Tavernier scores twice as Davis starts caretaker role
Rangers captain James Tavernier scored two goals as the defending champions secured a 3-0 victory over St Mirren in the cinch Premiership on Sunday. The win eased some of the pressure on the Ibrox club, who parted ways with manager Steven Gerrard last week.
Tavernier opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 29th minute, after St Mirren defender Ryan Strain was sent off for handling the ball inside the box. The right-back then added a third goal in stoppage time with a powerful strike from the edge of the area.
In between, Abdallah Sima netted his seventh goal of the season in the 70th minute, finishing off a swift counter-attack led by Nico Raskin. The Brighton loanee was one of four changes made by caretaker boss Steven Davis, who also gave a first senior start to 17-year-old Zak Lovelace.
St Mirren suffer first league defeat of the season
St Mirren came into the game unbeaten in their first nine league matches, sitting second in the table behind Celtic. However, they were unable to cope with Rangers’ numerical advantage and rarely threatened Allan McGregor’s goal.
The hosts had a chance to take the lead in the 21st minute, when Scott Tanser blasted over from a free-kick delivery by Conor McMenamin. But they were soon reduced to 10 men and fell behind to Tavernier’s spot-kick.
St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson tried to change things in the second half, bringing on three substitutes, but his side conceded again when Sima tapped in Raskin’s pass. The Buddies’ misery was compounded when Tavernier scored his second goal of the game, leaving them third in the standings.
Rangers still trail Celtic by seven points
Rangers’ win moved them up to second place, but they still have a lot of ground to make up on their arch-rivals Celtic, who lead the table by seven points. The Hoops have won all 10 of their league games so far, scoring 34 goals and conceding only four.
Rangers will hope to appoint a new manager during the international break, as they look to revive their title defence and improve their European form. The Gers suffered a humiliating 2-1 defeat to Aris Limassol in Cyprus on Thursday night, leaving them bottom of their Europa League group.
The Ibrox club have been linked with several candidates for the vacant role, including former players Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Frank de Boer, as well as ex-Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers. However, no official announcement has been made yet, leaving fans and players in limbo.