Beale 'concerned' as Rangers toil in win over Well

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Oli Shaw shootsOli Shaw spurned a big chance for Motherwell during a late flurry for the visitors

Rangers laboured to a narrow win over Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership to make it three wins from three since the international break.

Rabbi Matondo's first-half shot took a huge deflection off Cyriel Dessers for what would be the winning goal to settle a nervy Ibrox.

The visitors, who began the day third in the table, started the game confidently, but failed to convert their play into goals or capitalise on intense late pressure.

Michael Beale's side, who beat St Johnstone last weekend and then Real Betis on Thursday, leapfrog the Fir Park side in the table.

Keep up to date with RangersThe latest Motherwell newsReaction & as it happened

Motherwell started very brightly with Sam Lammers close to gifting a glaring chance before Callum Slattery found space and tried to bend one to the far corner. It was off target with Jack Butland exposed.

Rangers knew then they were in a game as they struggled to connect in key areas. On the first occasion they did, it paid off.

Nice interplay outside the area led to a powerful Matondo strike. It seemed to be arrowing slightly off target but struck Dessers, who seemed to be trying to evade it, and the ball flew high past Liam Kelly.

A much-needed stroke of luck that proved decisive. For Motherwell, luck proved elusive.

Rangers did engineer one or two good chances in the second half with Lammers volleying wide and Kelly denied Dessers and Lammers in quick succession.

However, they were so close to conceding several times late on with Butland superbly denying Oli Shaw and Brodie Spencer when a goal seemed certain.

James Tavernier then somehow bailed his side out, getting back on the line to knock Blair Spittal's shot away as Motherwell pushed on in an impressive display that deserved more.

Player of the match - John Lundstram

John LundstramJohn Lundstram was the one standout for Rangers in a performance lacking quality. He offered impetus and drive to get things moving and drew the acclaim of a largely frustrated home crowd

'Job done but more needed for Rangers' - analysis

Job done, points in the bag for Rangers but performance levels will need to be way, way better.

This was far from vintage against an excellent Motherwell side offering composure, a strong game plan and a nice balance of threat and solidity. They came ever so close to an equaliser with Rangers increasingly ragged as the clock ticked on.

Injuries, fitness and a tight schedule are hampering options at Ibrox in terms of chopping and changing the starters up top. The result seems to be impacting fluidity in the final third.

That may come in time, but it still feels like Dessers and Lammers lack a little bit of confidence and quality at times. There's also another injury blow to contend with after Matondo limped off in the opening half.

The reaction from both sets of fans at full-time said it all.

The visitors were never overawed, stayed in the game but just couldn't find that one moment of execution to get on level terms. They certainly had the chances.

What's next?

Rangers return to Viaplay Cup action on Wednesday (19:45 BST), looking to reach the semi-finals in another home fixture against Livingston.

Motherwell will look to find a formula to trouble a Celtic side who are clear at the top of the Premiership next Saturday (12:30.

Line-ups

Rangers

Formation 4-2-3-1

1Butland2Tavernier6Goldson26DaviesBooked at 90mins31Barisic15CifuentesSubstituted forRiceat 78'minutesBooked at 90mins4Lundstram17MatondoSubstituted forSouttarat 38'minutes14LammersSubstituted forRoofeat 78'minutes23WrightSubstituted forSimaat 67'minutes9DessersSubstituted forJackat 67'minutes

Substitutes

3Yilmaz5Souttar8Jack19Sima21Sterling25Roofe28McCrorie64Rice65Lovelace

Motherwell

Formation 3-4-3

1Kelly16McGinn5Mugabi15CaseyBooked at 32mins2O'Donnell38MillerBooked at 58minsSubstituted forShawat 71'minutes12Paton22SpencerSubstituted forGentat 83'minutes8Slattery14BairSubstituted forWilkinsonat 79'minutes7Spittal

Substitutes

3Gent13Oxborough17Zdravkovski18Shaw19McGinley20Blaney23Wilson30Ferrie99Wilkinson

Referee:Alan Muir

Attendance:48,539

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 1, Motherwell 0.

Second Half ends, Rangers 1, Motherwell 0.

Attempt saved. Conor Wilkinson (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Stephen O'Donnell with a cross.

Connor Goldson (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Conor Wilkinson (Motherwell).

Foul by James Tavernier (Rangers).

Harry Paton (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Borna Barisic.

Bailey Rice (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Bailey Rice (Rangers).

Callum Slattery (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Ben Davies (Rangers) is shown the yellow card.

Offside, Motherwell. Conor Wilkinson tries a through ball, but Oli Shaw is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Oli Shaw (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Foul by Ryan Jack (Rangers).

Callum Slattery (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Blair Spittal (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Callum Slattery.

Substitution, Motherwell. Georgie Gent replaces Brodie Spencer.

James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Brodie Spencer (Motherwell).

Player of the match

SpittalBlair Spittal

with an average of 7.00

Rangers

Squad number1Player nameButland

Squad number4Player nameLundstram

Squad number26Player nameDavies

Squad number5Player nameSouttar

Squad number14Player nameLammers

Squad number8Player nameJack

Squad number6Player nameGoldson

Squad number31Player nameBarisic

Squad number17Player nameMatondo

Squad number64Player nameRice

Squad number25Player nameRoofe

Squad number2Player nameTavernier

Squad number23Player nameWright

Squad number15Player nameCifuentes

Squad number9Player nameDessers

Squad number19Player nameSima

Motherwell

Squad number7Player nameSpittal

Squad number1Player nameKelly

Squad number38Player nameMiller

Squad number99Player nameWilkinson

Squad number8Player nameSlattery

Squad number5Player nameMugabi

Squad number22Player nameSpencer

Squad number2Player nameO'Donnell

Squad number3Player nameGent

Squad number15Player nameCasey

Squad number18Player nameShaw

Squad number12Player namePaton

Squad number14Player nameBair

Squad number16Player nameMcGinn

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