Rangers returned from the international break with a dominating win over lowly Dundee in front of a packed Ibrox Stadium.
Dundee is very bad. They allow many goals and score very few themselves. This has been true all season. Rangers have mostly looked better than their current points total suggests, and yet as Celtic had another unimpressive performance the previous day, worries that the new-look Rangers may actually not be as “new-look” as we thought have started to creep in.
For at least a week, those worries should be effectively put to bed. There is a certain amount of irony in the fact that Rangers qualified for Europa League by defeating several very high-quality teams but have actually struggled with league play in Scotland.
For the first time this season, however, Rangers got their bonafide, start-to-finish dominant victory that had eluded them all season. Even if it is against the still pointless Dundee, it is a good thing to get off the chest of the squad.
Lassana Coulibaly made his return to the lineup after essentially a month being out with injury and he was brilliant. The midfielder got the scoring started in just the 4th minute of the game. Following several deflections in front of the Dundee goal the ball found itself at the feet of Alfredo Morelos who teed up an easy goal from only a few feet away, before Morelos could connect with the ball, however, Coulibaly booted it into the back of the net.
Shortly afterward Ryan Kent found his first competitive goal in a Rangers uniform by playing a lovely give and go with Scott Arfield (who also had a great game) to finish a goal in the 14th minute.
The game stalled for a bit after that, Rangers had some other chances, but Dundee did find some moments of possession even if they never managed to build anything truly threatening. Then at the end of the first half, Ryan Kent busted out into the open down the left sideline and played a perfect through-ball to Alfredo Morelos who beat his man and was fouled just insdie the box. James Tavernier would nail the penalty home as Rangers made it 3-0 in stoppage time of the first half.
The second half was pretty much pure dominance from Rangers even if they only managed one more goal in the 83rd minute by the young Glenn Middleton who scored his first goal for the top team at just 18 years old.
Rangers had plenty of chances, some by Morelos, some by Ryan Kent, a few by Kyle Lafferty after he subbed on for Ryan Kent, even one for Connor Goldson, but they could not quite find the 5th goal.
Dundee has been pretty poor all season, but it is hard to dominate a team much more than 4-0 with only one real shot allowed the entire game. It should help to silence the critics for at least a bit, and more importantly allowed Steven Gerrard to get some players to rest before Thursday’s clash with Villerreal in Europa League.