By Christopher Arbuthnot
RANGERS last night were on easy street in the City of Discovery — now known for Jute, Traffic Jams and Journalism — as the Philippe Clement’s bandwagon gathered momentum.
The bandwagon took a while to get there, mind you. But when it did, it was worth the wait as goals from Ryan Jack, Danilo, Sam Lammers, Cyriel Dessers and James Tavernier ensured the journey home was a happy one.
Clement had put more crosses in boxes during his first two weeks in charge than the players managed to do before his arrival.
Start with a convincing win at home to Hibs X
Take team to Prague, change formation due to injuries, leave with a point X
Back to Ibrox, fall behind against Hearts in first 5min, score two goals within 5min at end to take three points X
“But can he do it on dreich night in Dundee?” Another box crossed X
This observer could soon be eating some humble ‘peh’ after Clement’s appointment left me feeling, well, a bit meh.
The Ibrox boss made four changes to the team from Sunday, with Leon Balogun, Jack, Wright and Danilo coming in for Ben Davies, Nico Raskin, Todd Cantwell and Dessers.
There were fireworks at the start, but when the game eventually got under way (version 2.0) it was Jack who sparked the night into life.
Danilo menaced in from the left of the Dundee box and fired a shot at goal. However, Dens keeper Trevor Carson’s face turned redder than the Rangers jerseys as he tickled the ball into the path of Jack to make it 1-0.
Both sides then settled into a passing game — misplaced mostly — before Carson made amends from his earlier blunder by denying Danilo with a fine save inside the six-yard box.
Wright, playing as a No10, shook off the shackles of his shadow Lammers for two fleeting moments; first venturing into the box and being brought down then soon after firing in a shot which bounced off a Dundee defender’s arm.
Kevin Clancy’s half-time whistle was yet another hiatus to contend with — but it didn’t deter Wright from trying again after the break to make his mark.
And it was third-time lucky as he slipped a great pass to Abdallah Sima, who quickly knocked the ball into Danilo for a well-deserved goal.
It was catchy. Lammers, no longer lurking and looking interested, got the ball on the edge of the area, took two touches and lazily leathered it into the net off the bar.
Easy street? It was a stroll in the dark.
Dessers dinked in a fourth before Tavernier dusted himself down after being fouled by Lyall Cameron in the box to slot home a spot-kick past Carson.
Rangers boss Clement has a long road ahead in pursuit of silverware — but it’s a thrilling ride so far. Buckle up Bears!
Dundee: Carson, Beck, Shaughnessy, Tiffoney, Bakayoko, Lamie, McCowan, Boateng, Donnelly, Sylla, Portales. Subs: Legzdins, Kerr, McGhee, Cameron, Pineda, Reilly, Robertson, Rudden, Howley
Rangers: Butland, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Ridvan, Lundstram, Jack, Lammers, Sima, Wright, Danilo Subs: McCrorie, Dessers, Cantwell, Cifuentes, Dowell, Sterling, Barisic, King, McCausland.
Referee: Kevin Clancy