WINTER WONDERLAND - Rangers 6-1 Motherwell
By Grandmaster Suck
Updated Saturday, 19th December 2009
Rangers routed Motherwell at ibrox this afternoon, winning 6-1 to go four points clear in the title race with five goals coming in a devastating second-half.
Rangers 6 (Miller 2 [5, 37], Lafferty 2 [74, 87], Boyd 52, Beasley 84) Motherwell 1 (Hutchinson 66)
On a bitterly cold day of driving snow, Manager Walter Smith made two changes from Tannadice with Allan McGregor and Kevin Thomson replacing Neil Alexander and Lee McCulloch.
For the second successive Saturday the Light Blues struck with an early goal - Kenny Miller netting with a superb twenty-yard strike via the underside of the bar from a Steve Davis opening in five minutes.
Nine minutes later it should have been 2-0 when Sasa Papac headed weakly wide from a Miller cross.
It was all Rangers - Beasley's shot from the edge of the box following a reverse pass from Steve Davis being held by visiting goalkeeper John Ruddy in sixteen minutes.
There was an injury blow for the Ibrox men four minutes later when Thomson limped off to be replaced by McCulloch.
Just to prove there were two teams on the park, Steven Jennings' twenty-yard shot was deflected wide on the half-hour.
Rangers should have increased their lead on the stroke of half-time when a move involving Davis, Kris Boyd and Nacho Novo ended with a clear opportunity for Papac whose shot was blocked by Ruddy.
A one-goal lead at the interval was scarce reward for the home side's superiority - but the second-half would be a different matter entirely.
Boyd made it 2-0 in 52 minutes when he netted at the end of a sweeping Beasley - Davis move down the right.
Five minutes later Miller made it three when he beat 'Well's offside trap to seize on a long Madjid Bougherra pass to outpace the advancing Ruddy and turn the ball into the net.
Midway through the second-half the Fir Park men reduced the deficit when Shaun Hutchinson had a free header from a Tom Hateley corner.
Kyle Lafferty replaced Boyd on seventy minutes - and the Ulsterman quickly got his name on the score-sheet when he turned Kirk Broadfoot's cutback into the net after the full-back had been released down the right by Davis' reverse pass.
The skill and pace of Beasley and Novo on the wings had been utilised to devastating effect - and when the Spaniard was substituted by Steven Naismith in 77 minutes he received a standing ovation as he left the field.
Seven minutes later it was 5-1 when Beasley curled the ball home from a tight angle from a Miller pass.
Rangers looked like adding to their tally with every attack - and Lafferty completed the rout in 87 minutes when he raced away on a thirty-yard pinpoint pass from Beasley following a superb piece of skill from the American on the right touchline before poking the ball home through the legs of the advancing Ruddy.
It had been a magnificent display of attacking football from Rangers with Steve Davis in superb form at the heart of the midfield - and afterwards a happy Walter Smith commented:
"It was a terrific result and a good performance. Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller are doing exceptionally well, working hard. Kyle Lafferty's two goals will do him the world of good."
RANGERS McGregor; Broadfoot, Weir, Bougherra, Papac; Beasley, Davis, Thomson (McCulloch 20), Novo (Naismith 77); Boyd (Lafferty 70), Miller
UNUSED SUBS Alexander, Fleck, Little, Wilson
MOTHERWELL Ruddy; Moutaouakil, Reynolds, Hutchinson, Saunders, Hammell (Meechan 64); Murphy (Humphrey 83), Hateley, Jennings; Jutkiewicz, McHugh (O'Brien 76)
UNUSED SUBS Forbes, Fraser, Craigan, Sutton
REFEREE Craig Thomson
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