By Craig Rae
Rangers returned to the summit of the Scottish Premiership after a comfortable 4-0 win against St Johnstone at Ibrox.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst made 4 changes to the side that defeated USG 3-0 at Ibrox on Tuesday with Ben Davies coming in to make his first start along with Ryan Jack, Scott Wright and Rabbi Matondo who replaced Scott Arfield, James Sands, Ryan Kent, and Tom Lawrence respectively.
Antonio Colak had an early penalty claim waved away in the 3rd minute as he turned Andrew Considine and as the ball got away from him the defender brought him down, but no penalty was given.
Rangers continued to dominate the ball and Malik Tillman impressed with his touches and close control after his winner on Tuesday evening.
St Johnstone grew into the game and the Perthshire side came close to taking a shock lead as the ball was whipped in from the left-hand side and Bair put a shot wide after poor defending from Barisic.
Despite expecting to dominate it did seem that Rangers were in a game in the early stages as St Johnstone didn’t quite defend as much as expected and were happy to come out.
John Lundstram came close in the 31st minute with a long-range effort that stung the gloves of Matthews, but it was parried out for a corner.
Rangers took the lead from the resulting corner where, after a poor delivery the ball fell to Tavernier who crossed over to Malik Tillman who coolly headered the ball off the underside of the bar and in for his second goal in as many games.
Ryan Jack close to scoring after a Goldson pass over top of the defence but was denied by Matthews as Rangers took a one goal lead into half-time.
The second half started the way the first ended, with Barisic and Tillman linking up well down the left-hand side, looking to add to his earlier effort.
Rabbi Matondo nearly did just in the 51st minute after picking up the ball and cutting inside to rattle an effort off the bar – the Welsh international has started his competitive Rangers career slowly but was certainly much more on the ball in the second period.
He became the provider as he challenged on a loose ball in the box which found its way to Antonio Colak who turned and rattled the ball into bottom corner to score his 3rd goal in 3 games.
With the staggered return of Alfredo Morelos, the manager certainly has a selection dilemma on his hands for Tuesday.
The Colombian was subbed on soon after for the Croatian, with Scott Wright and goal scorer Malik Tillman making way for Scott Arfield and Tom Lawrence.
Matondo was in on the action yet again after Ryan Jack played him through on goal, he rounded the keeper and kept his composure to pass the ball across to Scott Arfield who rolled it in for his 2nd of the season to make it 3-0.
Arfield turned provider shortly after when after a quick give and go he passed across to Tom Lawrence who tucked it away for his 1st Rangers goal to put the icing on the cake and make it 4-0.
Up next for Rangers is Tuesday’s all important Champions League qualifier against PSV at Ibrox and Follow Follow will be there to cover all the action.
Rangers: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, Davies (King), Jack, Lundstram (Kamara), Tillman (Lawrence), Matondo, Wright (Arfield), Colak (Morelos)
St Johnstone: Matthews, McGowan, Mitchell, Considine, Wright, Hallberg, MacPherson, Montgomery, Carey, Murphy, Bair
Man of the Match: John Lundstram
Attendance: 48, 665