Sunday 22nd September
Saints were defeated 4-0 by Rangers in a televised lunchtime match this afternoon. Saints best chance of the first half fell to Michael O’Halloran however, Rangers ‘keeper Allan McGregor saved brilliantly with his feet.
Alfredo Morelos put Rangers into the lead one minute into the second half. Steven Gerrard’s men then doubled their advantage just after the hour mark as Connor Goldson’s header beat Zander Clark.
The visitors got a third in controversial circumstances as Saints had thought a Murray Davidson effort had crossed the line but Andrew Dallas waved play on. Rangers then hit Saints on the counter-attack as substitute Jermain Defoe slotted home before netting a fourth for the Ibrox side a minute later.
Next up for Saints is a home game against Motherwell next Saturday.
Saints headed into Sunday’s clash with Rangers looking to build on their fine point at Pittodrie last week. Jason Holt dropped out being unable to play against his parent club, with Wotherspoon returning to the fray after impressing for Canada against Cuba earlier in the month.
Rangers started with the lions share of possession, with Barisic curling wide an early free kick and both Liam Gordon and Zander Clark being called upon to keep out Morelos.
But Saints worked their way into the game, particularly down the left through Tanser and O’Halloran.
The Perth side’s golden opportunity came midway through the half when a long kick from Clark evaded everyone and feel to ex-Ger O’Halloran, but the winger couldn’t dink the ball beyond one-time Saints stopper McGregor.
Sheyi Ojo threatened for Rangers down the right but couldn’t find the target after cutting inside as injury time loomed.
The score and the momentum remained in the balance and when referee Andrew Dallas blew for the interval, Saints were in a great place to take something from the Ibrox side who stunned Feyenoord midweek.
But hosts had the worst possible start to the second half, with Morelos getting the better of Tanser in a quick counter attack inside two minutes of the restart and lashing into the roof of the net.
Saints almost retaliated instantly, with a Kennedy cross finding Ali McCann whose bobbling strike through the rift in the Rangers defence was gathered coolly by McGregor.
But things went from bad to worse as Connor Goldson headed in a second for Steven Gerrard’s side as Saints were unable to clear a Rangers corner.
Rangers ramped up the pressure and Clark was quickly forced into important stops from Arfield and Aribo before the latter crashed a header off the upper stanchion.
The onslaught continued as the back four in blue were plied with more and more Rangers attacks, but the back line were breached once more in the dying embers.
From a Saints counter attack, the hosts had a corner and Murray Davidson had appeared to have lashed the hosts back into the game but Andrew Dallas ruled that the ball hadn’t crossed the line.
As the seething home side bombarded Dallas with cries of protest, Rangers broke and Defoe slotted home, before grabbing another straight after the restart.
Substitute Chris Kane had a late chance to grab a consolation, but thundered his half-volley over and above McGregor’s goal and into the Ormond Stand.
Saints: Clark, Tanser, Davidson, Wotherspoon (Callachan 69), May, Kerr, O’Halloran, McCann (Kane 84), Ralston, Gordon, Kennedy (Wright 60)
Unused Substitutes: Parish (GK), Duffy, Swanson, Booth
Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Helander, Goldson, Jack, Davis, Ojo (Stewart 84), Aribo, Morelos (Defoe 79), Barker (Arfield 62), Barisic
Unused Substitutes: Foderingham (GK), Edmundson, Halliday, Kamara
Scorers: Morelos (47), Goldson (61), Defoe (88, 90)
Referee: Andrew Dallas
Match Report by Ross Gardiner
Picture: Michael O’Halloran is closed own by Connor Goldson and Filip Helander
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