Rangers have cruised to a comfortable three points over Dundee United at Ibrox this afternoon as Gio van Bronckhorst handed chances to some of his fringe players to stake their claim for a Europa League spot before ending the game with four B team standouts on the pitch.
After the heroics of midweek, it was inevitable that Rangers would make changes and there was no surprise when the teamsheets showed wholesale changes for the Light Blues.
As well as a return to the starting XI for Aaron Ramsey, there was a first start for Leon King as the Scotland youth international was paired with Connor Goldson at the heart of defence.
While the much-changed Rangers side didn’t look under any threat whatsoever once things got underway, there was a a lack of urgency going forward that saw the game feel every bit an end-of-season dead rubber.
There were still chances for Rangers to open the score despite the relatively mundane pace with Benji Siegrist making a couple of big stops in the opening 45 while Fashion Sakala had a couple efforts at goal.
The Zambian was involved in pretty much everything Rangers had to offer but there were times when a real lack of quality let the forward down.
The midfield duo Steven Davis and Aaron Ramsey were strolling through the game as their experience and intelligence shone through for the Light Blues.
When the teams made their way off at the break still level, there was little surprise in the overall performance from Rangers – although from Dundee United’s perspective it will have bene disappointing having offered nothing to the game.
The Light Blues turned to the bench at the break, Amad replacing Scott Wright as the Gers looked for someone to take the chances that were being created.
Rangers started the second 45 with the same sort of dominance they enjoyed in the first and ten minutes after the restart is was ‘Penalty to Rangers‘ time after Sakala was cleaned out by Siegrist; James Tavernier stepping up and scoring from 12 yards.
The Tannadice side seemed to have decided to take bodies with the points looking beyond them, Amad being on the receiving on of a number of late challenges from Ross Graham, prompting a furious response from van Bronckhorst.
The Dundee United defender was lucky to escape a booking for his first challenge and even luckier to avoid a straight red for the second, earning a yellow eventually from Steven McLean.
Amad looked to really want to make an impact with the Man United loanee running at defenders and causing problems as he looks to make up for lost time at Rangers.
A trio of Academy youngsters would join Leon King on the pitch after 65 minutes, as Alex Lowry, Charlie McCann and Adam Devine came on to replace Scott Arfield, James Tavernier and Borna Barisic.
The changes sparked some confusion over who was going where before Amad had the ball in the net a few moments later, only for an offside flag to rule his strike out.
The Ivorian would eventually get his goal with 12 minutes left, showing great composure to dink the ball over Siegrist and finish the game off.
Rangers would make their final change in the wake of Amad’s goal, Ramsey coming off for Glen Kamara as the Welshman continued his return.
It was hardly a repeat of Thursday night but it was exactly the outcome Rangers were looking forward as they count down to Seville.
Rangers: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, King, Barisic, Sands, Davis, Ramsey, Wright, Arfield, Sakala.
Subs: McCrorie, Bassey, Lundstram, Kamara, McCann, Lowry, Amad, Kent, Devine.
Dundee United: Siegrist, Edwards, Neilson, Graham Smith, Levitt, Mulgrew, Meekison, Sporle, Watt, Cudjoe
Subs: Eriksson, McDonald, Niskanen, Clark, Freeman, Mochrie, McMann, Thomson, O’Donnell.
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