Given the opportunity that was at stake for Steven Gerrard’s side, it was expected that Rangers would burst out of the traps and look to put the game to bed early on.

They did, in fact, do just that as they moved into a two goal lead by the break but it wasn’t done in the manner you might imagine.

For long spells of the half, St Johnstone more than held their own as they competed well and frustrated Rangers. Ianis Hagi, in particular, couldn’t influence the game at all and that continued into a disappointing second period for the Romanian.

Having made the most of two rare chances, Rangers didn’t repeat the mistake after the break as they quickly made it 3-0. Ultimately, that was all that mattered for Gerrard.


Gerrard stuck with the same starting line-up that beat St Mirren at the weekend as he resisted the temptation to mix it up at Ibrox. He certainly had the options to do so.

The Rangers bench has often been somewhat shorn of attacking reinforcements but there was certainly a more threatening look about it here as new signings Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten took a seat behind Gerrard.

Add in Filip Helander – who replaced Leon Balogun at the break – and the likes of Steven Davis and Scott Arfield, and consider that Allan McGregor and Jermain Defoe have still to return, and there is certainly strength in numbers for the Light Blues.


Callum Davidson must have wondered how his side found themselves three goals down just minutes into the second half. This was a harsh lesson for the Saints.

Davidson had the visitors well organised and there was no shortage of commitment but a lack of quality in the final third didn’t help their cause. Rangers were far from their best, but they were superior in the crucial moments as St Johnstone’s efforts proved in vain.