Scottish Premiership
HamiltonHamilton Academical0RangersRangers5

Hamilton Academical 0-5 Rangers: Visitors close gap on leaders Celtic

Five different scorers helped Rangers sweep aside Hamilton in the Scottish Premiership to extend their unbeaten run to eight games.

Four goals came in the first half, with Ryan Jack, Jermain Defoe, Scott Arfield and James Tavernier all scoring, the latter from the penalty spot.

Substitute Kyle Lafferty completed the rout with a late fifth.

Rangers narrowed the gap to Celtic to five points briefly before the league leaders' win over Motherwell.

Defeat leaves Hamilton four points ahead of bottom club St Mirren.

The home side made two half-time changes and switched to a back five to stem the tide of Rangers attacks, and the damage limitation succeeded before Lafferty's late conversion.

Hamilton did manage to break through Rangers' defence after the break, but Darian MacKinnon was offside as he turned in Tony Andreu's cross.

Midfield balance powers Rangers

Glen Kamara made his third start for Rangers, having established himself in the holding role with a quiet, effective authority.

The 23-year-old is a facilitator, controlling the tempo of Rangers' game, often breaking the lines with his passing, and also allowing Jack to play more assertively and dynamically.

With Arfield playing closer to the central striker Defoe, Rangers were able to command the game against a Hamilton side that started with two up front and a diamond in midfield which included 17-year-old Reegan Mimnaugh making his first start.

Jack had already created a chance for Defoe before opening the scoring himself, curling a shot beyond the reach of Hamilton goalkeeper Gary Woods from 25 yards.

As Hamilton reeled, they conceded again. A minute later, Tavernier swept a deep cross into the penalty area and Defoe scored with a diving header.

Arfield added to the scoresheet with a fiercely-struck effort from distance that whipped just under the crossbar, then Tavernier converted a penalty before the break after Ryan Kent was brought down by Ziggy Gordon.

Hamilton regrouped at half-time, changing shape and reverting to an element of doggedness to stem Rangers. Individuals still had to be alert, and Gordon and Woods both had to intervene to prevent Defoe and Daniel Candeias turning a Rangers counter-attack into a fifth goal.

Complacency was the only real threat to the visitors, although the Hamilton players and staff appealed loudly for a penalty when Joe Worrall cleared with a high boot from George Oakley.

Lafferty wrapped up a Rangers victory with a sure-footed finish from Candeias's cross, as the visitors kept pressing for goals in their pursuit of leaders Celtic, who also have a goal-difference advantage.

Jermain Defoe
Defoe gives his boots to a young fan

Rangers want to destroy teams - analysis

Former Rangers striker and Sportsound pundit Billy Dodds

They were emphatic. They've got this ruthless streak about them just now, maybe since they drew 0-0 with St Johnstone. That result apart, they look clinical, they want to destroy teams, and five different goalscorers as well.

Former Rangers and Scotland winger Neil McCann

Brian Rice has seen something tactically that needed to be addressed [at half-time], he's done it, and it's helped them massively, stopped the gaps, made them a lot more solid. Compliments to Rice and his side for stopping the bleeding and making this more of a contest.



Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Woods
  • 2McGowan
  • 4Gordon
  • 6Kilgallon
  • 46Sowah
  • 22AndreuBooked at 69mins
  • 18MacKinnon
  • 33MimnaughSubstituted forGogicat 45'minutes
  • 11Miller
  • 16McMillanSubstituted forMartinat 45'minutes
  • 9Oakley


  • 5Tshiembe
  • 13Gogic
  • 19Winter
  • 20Marsden
  • 25Martin
  • 28Smith
  • 30Boyd


Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 3Worrall
  • 16Halliday
  • 8Jack
  • 21Candeias
  • 18KamaraSubstituted forCoulibalyat 77'minutes
  • 37ArfieldSubstituted forDavisat 62'minutes
  • 14KentSubstituted forLaffertyat 62'minutes
  • 9Defoe


  • 10Davis
  • 11Lafferty
  • 13Foderingham
  • 17McCrorie
  • 19Katic
  • 23Coulibaly
  • 31Barisic
Nick Walsh

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamRangers
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Rangers 5.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Rangers 5.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Connor Goldson (Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Gary Woods.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Hamilton Academical 0, Rangers 5. Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Daniel Candeias.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Andy Halliday (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Foul by Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical).

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Lassana Coulibaly replaces Glen Kamara.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Aaron McGowan.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) header from the left side of the six yard box is blocked.

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Foul by Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical).

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ryan Jack (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Andy Halliday (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  19. Post update

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

  20. Post update

    Foul by George Oakley (Hamilton Academical).

As It Stood

7St Johnstone27115112734-738
12St Mirren2735192055-3514
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