Four-star Gers hit back to sink Well

Rangers staged an impressive comeback to claim a 4-1 win over Motherwell at Ibrox and move clear at the summit of the Scottish Premier League.

Last Updated: 16/10/10 at 17:45 Post Comment

Naismith: Netted the equaliser

Naismith: Netted the equaliser

Nick Blackman gave the visitors the lead just before half-time but the champions hit back through Steven Naismith, Steven Davis, Kenny Miller and Vladimir Weiss in a blistering second-half spell.

The victory allowed Rangers to maintain their 100% record ahead of next week's Old Firm derby and also pile the pressure on Celtic ahead of their clash with Dundee United tomorrow.

Neil Alexander made his first SPL start of the season for Rangers, in place of the suspended Allan McGregor, who was controversially handed a retrospective ban following an incident against Aberdeen.

Walter Smith's men were also without the injured Lee McCulloch for the visit of high-flying Motherwell.

Rangers started well and could have taken an early lead when Naismith tried his luck from the edge of the area and his shot took a massive deflection that saw the effort fall just wide of the post.

Steven Whittaker was then not too far away with an angled drive that dipped just over the crossbar, as the Scottish champions continued to pile on the pressure.

Weiss also had a decent chance when he did well to hold off three Motherwell players before unleashing a shot from 20 yards that had just too much height on it.

At the other end, Blackman tried to give Motherwell the lead with a shot from distance that failed to trouble Alexander in the Rangers goal.

Darren Randolph was called into action for the visitors when he blocked from Whittaker at the near post before the Rangers full-back nodded over from the rebound.

Motherwell were looking dangerous in flashes and Alexander had to be alert to intercept a Chris Humphrey cross before John Sutton could connect in front of goal.

It was the visitors who took the lead a minute before the break when Steven Jennings delivered a cross from the left and Blackman nodded home in off the underside of the bar.

Rangers were back on level terms just two minutes after the restart. Kyle Lafferty slipped a pass through to Naismith, who managed to bundle over the line despite the best efforts of Randolph trying to smother at his feet.

Naismith could have claimed a second just moments later, when Weiss attempted to pick him out with a long ball but the goalkeeper raced off his line to block before he could shoot.

The home side took the lead with 63 minutes gone. Davis collected from Naismith before surging into the box and lashing high into the net, leaving Randolph with no chance.

The champions then claimed their third of the day a minute later, Naismith providing the delivery from the left and Miller directing a low header into the back of the net.

Motherwell were left reeling as the goals continued to come, this time Weiss raced on to a Lafferty pass and rounded the goalkeeper before slotting home after 66 minutes.

With little hope of a comeback from Motherwell, Rangers were able to withdraw goalscorers Miller and Weiss and throw youngsters Rory Loy and Gregg Wylde into the action late on.

Wylde delivered a great ball into the box but there were no takers in the goalmouth to claim Rangers' fifth of the day and Mark Reynolds was able to clear the danger.

Another young player, Kyle Hutton, came off the bench as Rangers cruised to victory in the end, providing a boost ahead of the visit of Valencia in the Champions League.

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Position Team P GD PTS
1 Celtic 34 66 89
2 Aberdeen 34 17 64
3 Motherwell 34 5 61
4 Dundee Utd 34 15 54
5 Inverness 34 5 53
6 St J'stone 34 9 51
7 Hibernian 34 -17 34
8 St Mirren 34 -19 34
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11 Ross Co 34 -20 31
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