Rangers overcome traffic and smoke to dominate Dundee
Rangers showed no signs of fatigue or frustration as they demolished Dundee 5-0 in a cinch Premiership match that was delayed for over an hour due to traffic and smoke issues. The visitors scored five goals from five different players and kept a clean sheet to stay within five points of league leaders Celtic.
The match was originally scheduled to kick off at 7:45 p.m. local time, but the Rangers team bus arrived late at the Scot Foam Stadium at Dens Park due to heavy traffic congestion in the area. Then, the start of the game was pushed back further as smoke from a pyro display by the Rangers fans filled the stadium.
Ryan Jack opens the scoring for Rangers
Despite the disruption, Rangers took control of the game from the first whistle and opened the scoring in the fifth minute through Ryan Jack. The Scotland international, who returned to the starting line-up after missing the last two games, fired a low shot from outside the box that beat Dundee goalkeeper Trevor Carson.
Jack’s goal was his first of the season and his first since February 2020, when he scored against Hamilton Academical. The midfielder has struggled with injuries in the past year and was delighted to get back on the scoresheet.
Danilo doubles Rangers’ lead early in the second half
Rangers continued to dominate possession and create chances in the first half, but could not find a second goal before the break. Dundee defended well and tried to hit Rangers on the counter-attack, but could not trouble Jack Butland in the Rangers goal.
The second half started with more of the same, as Rangers pressed for a second goal and Dundee tried to hold on. The breakthrough came in the 52nd minute, when Brazilian forward Danilo scored his second goal in as many games for Rangers.
Danilo, who was brought into the team in place of Cyriel Dessers, latched onto a cross from James Tavernier and headed past Carson from close range. The former Ajax and Benfica striker had scored a late winner against Hearts on Saturday and showed his clinical finishing again.
Sam Lammers seals the win with a stunning strike
Dundee tried to respond after conceding the second goal and had their best spell of the game around the hour mark. They forced Butland into action for the first time, as he made a fine double save to deny Paul McMullan and Charlie Adam.
However, any hopes of a comeback were dashed in the 75th minute, when Sam Lammers scored a spectacular third goal for Rangers. The Dutchman, who joined Rangers from Atalanta in August, curled a superb shot from outside the box into the top corner, leaving Carson with no chance.
Lammers’ goal was his fourth of the season and his third in the league. He has quickly established himself as a key player for Philippe Clement’s side, with his pace, skill and finishing ability.
Cyriel Dessers and James Tavernier add gloss to the scoreline
Rangers did not ease up after scoring their third goal and added two more in the final minutes to complete their rout. Lammers turned provider in the 82nd minute, as he played a brilliant through ball to Dessers, who had come on as a substitute for Danilo.
Dessers showed his composure and slotted past Carson for his sixth goal of the season and his fifth in the league. The Nigeria international has been in fine form for Rangers since joining from Genk in July and has formed a potent partnership with Lammers up front.
The scoring was completed in injury time, when Tavernier converted a penalty-kick after Jordan McGhee fouled Lammers in the box. The Rangers captain sent Carson the wrong way and scored his eighth goal of the season and his seventh from the spot.
Tavernier has been prolific from penalties for Rangers in recent seasons and has shown no signs of nerves or fatigue. He has also been solid defensively and has provided six assists in all competitions.
What next for Rangers and Dundee?
The win means that Rangers stay five points behind Celtic at the top of the Premiership table, after their rivals beat St Mirren 3-0 earlier on Wednesday. Rangers have won all three of their league games under Clement, who replaced Michael Beale as manager last month.
Clement has also guided Rangers to a draw against Sparta Prague in their opening Europa League group game and has maintained their unbeaten run in all competitions this season. The Belgian will be hoping to continue his impressive start when Rangers host Aberdeen on Saturday.
Dundee, on the other hand, remain bottom of the table with only one point from their first eight games. They have lost six games in a row and have conceded 19 goals in that span. They have also scored only four goals all season and have failed to score in their last four games.
Dundee are under the caretaker charge of Tony Docherty, who took over from James McPake after he was sacked following a 2-0 defeat to Ross County in September. Docherty will be looking for a response from his players when they travel to Livingston on Saturday.