THIS routine 4-0 victory against St Johnstone was another challenge overcome for Rangers. Now their biggest test of the season awaits at Ibrox.

A first half header from Malik Tillman set Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side on their way to a third successive Premiership victory. After the break, Antonio Colak made it three goals in as many games and Scott Arfield and Tom Lawrence also netted.

PSV are next on the agenda and a Champions League spot is on the line. Here, Herald and Times Sport assesses five talking points as Rangers turn their attentions from domestic matters to a hugely significant continental clash.


The pre-match discussion was as much about who wasn’t playing as who had been picked as the absences of Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos became the central talking point.

Kent was rested completely ahead of the Champions League clash as he continues to recover from the ankle injury he picked up a fortnight ago against Livingston. After starting on Tuesday night, this one wasn't worth the risk.

Morelos is still not fit to start as he continues to build himself back up after five months out of action. Rather than give him an hour from the off, Van Bronckhorst chose to introduce the Colombian after 65 minutes as he got more game time under his belt.

The decision to limit Lawrence’s action was surely done with Tuesday night in mind, while the starting spot for Ben Davies, in place of the ill and absent James Sands, provided him with the chance to start to form a partnership with Connor Goldson.

The positive for Van Bronckhorst is that he is not short of options. On afternoons such as this, it makes sense to use them wisely given the exertions of the schedule and the importance of each fixture.


Rangers gave supporters the chance to recreate Tillman’s European heroics at the fan village that was set up pre-match. It’s fair to say the success rate was somewhat limited as the punters found it largely impossible to leap to the remarkable height that the Bayern Munich loan star reached against Union Saint-Gilloise.

A goal against St Johnstone isn’t quite as worthy of the same acclaim but it was crucial in the context as Tillman opened the scoring with another headed effort. Unmarked at the back post, he rose well and nodded the ball beyond Remi Matthews.

It was the highlight of a thoroughly impressive 65 minutes from Tillman as he produced another accomplished performance. The signs this term are certainly promising.

Tillman may only be 20 but he has a bit of everything in his game. His physique ensures he will not be ruffled by Scottish football, while his touch and vision set him apart from so many others in the game here.

The addition of a goal threat from midfield was one of Van Bronckhorst’s priorities this summer and Tillman looks like he will tick that box. It is still early, of course, but he looks to be the pick of the seven signings at Ibrox.


There was some theory behind the thinking from those who had called for the SPFL to follow the Eredivisie's lead after PSV saw their match with FC Volendam postponed to give them extra preparation days for the second leg of the play-off clash.

But it is competitive matches and time on the field that Van Bronckhorst’s side need and this was another step up and step in the right direction as St Johnstone were dispatched with relative ease and another win was recorded.

With a handful of new signings to work into the team, every minute together is crucial, but it was hard to take too much from this straightforward win and there were few indicators as to how Rangers will fare against Ruud van Nistelrooy's side tomorrow evening. The tests are naturally incomparable.

This game hasn't done Rangers any harm, of course. But they will have to move into another gear if they are to keep their Champions League dreams alive over the next week.


It was attack versus defence for the second week in succession. There will be plenty more outings like this to come over the course of the campaign.

St Johnstone didn’t arrive at Ibrox aiming to win the game. It was a damage limitation exercise from Callum Davidson and such an approach is understandable given the respective budgets and ambitions this season.

It doesn’t make for much of a spectacle at times, but it was as comfortable a 90 minutes as Rangers could have hoped for as they strolled to victory in the end.

The Ibrox crowd should not be surprised to see teams set up in this manner. It may feel like Groundhog Day at times, but supporters won’t mind that too much as long as their side continue to take care of business in such an efficient manner.

The fine header from Tillman ensured Rangers wouldn’t lose and the neat finish from Colak made sure of the win. The goals from Arfield and Lawrence were late bonuses but no less than Rangers deserved for a dominant display.


A crowd of more than 48,000 soaked up the sunshine at Ibrox on a perfect afternoon for a game. A Saturday three o’clock kick-off and three points will always be a welcome combination for Rangers supporters.

Tucked away in the corner, the small band of St Johnstone fans had little to shout about. If anyone in the home stands had been so inclined, they could have counted each opposition punter present.

The Saints have never traditionally travelled here in huge numbers but their presence was diminished on this occasion following a boycott from Fair City Unity in a protest over ticket prices.

At £31 for adults, £24 for concessions and £13 for children, it was hard to argue they didn’t have a point. In these tough economic times, it will become harder for fans to justify paying what clubs across the league are asking this term and this issue is not one that centres solely on Rangers.

Supporters are the lifeblood of their clubs and their loyalty and their cash cannot be taken for granted. If more punters take a stand, boards may soon have an issue on their hands.