleyed a third.
Alloa's Eddie Ferns was sent off and Rangers got their fourth through Nicky Clark's header.
Not quite the 7-0 scoreline Rangers beat Alloa by at Ibrox in 2012, but enough to keep the gap between the Ibrox side and Hibernian at five points.
Leading up to this Championship encounter between top and bottom, Alloa boss Danny Lennon had compared the ensuing battle to a David versus Goliath contest.
But unlike in the Old Testament story, there was no triumph against all odds for the underdog.
The Clackmannanshire side twice left Ibrox with a point last season, but hapless defending gave Rangers the quick boost they needed after suffering their first league defeat of the season at Hibs last weekend.
Wasps goalkeeper Andy McNeil and his centre-backs dallied following a passback and McNeil's eventual clearance was too weak. The ball fell to a grateful Waghorn 20 yards out and the striker chested and volleyed home excellently.
Still reeling from shooting themselves in the foot, Alloa went further behind minutes later.
Andy Halliday won a free-kick 25 yards from goal and when Tavernier stepped up there always seemed a strong probability of a goal. That proved true as the full-back notched his 10th of the campaign with a top-right corner gem.
The Wasps' commitment remained, though, highlighted by a strong but fair challenge on Tavernier by Colin Hamilton and some nice interplay between Chopra, Ferns and Michael Doyle.
A badly-timed slip by Rangers' on-loan Tottenham Hotspur defender Dominic Ball allowed Chopra a glorious chance to get back in the match, but the former Newcastle and Sunderland striker watched his rising effort from a tight angle crash off the goal frame.
Ball atoned for his error with a perfect tackle to deny Ferns soon after.
Waghorn and Gedion Zelalem had spurned chances to extend Rangers' lead before the former eventually netted his 17th of the season a minute before half-time.
A deft chip from Barrie McKay allowed the front-man to cushion a nice volley over McNeil and into the net via the underside of the bar.
The flow of goals did not continue after the break, although Jason Holt and Dean Shiels had decent chances to do so.
Fern's dismissal by referee Stephen Finnie came when the forward lunged in on Rangers substitute Jordan Thompson 10 minutes from the end.
And Clark headed his fourth of the season in added time.
- 4KiernanBooked at 72mins
- 5WallaceBooked at 17mins
- 16HallidaySubstituted forThompsonat 76'minutes
- 23HoltSubstituted forShielsat 62'minutes
- 10OduwaSubstituted forClarkat 62'minutes
- 8O'BrienSubstituted forHogganat 81'minutes
- 10HolmesSubstituted forHetheringtonat 88'minutes
- 11FernsBooked at 79mins
- 9ChopraBooked at 15minsSubstituted forDuffyat 62'minutes
- Stephen Finnie
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Rangers 4, Alloa Athletic 0.
Goal! Rangers 4, Alloa Athletic 0. Nicky Clark (Rangers) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by James Tavernier.
Hand ball by Gedion Zelalem (Rangers).
Attempt missed. Dean Shiels (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Foul by James Tavernier (Rangers).
Jason Marr (Alloa Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Gedion Zelalem (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Andy McNeil.
Attempt saved. Martyn Waghorn (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.
Substitution, Alloa Athletic. Steven Hetherington replaces Graeme Holmes.
Gedion Zelalem (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Connor McManus (Alloa Athletic).
Attempt saved. Martyn Waghorn (Rangers) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Jason Marr.
Nicky Clark (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mikk Reintam (Alloa Athletic).
Rob Kiernan (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Michael Doyle (Alloa Athletic).
Attempt missed. Jordan Thompson (Rangers) left footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high.