Rangers Overcome Killie
win over Kilmarnock at Ibrox this afternoon - but it
was a performance that was far from impressive for
large parts of the game.
Manager Alex McLeish fielded the same starting line-up
that had defeated Porto on Tuesday - and almost got
off to the perfect start in four minutes when
goalkeeper Alan Combe held Ian Murray's low drive from
a Dado Prso lay-off.
Sixty seconds later a misunderstanding between
Fernando Ricksen and Sotirios Kyrgiakos almost
presented Colin Nish with an opening - his volley
flashing just wide of the target.
The hectic start continued apace - Franny Jeffers'
header from a Hamed Namouchi head flick following a
Fernando Ricksen cross was clawed away by Combe in
The opening goal merely delayed however - and it duly
arrived via the penalty spot sixty seconds later when
Peter Lovenkrands was upended by Garry Hay, Dado Prso
converting the resultant spot-kick.
The visitors were far from out of it however - Kris
Boyd being allowed a free header from a Hay corner
only to send it over in fourteen minutes.
Waterreus kept the Ibrox men in front sixty seconds
later when he produced a superb one-handed save to
turn wide a Hay free-kick.
After such an exciting start, the remainder of the
first-half degenerated into a turgid affair with
little to excite the 49,076 spectators.
Nacho Novo replaced Francis Jeffers at the interval,
and Thomas Buffel substituted for Namouchi in 59
The changes went some way to revitalising Rangers -
Lovenkrands being denied by Combe in 64 minutes from a
Three minutes later to general relief Ferguson made it
2-0 when he slotted the ball home after being released
by Buffel following a one-two with Novo.
To loud acclaim Marvin Andrews replaced Sotirios
Kyrgiakos in seventy minutes.
Lovenkrands should have made it 3-0 six minutes later
when Buffel presented him with a clear sight of goal
having worked his way to the byeline - only for the
Dane to slice his effort wide.
The third goal was merely delayed however - a superb
Buffel pass freeing Ferguson whose effort was turned
into his own net by Gordon Greer with Prso lying in
wait at the far post.
In the end it was a comfortable win for Rangers, and
afterwards Alex McLeish reflected:
"We finished the game well. It was a crucial win. We
have quality defenders. Thomas Buffel gave us a
creative spark - he needs a kick up the backside at
times. Julien Rodriguez is a quality defender, a
Champions' League finalist."
RANGERS Waterreus; Ricksen, Rodriguez, Kyrgiakos
(Andrews 70), Bernard; Namouchi (Buffel 59), Ferguson,
Murray, Lovenkrands; Prso, Jeffers (Novo 45)
UNUSED SUBS Klos, Malcolm, Smith, McCormack
KILMARNOCK Combe; Fowler, Ford, Greer, Hay;
Invincible, McDonald, Johnston (Leven 77), Dodds; Boyd
(Wales 72), Nish (Naismith 67)
UNUSED SUBS Lilley, Smith, Dillon, Hamill
REFEREE Calum Murray