Rangers fight back to beat Motherwell in thriller

2 weeks ago 21
Todd Cantwell goal v RangersTodd Cantwell's first Rangers goal turned the game back in the away side's favour

Rangers manager Michael Beale extended his unbeaten Scottish Premiership start to 14 games after his side fought back to earn victory in a pulsating six-goal thriller at Motherwell.

The visitors trailed early to a Kevin van Veen strike, but James Tavernier's free-kick levelled before the captain delivered for Fashion Sakala to net.

Motherwell responded through Bevis Mugabi, but two goals in six minutes from Todd Cantwell and Malik Tillman took the game away from the hosts, who had Callum Slattery dismissed.

The win for Beale's side narrows the gap on leaders Celtic to six points, but Ange Postecoglou's men can restore their nine-point advantage with victory at home to Hibernian later on Saturday.

Defeat for Motherwell, who remain ninth and are now winless in 55 top-flight games against Rangers, brings an end to Stuart Kettlewell's four-game unbeaten start as manager.

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A James McFadden goal in 2002 earned the Fir Park club their last Premiership victory in this fixture, and it was current talisman Van Veen who had the home fans dreaming as the Dutchman tucked in Max Johnston's cross then wheeled away in front of a travelling support who protested against the Ibrox board pre-match.

Rangers toiled in their pursuit of an equaliser as rigid Motherwell made life difficult for the visitors in their 5-4-1 shape, but Slattery's wild challenge on John Lundstram on the edge of the box resulted in Tavernier to bending a free-kick over the wall, beating Liam Kelly far too easily.

Tavernier then turned provider a minute after the break for Sakala to head home - the Zambian's sixth goal in six games against Motherwell.

From nowhere, Kettlewell's side drew level when Rangers failed to clear their lines, allowing Mugabi to prod the ball in on the slide.

But Beale's men had their lead back four minutes later when Cantwell smashed in from close range - his first goal for his new club - before substitute Tillman drilled a quickfire fourth with a fine strike from the edge of the area.

Motherwell were reduced to 10 men for the final 14 minutes when Slattery was shown a second yellow for a flailing arm on Cantwell, but the hosts were spared a heavier defeat as Rangers passed up further chances to add gloss to the win.

Player of the match - Todd Cantwell

Todd Cantwell goal v RangersThe former Norwich man has made himself a key cog in Beale's side in the early days of his Rangers career, and his first goal for the Ibrox club capped off another impressive display

What's next?

After the international break, both sides return to Premiership action on Saturday, 1 April as Motherwell go to Hibernian while Rangers host Dundee United (both 15:00 BST).

More to follow.



Formation 5-3-2

1Kelly22Johnston16McGinnSubstituted forMugabiat 53'minutes66Butcher52CaseyBooked at 20mins24Furlong8SlatteryBooked at 76mins27GossSubstituted forTierneyat 71'minutes18CorneliusSubstituted forMandronat 71'minutes9van VeenSubstituted forBlaneyat 84'minutes7Spittal




Formation 4-3-1-2

1McGregor2Tavernier6Goldson26Davies3YilmazSubstituted forArfieldat 71'minutes13CantwellSubstituted forKamaraat 78'minutes4LundstramSubstituted forSouttarat 78'minutes8JackBooked at 45mins14Kent9ColakSubstituted forMorelosat 65'minutes30SakalaSubstituted forTillmanat 65'minutes



Referee:Nick Walsh


Live Text

Match ends, Motherwell 2, Rangers 4.

Second Half ends, Motherwell 2, Rangers 4.

Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Malik Tillman.

Attempt missed. Ryan Kent (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Glen Kamara.

Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Malik Tillman.

Attempt blocked. Scott Arfield (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Malik Tillman.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Jack (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Kent.

Attempt missed. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Ryan Kent with a cross.

Attempt missed. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) header from very close range misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Bevis Mugabi.

Attempt blocked. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by John Souttar.

Substitution, Motherwell. Shane Blaney replaces Kevin van Veen.

Attempt missed. Scott Arfield (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Jack.

Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Ryan Kent (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Blair Spittal (Motherwell).

Substitution, Rangers. John Souttar replaces John Lundstram.

Substitution, Rangers. Glen Kamara replaces Todd Cantwell.

Second yellow card to Callum Slattery (Motherwell) for a bad foul.

Todd Cantwell (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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Squad number1Player nameKelly

Squad number22Player nameJohnston

Squad number16Player nameMcGinn

Squad number66Player nameButcher

Squad number52Player nameCasey

Squad number24Player nameFurlong

Squad number8Player nameSlattery

Squad number27Player nameGoss

Squad number18Player nameCornelius

Squad number9Player namevan Veen

Squad number7Player nameSpittal

Squad number5Player nameMugabi

Squad number20Player nameBlaney

Squad number21Player nameMandron

Squad number26Player nameTierney


Squad number1Player nameMcGregor

Squad number2Player nameTavernier

Squad number6Player nameGoldson

Squad number26Player nameDavies

Squad number3Player nameYilmaz

Squad number13Player nameCantwell

Squad number4Player nameLundstram

Squad number8Player nameJack

Squad number14Player nameKent

Squad number9Player nameColak

Squad number30Player nameSakala

Squad number16Player nameSouttar

Squad number18Player nameKamara

Squad number20Player nameMorelos

Squad number37Player nameArfield

Squad number71Player nameTillman

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