Rangers moved three points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League as a second-half Kenny Miller double secured a comprehensive 4-0 win over Dundee United at Ibrox on Saturday.
The home side showed no ill effects from their mid-week Champions League exploits as they took just nine minutes to take the lead when United defender Sean Dillion bundled Miller’s cross beyond his own keeper.
Scotland striker Miller kept up his record of scoring in every league game this season when he fired home in the 69th minute before substitute Steven Naismith headed in the third.
New signing Nikica Jelavic then showed great unselfishness to lay the ball across goal for Miller to tap in his eighth of the season in the 82nd minute.
The win puts pressure on Old Firm rivals Celtic who, are away to Kilmarnock on Sunday.
At Ibrox, Rangers made two changes to the side that earned a precious point in a goalless draw at Manchester United on Tuesday, with Jelavic and Vladamir Weiss handed starts.
After such a defensive display in Manchester, both sides showed their attacking capabilities in the opening minutes.
United’s Barry Douglas sent a vicious shot hurtling towards goal before, at the other end, Weiss cut in from the left and rifled a low drive just wide.
Rangers took the lead in unusual fashion in the ninth minute.
Miller raced down the left and sent a low cross into the box looking for Jelavic but it was United’s Dillion who side-footed past Dusan Pernis.
On-loan Manchester City star Weiss was terrorising the United defence and Scott Robertson and Jon Daly both ended up in referee Dougie McDonald’s book for late challenges on the Slovakian.
Weiss set up Steven Davis for a shot before the winger danced past several defenders at the edge of the United box and fired an angled shot just wide.
United started to enjoy some possession and Morgaro Gomis came close when he prodded an effort just wide of the post from Daly’s headed knock-down.
Rangers returned fired up after the break and Jelavic produced a good save from Purnis after robbing Scott Severin of possession and firing in a shot.
The Croatian international then failed to direct his powerful header on target after rising unmarked in the box to met Steven Whittaker’s cross.
A mistake from Lee McCulloch allowed Gomis in but McGregor smothered the resultant shot from David Goodwillie.
A McCulloch strike from 25 yards stung the hands of Pernis before Rangers doubled their advantage in the 69th minute.
Jelavic and Davis both went to strike a loose ball and in the confusion the ball broke across the box to Miller, the Scotland man slamming home from eight yards out.
Naismith replaced Maurice Edu in the 70th minute and took just seven minutes to score, the substitute glancing a header past Pernis from David Weir’s cross.
Miller wrapped up the win in the 82nd minute. Jelavic ran in on goal before laying the ball across goal for Miller to tap in his eighth of the season.
In the early kick-off, Hearts came from behind to win 3-1 away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Motherwell versus Aberdeen and the match between Hibernian and Hamilton both ended in 1-1 draws while St Johnstone defeated St Mirren 2-1.
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