Rangers won 4-0 against Dundee at Ibrox on Sunday to get back to winning ways. The performance wasn’t reflective of the scoreline, but the team took their chances to come away with a good win.
Rangers made two changes to their team from the Motherwell match. Ross McCrorie replaced Bruno Alves at centre half. The most surprising change was Kenny Miller starting the match in place of the injured Josh Windass. Dundee brought in Moussa for McGowan, giving them a more physical presence up front.
Rangers attempted to start the match at pace, but Dundee were making it difficult to get in behind them. The first real chances of the match came on the 8th minute. Rory Deacon made some space for himself just outside the box, and his left foot shot was easily saved. Rangers broke forward, and a cross from Candeias was met by Miller at the near post. His attempt to turn the ball into the net saw him hit the post, with no one able to get the rebound.
From there, the game became a bit less open. Dundee were good on the ball when they got in possession. Rangers were seeing attacks break down easily, with both Docherty and Dorrans playing a lot of loose passes and losing the ball. Jamie Murphy was getting beyond players, but his crosses were easily dealt with. One cross, however, almost went in as he floated it over the keeper and it came back off of the post. Candeias and Tavernier were unable to link up numerous times. The Ibrox crowd was a little restless as Dundee knocked the ball around. Ross McCrorie was defending well against the Dundee threat, but Rangers weren’t providing anything of note.
The next real chance fell to Morelos. A blocked shot came back to him, and his right footed volley went wide of the post. Dundee then created two clear chances with 10 minutes of the half to go. A foul by McCrorie on the edge of the box gave O’Hara a chance from a free kick. His effort went well over the bar. Moussa then made some space for himself with strong running, and got a shot away. Like O’Hara, though, it sailed into the Copland Road stand.
Against the run of play, Rangers managed to take the lead on 39 minutes. Jamie Murphy skipped by a few challenges, and played the ball to Miller. From inside the box just right of centre, Miller took a touch and lashed home the opening goal into the far bottom corner.
Dundee won a few corners as the half ended, but neither side fashioned anything of real note. Rangers went in at half time 1-0 up, but it was hard to justify it being a deserved lead.
Neither side made any changes at half time. Rangers could have doubled their lead a few minutes into the half. A blocked shot fell to Miller on the volley, but he skewed the ball wide from 15 yards.
Dundee were still doing well on the ball, and were next to threaten. Rangers gave the ball away, and Murray looked set to capitalise. He cut inside, but then cut back onto his right foot, and his shot from a narrow angle was saved by Foderingham.
On the 55th minute, Murray had a shot blocked, and Dundee won a corner. From that set piece, Rangers broke up the field and hit the post yet again. Candeias drove at the Dundee defenders, and placed a shot which hit the far post. The ball fell to Miller, who somehow missed target under little pressure.
Rangers made a couple of substitutions in quick succession. Docherty was replaced by Halliday on the hour, and McCrorie by Alves on the 65th minute. Within seconds, Alves gave away a free kick in a dangerous position. Loose play from Tavernier let Dundee substitute Wighton get a free run, and Alves fouled him on the edge of the box to prevent the shot. The resultant free kick went just over the bar.
And a mere minute later, Rangers went 2 ahead. Some patient play found Candeias in some space on the right. He played a first time, inch perfect low cross for Morelos to tap in with his left foot.
The third Rangers goal came on 79 minutes. Dundee like to play the ball short from goal kicks, and Kusunga received the ball but was facing his own goal. Morelos was able to nick the ball from him, and Murphy was through on goal for a routine finish. With just over 10 minutes to go, Rangers had killed the game.
Four minutes later, Alfredo Morelos was through on goal. He knocked the ball past Parish, and went down. The referee gave a foul and booked the striker for simulation. However, Parish had to be substituted as he picked up a facial injury from the clash. That booking will see Morelos suspended for the first game after the split, and looked to be a poor decision.
Rangers did score a fourth, though. Dorrans ran clear and squared the ball to Candeias, who had time to take a touch and score with his left foot from around 8 yards out.
Despite a strong scoreline, there were plenty of patches in the match where Rangers seemed to struggle. Once the second goal was scored, Dundee opened up and became easier to break down. Despite a few nervy moments in defence, Foderingham wasn’t overly tested. Rangers weren’t at their best but won convincingly, which can be seen as a positive in many ways.
Going into the semi-final, Rangers will need to improve their overall level. Players like Miller and Halliday will have put their names forward for inclusion in that match. Murty now has more options available to change the tactical set-up of the team, and it’s likely he’ll look to do so.
Foderingham; Tavernier, McCrorie (Alves 65), Martin, John; Docherty (Halliday 61), Dorrans; Candeias, Miller (Goss 78), Murphy; Morelos
SUBS NOT USED: Alnwick, Hodson, Cummings, O’Halloran
Parish (Ferrie 85); Meekings, Kusunga, Caulker; O’Hara, Kamara, Spence (Wighton 58), Holt; Deacon; Moussa (Leitch-Smith 75), Murray
SUBS NOT USED: Kerr, Aurtenetxe, Wolters, Scott