Rangers destroyed Hamilton 8-0 at Ibrox as the Gers scored eight times in the top-flight in Scotland for the first time since 1981 in a dominant performance for the Light Blues.
Steven Gerrard made five changes to the side that drew 3-3 in Lisbon on Thursday night against Benfica, opting for Jon McLaughlin, Leon Balogun, Scott Arfield, Kemar Roofe and Jermain Defoe ahead of Allan McGregor, Filip Helander, Steven Davis, Glen Kamara and Alfredo Morelos.
The Light Blues went into the game looking for their sixth consecutive league win against an Accies side languishing at the bottom of the Premiership after a tough start to the season.
Brian Rice’s side were the last Scottish team to beat Rangers at Ibrox – as well as being the last domestic team to score at Ibrox – and Accies would have headed to Govan desperate for a repeat of their last visit when David Moyo’s strike stunned the Gers.
Both sides paid their respects and laid poppy wreaths in the centre-circle to mark Remembrance Sunday, with the empty Ibrox providing a very different backdrop than in previous years.
Rangers were quick to get forward, winning an early corner which forced an excellent save from Ryan Fulton when Goldson hooked Barisic’s cross towards goal.
Accies set their stall out early with a five-man defence, inviting the hosts to break them down and break the deadlock, and the Gers were comfortable moving the ball around as they looked for gaps to exploit.
With nine minutes gone it was almost 1-0 when Goldson split the Hamilton defence with an excellent ball over the top to Kent and, after moving across the goalmouth, the winger couldn’t get a proper shot off and the danger was cleared.
There was already a sense of inevitability that the opening goal was coming and Fulton was busy again, denying Tavernier from distance after the Rangers skipper’s effort pitched awkwardly in front of him.
Fulton was helpless minutes later though as Rangers burst forward after a Ben Stirling was robbed of the ball by Defoe in midfield, the veteran then releasing Kent with a brilliant reverse pass before the ball was rolled into the path of the onrushing Scott Arfield to stroke it home.
Just two minutes later, Roofe made it 2-0, rising highest to nod home Tavernier’s cross before Joe Aribo added a third little more than sixty seconds later.
Thre was a little bit of fortune in Aribo’s strike, taking a deflection off Odoffin and kill off any hopes Hamilton had of taking something back to Lanarkshire.
Three goals in four minutes had Rangers cruising and fans at home hopeful of a cricket score against beleaguered Accies.
With the comfort of a three-goal cushion, the Light Blues really started to look like a team at ease and were inventive and looking likely to add to their tally.
The goals kept coming and it was Aribo who again got the benefit of a deflection after some fantastic build-up play to cut open the Accies defence yet again.
With the clock ticking down to the break, the biggest problem for Gerrard will have been making sure his players didn’t lead their focus drift despite being well ahead.
When Gerrard’s side emerged for the second 45, Calvin Bassey and debutant Bongani Zungu joined them with Barisic and Jack staying inside ahead of going on international duty.
Zungu immediately started brightly, spraying some passes around as fans got their first glimpse of Ben 10 in a Rangers jersey after his loan move from Amiens.
Fulton had to be on his toes to deny Tavernier making it 5-0, saving his snapshot well at the cost of a corner as Rangers looked to add even more goals to the ‘goals for’ column.
It didn’t take long for the next one to come though, Defoe knocking a delightful cross onto the post before Roofe followed it up to poke it home and get his second of the afternoon.
Gerrard again turned to his subs with the game beyond doubt, Brandon Barker coming on for Kent with Rangers continuing to push forward in search of their biggest win at Ibrox in a while.
Barker was only on the pitch a matter of minutes before he added his name to the list of scorers, showing lovely composure to slide the ball home after being picked out by Defoe.
Things started to get embarrassing for Hamilton when referee Steven McLean pointed to the spot after Defoe was pulled to the ground with Tavernier stepping up to make it 7-0 with 25 minutes left to play.
Tav decided one wasn’t enough for his afternoon, popping up again to make it 8-0 from close range to take him level with Lewis Ferguson as the top scorer in the Scottish Premiership and finish off the scoring.
Rangers: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic, Jack, Arfield, Aribo, Roofe, Kent, Defoe
Subs: McGregor, Bassey, Helander, Hagi, Kamara, Zungu, Barker, Morelos, Itten
Hamilton: Fulton, Hodson, Odoffin, Easton, McMann, Hughes, Callachan, Stirling, Collar, Ogkmpoe, Moyo.
Subs: Gourlay, L.Smith, Martin, Stanger, Mimnaugh, Winter, C.Smith, Thomas, Johnson.