Scottish Premiership

Rangers 2-1 Motherwell: Hosts come from behind to keep up pace with Celtic

Rangers survived a scare to go back level with Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic by coming from behind to beat Motherwell at Ibrox.

Devante Cole put the visitors ahead early on with James Tavernier then missing from the spot for the hosts.

Jermain Defoe eventually levelled before the break, with Filip Helander's header sealing victory.

After Celtic's 4-0 rout of Aberdeen, Rangers sit three goals behind in second as Motherwell stay fourth.

While holding the bulk of chances and possession, Steven Gerrard's side were made to work by a Lanarkshire who have not won in Govan in a league match for 22 years.

Frustrated hosts get job done

Rangers made four changes following their Europa League draw in Porto with Joe Aribo, Scott Arfield, Greg Stewart and Defoe coming in and Ryan Jack, Ryan Kent, Glen Kamara and Alfredo Morelos dropping out.

Motherwell handed Bevis Mugabi a first start as they switched to a three-man central defence. Their wide men were sacrificed but Christopher Long joined Cole up front.

Rangers were restricted to speculative efforts before Stephen Robinson's men took the lead after a move down their left. Allan Campbell helped the ball on to Cole just inside the box and he turned and hit a snap shot which wrong-footed Allan McGregor.

Motherwell continued to frustrate their hosts but had a let-off when the ball was flicked on to Peter Hartley's hand inside the box. Referee Andrew Dallas also ignored another, more hopeful, claim when Liam Grimshaw blocked a cross.

Rangers finally got their penalty in the 37th minute, although Liam Polworth reacted angrily towards Tavernier after being adjudged to have brought him down. The Rangers skipper sent Mark Gillespie the wrong way but the ball bounced off a post.

Barker went off with a shoulder injury just after firing wide of the near post from a tight angle as Kent came on with Motherwell looking like holding on to their lead going into the break.

However, when Steven Davis fired a 25-yard strike straight at Gillespie just before the break, the Motherwell goalkeeper opted to punch away and Defoe returned the ball inside the near post first time.

Rangers brought on Morelos who soon set up a chance for Defoe with Motherwell stretched but the former England striker missed his kick. Hartley did well to put off Morelos as Gillespie saved from the Colombian.

But the goal soon came when Helander threw himself at Tavernier's corner to head into the net from around the penalty spot.



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 5Helander
  • 31Barisic
  • 37Arfield
  • 10Davis
  • 17AriboSubstituted forMorelosat 71'minutes
  • 24StewartSubstituted forOjoat 65'minutes
  • 9Defoe
  • 21BarkerSubstituted forKentat 43'minutes


  • 8Jack
  • 11Ojo
  • 13Foderingham
  • 14Kent
  • 16Halliday
  • 19Katic
  • 20Morelos


Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 20GillespieBooked at 83mins
  • 31Gallagher
  • 24MugabiSubstituted forSeedorfat 81'minutes
  • 5Hartley
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 6Campbell
  • 22DonnellyBooked at 84mins
  • 19PolworthBooked at 42mins
  • 3CarrollSubstituted forTaitat 56'minutes
  • 44Cole
  • 9LongSubstituted forHyltonat 75'minutes


  • 1Carson
  • 2Tait
  • 11Seedorf
  • 14Hylton
  • 15Maguire
  • 16Ilic
  • 17Scott
Andrew Dallas

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamMotherwell
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Rangers 2, Motherwell 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Rangers 2, Motherwell 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Connor Goldson.

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Foul by Liam Polworth (Motherwell).

  7. Booking

    Liam Donnelly (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Scott Arfield (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Liam Donnelly (Motherwell).

  10. Booking

    Mark Gillespie (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Liam Donnelly.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ryan Kent (Rangers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Borna Barisic with a headed pass.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Sherwin Seedorf replaces Bevis Mugabi.

  14. Goal!

    Goal! Rangers 2, Motherwell 1. Filip Helander (Rangers) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Tavernier with a cross following a corner.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Liam Donnelly.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Richard Tait.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Steven Davis with a through ball.

  18. Post update

    Hand ball by Devante Cole (Motherwell).

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Liam Donnelly (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Jermaine Hylton replaces Chris Long.

As It Stood

6Ross County103431219-713
10St Mirren1022659-48
12St Johnstone101451024-147
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