United Kingdom

Rangers win to stay unbeaten in league

Rangers are one game away from completing an unbeaten Scottish Premiership campaign after breezing past Livingston.

James Tavernier put the champions in front from the penalty spot after keeper Max Stryjek felled Ianis Hagi.

Ryan Kent finished a one-two with Alfredo Morelos by tapping in the visitors’ second and Hagi slammed in their third.

Scott Pittman and Jaze Kabia hit the woodwork in Livi’s best chances.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, who set a new Scottish record of clean sheets in a 38-game season with 25, will receive the Premiership trophy after Saturday’s home match with Aberdeen.

Livingston remain in contention to jump above their next opponents St Johnstone into fifth place, with the sides level on points and Saints two goals better off.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas troubled Rangers in the early stages, creating space for Josh Mullin to force a save from Jon McLaughlin.

Hagi and Kent flashed shots wide of the Livingston goal before the first half’s most contentious moment.

Kemar Roofe flicked the ball through for Hagi in behind the Livingston defence and the Romanian played the ball before he and Stryjek collided. Referee Don Robertson regarded it as a foul, despite protests that Hagi had knocked the ball wide.

Tavernier, having missed his past three penalties, stepped up and converted to the goalkeeper’s right – his 19th goal this season.

And the club captain was involved in the second goal, his ball over the top finding Kent. The winger tried to lay off for Morelos but forced the striker wide then received the return pass to finish.

Livingston were inches away from halving their deficit on two occasions. Pittman’s shot rattled the bar and Rangers keeper Jon McLaughlin forced the ball clear under pressure from the chasing pack.

Then substitute Kabia was presented with their best chance after Nicky Devlin’s deflected cross, the forward only able to hit the outside of the left-hand post.

Joe Aribo tested Stryjek moments later and Kabia was off target when he latched on to another Devlin delivery at the other end.

Rangers completed the scoring with a swift move on the left, Roofe’s replacement Cedric Itten squaring for Hagi to apply a ruthless finish.

Man of the match – James Tavernier

Tavernier showed character after recent misses from the spot and his all round performance was strong

What did we learn?

Livingston’s mid-season 14-match unbeaten run has been the catalyst for their top-half finish but they have won just once since that sequence ended in early February.

Emmanuel-Thomas is a commanding presence in attack, but needs more support from wide areas if Livingston are to finish the season on a high.

Amid injuries and substitutes, Rangers listed only six substitutes and midfielder Aribo played in an unfamiliar left-back role.

He looked far from out of place but there was a deliberate ploy from the visitors to attack on the other side with Tavernier, Kent and Hagi – a tactic that stretched the hosts.

What did they say?

Livingston manager David Martindale: “Wee bit disappointed. I’m quite happy with the performance in spells in the game. Rangers were far more clinical in our box.

“We had more than enough chances to take something from the game. We’ve hit the bar, we’ve hit the post, we’ve also had another chance.”

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: “Tonight we get the clean sheet record and Saturday gives us the opportunity to go break 100 points, which will round off an incredible league campaign.

“Our record at home has been ever so strong – we just need to go and do the final piece now.”

What’s next?

Rangers complete their campaign against Aberdeen on Saturday (12:30 BST) while Livingston play their last game of the season away to St Johnstone on Saturday (12:30).

Player of the match

PoplatnikMatej Poplatnik


  1. Squad number15Player namePoplatnik

  2. Squad number6Player nameBartley

  3. Squad number21Player nameMcMillan

  4. Squad number25Player nameEfe Ambrose

  5. Squad number37Player nameKabia

  6. Squad number5Player nameFitzwater

  7. Squad number18Player nameHolt

  8. Squad number9Player nameEmmanuel-Thomas

  9. Squad number10Player nameSibbald

  10. Squad number8Player namePittman

  11. Squad number28Player nameDiani

  12. Squad number23Player nameLongridge

  13. Squad number27Player nameGuthrie

  14. Squad number14Player nameMullin

  15. Squad number2Player nameDevlin

  16. Squad number32Player nameStryjek


  1. Squad number14Player nameKent

  2. Squad number10Player nameDavis

  3. Squad number2Player nameTavernier

  4. Squad number7Player nameHagi

  5. Squad number9Player nameDefoe

  6. Squad number20Player nameMorelos

  7. Squad number6Player nameGoldson

  8. Squad number18Player nameKamara

  9. Squad number17Player nameAribo

  10. Squad number33Player nameMcLaughlin

  11. Squad number11Player nameItten

  12. Squad number25Player nameRoofe

  13. Squad number61Player nameKing

  14. Squad number4Player nameSimpson

  15. Squad number23Player nameWright

  16. Squad number24Player nameStewart



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 32StryjekBooked at 41mins
  • 2Devlin
  • 5FitzwaterSubstituted forAmbroseat 85′minutes
  • 27Guthrie
  • 23Longridge
  • 8PittmanBooked at 31mins
  • 18HoltSubstituted forBartleyat 60′minutes
  • 10SibbaldSubstituted forMcMillanat 61′minutes
  • 28Diani
  • 14MullinSubstituted forKabiaat 60′minutes
  • 9Emmanuel-ThomasSubstituted forPoplatnikat 74′minutes


  • 4Lithgow
  • 6Bartley
  • 11Forrest
  • 12Serrano
  • 15Poplatnik
  • 21McMillan
  • 25Ambrose
  • 37Kabia
  • 40Maley


Formation 4-3-3

  • 33McLaughlin
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 4SimpsonBooked at 23mins
  • 17AriboSubstituted forKingat 86′minutes
  • 18Kamara
  • 7HagiSubstituted forStewartat 86′minutes
  • 10Davis
  • 25RoofeSubstituted forIttenat 80′minutes
  • 20MorelosBooked at 30minsSubstituted forDefoeat 80′minutes
  • 14KentSubstituted forWrightat 84′minutes


  • 1McGregor
  • 9Defoe
  • 11Itten
  • 23Wright
  • 24Stewart
  • 61King

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