Rangers celebrated Steven Gerrard’s 150th match as manager by extending their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table to 23 points with a 5-0 thrashing of Ross County at Ibrox on Saturday.
The Gers were 3-0 up before halftime after early headers from Ryan Kent and Filip Helander were followed by a fine strike from Joe Aribo, with not even captain James Tavernier’s second successive penalty miss derailing the home side’s progress.
County, who had kicked off on the back of a surprise win over Aberdeen, saw their hopes of a fightback come and go when they twice hit the woodwork early in the second half.
Thoughts of what might have been became all the more acute when Rangers’ Ryan Jack, on his return from injury, made it 4-0, before Connor Goldson wrapped up the scoring as Gerrard’s men completed their 12th successive home win of a so far unbeaten league season.
“I thought it was a really strong performance, another home win and a clean sheet – obviously five different scorers,” Gerrard told Rangers TV.
“We flipped the formation a bit to a 4-3-2-1 to be a bit more bold and aggressive and really take the game to Ross County and I thought we looked really dangerous throughout,” the former Liverpool and England midfielder added.
Meanwhile, Ross County manager John Hughes told Sky Sports: “We were set up to be hard to beat and, if you do that and give away two poor goals early on, you are up against it.”
Victory saw Rangers, whose winning streak was ended by a draw with Motherwell last time out, stay on course for a first top-flight title since the club fell into liquidation nine years ago despite champions and bitter Glasgow rivals Celtic having three games in hand.
Elsewhere, Aberdeen beat 10-man Motherwell 2-0 to move into third place.
Tommie Hoban gave the Dons a 15th-minute lead at Pittodrie before Motherwell’s Liam Polworth was sent off for using foul and abusive language.
A depleted Motherwell were still only a goal behind until 15 minutes from time when Andy Considine made the game safe for the Dons.