Scottish Premiership
Rangers2Motherwell1

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

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Highlights: Rangers 2-1 Motherwell

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.

Line-ups

Rangers

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

Substitutes

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

Motherwell

  • 20GillespieBooked at 84mins
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 31Gallagher
  • 5Hartley
  • 24MugabiSubstituted forSeedorfat 81'minutes
  • 6Campbell
  • 22DonnellyBooked at 85mins
  • 19PolworthBooked at 42mins
  • 3CarrollSubstituted forTaitat 56'minutes
  • 44Cole
  • 9LongSubstituted forHyltonat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Carson
  • 2Tait
  • 11Seedorf
  • 14Hylton
  • 15Maguire
  • 16Ilic
  • 17Scott
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
49,629

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home19
Away4
Shots on Target
Home6
Away1
Corners
Home5
Away1
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 2, Motherwell 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Rangers 2, Motherwell 1.

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

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Connor Goldson.

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

Foul by Liam Polworth (Motherwell).

Booking

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

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

Foul by Liam Donnelly (Motherwell).

Booking

Mark Gillespie (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Connor Goldson (Rangers).

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

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Peter Hartley.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Kent (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Sherwin Seedorf replaces Bevis Mugabi.

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.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Richard Tait.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Richard Tait.

Attempt saved. Jermain Defoe (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Hand ball by Devante Cole (Motherwell).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Jermaine Hylton replaces Chris Long.

Foul by Sheyi Ojo (Rangers).

Liam Polworth (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by James Tavernier (Rangers).

Devante Cole (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Alfredo Morelos replaces Joe Aribo.

Attempt missed. Chris Long (Motherwell) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Sheyi Ojo replaces Greg Stewart.

Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Jermain Defoe (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Liam Donnelly (Motherwell).

Attempt blocked. Connor Goldson (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Mark Gillespie.

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

Joe Aribo (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Liam Polworth (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Richard Tait replaces Jake Carroll because of an injury.

Greg Stewart (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jake Carroll (Motherwell).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic108113272525
2Rangers108112972225
3Kilmarnock1052398117
4Motherwell105141615116
5Aberdeen104331314-115
6Ross County103431219-713
7Livingston103341313012
8Hamilton102351019-99
9Hearts101541014-48
10St Mirren1022659-48
11Hibernian101541020-108
12St Johnstone101451024-147
View full Scottish Premiership table

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