Rangers bounced back from the 1-0 defeat they had suffered at the hands of their city rivals Celtic in fine style on Sunday with an emphatic 4-0 triumph over Dundee at Ibrox.

Steven Gerrard and his players will now head over to Spain later this week to play their opening Europa League group game against Villarreal on Thursday evening.


Not bad at all. Steven Gerrard may, with good reason, have been far from satisfied with the overall performance against Dundee at the weekend. But getting back to winning ways after the loss to Celtic was the most important thing. The four goal triumph will have lifted spirits among the Rangers squad significantly.

The ease with which the visitors created chances rightly concerned the home team’s manager. Neil McCann’s men should have pulled one goal, possibly even two goals, back when they were trailing 2-0 in the first-half. Elton Ngwatala, in particular, squandered an opportunity by taking one touch too many.

But there were many positives for the Glasgow club. Not least the return of Lassana Coulibaly. Rangers have missed the Malian midfielder during the past month. He brings raw physicality and intelligence to their play in the middle of the park. Both of those qualities were sadly lacking at Parkhead.

Coulibaly opened the scoring with an opportunist close-range strike and performed well before being substituted early in the second-half. Gerrard will be hopeful his summer signing is passed fit to play at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Thursday evening.

Ryan Kent, too, was excellent against Dundee. The Liverpool loanee has divided opinion among the Rangers support since arriving on a season-long loan deal despite being a regular starter. But at the weekend he produced his best display. The undoubted highlight of his showing was a fine individual goal.

Gerrard had urged the player to stop obsessing about his statistics and enjoy his football last week. His advice worked wonders. “Stats are such a big thing in football now,” said Kent. “Everybody looks at them and relates them to your performance. But the manager took me into his office during the week and told me not to worry about them. He told me to relax in front of goal and it would come. Thankfully it did which is a blessing.”

It will be a tall order drawing with, never mind beating, La Liga opponents away. Losing Ryan Jack to injury is a definite blow. But Rangers will certainly travel with hope.


The Albanian winger was only on the park for the final 13 minutes and had little chance to show what he is capable of. Plus, the 23-year-old, a £2 million signing from NK Osijek on the final day of the summer transfer window, is still only 80 per cent fit. But he will have benefitted from the run-out and from familiarising himself with his new surroundings.

Glenn Middleton, who came on for Coulibaly in the 56th minute, made far more of an impact than his new team mate. The Scotland Under-21 internationalist scored his first goal for Rangers late on. The 18-year-old will grow in confidence as a result of his overall contribution and his strike on Saturday.


It is unlikely, but not impossible. Gerrard is a definite admirer of the former Norwich City kid and gave him game time in both Europa League qualifiers against Shkupi and the home game against Ufa. He confirmed a start is imminent.

“Glenn’s in a really good place,” said Gerrard. “He’s still learning tactically, but he’s knocking on the door for a start. We don’t want Glenn to just be an impact player. He’s got to be ready because there’s a start round the corner for him.”


Eventful. The Dundee striker left Rangers under a cloud last season when he was suspended and then fined for a disciplinary matter which he has now won an appeal against. But there is clearly still great affection for a player who spent three unprecedented spells at his boyhood club among the home support.

His name was applauded politely when it was read out before kick-off. He then received a standing ovation from both sets of fans after he was shown a straight red card by Kevin Clancy for a challenge on Borna Barisic. He applauded them in return. But it was

Neil McCann confirmed that Dundee would appeal.


He believes so. And there were certainly passages of play which were encouraging for the Dens Park club, who have now lost their first five Ladbrokes Premiership games, during the 90 minutes. They could and should have netted on more than one occasion. A lengthy injury list hampered their chances of getting a result.

Dundee, though, desperately need a result. Their home game against a Hibernian team who have lost just once in the league this term is now massively important. But Andy Boyle , the Republic of Ireland defender who is on loan from Preston North End, stressed the players’ heads aren’t down despite their wretched run.

“Around the training ground it has been quite upbeat,” he said. “You would never know we are in this position. We just need a bit of luck, a point or a win.”