Rangers were too good for Livingston at Ibrox as Gary Holt’s side lost out to Steven Gerrard’s team 2-0.
Two goals in 16 first-half minutes made this a very steep task early on, Joe Aribo and Jermaine Defoe putting Rangers in cruise control. They coasted over the finishing line, allowing the home team to move six points clear at the top, Livi sat in ninth.
Whilst the Gers had made five changes to the side that faced Standard Liege on Thursday, Holt’s side would need to be on top, top form if anything was to be taken from this trip. A 0-0 draw earlier in the season though was a source of confidence prior to kick-off.
But 16 devastating minutes at the start of the game made Livi’s job even more difficult. First of all it was Aribo to score, Efe Ambrose losing the ball in his own half, Ianis Hagi squaring the ball to his midfield teammate as Rangers took control.
Defoe would double the advantage eight minutes later, scoring a wonderful first-time volley after latching onto a James Tavernier lob over the top. Hopes of a shock may have taken a hit but Livi did manage to prevent Rangers from running away with things.
They almost had one back themselves, Scott Pittman heading Julian Serrano’s cross onto the post with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas unable to convert a rebound. It was the only glimmer of attacking light for Holt in the first 45.
Livingston switched to a four at the back in the second half as they looked to contain Rangers some more. It was a passive half, the home team content with their lead and Livi doing well in defence, but not creating much in attack.
45 minutes came and went in pretty uneventful fashion in the second half, the home team doing enough to beat a tenacious Livingston side. Here are three things we learned.
Opening moments vital
After losing two goals in 16 minutes, this was always going to be tough for Livingston. Rangers are a side in-form at the moment and they showed that to make sure control was had early on.
It allowed Gerrard’s side to take their foot off the gas a bit as Holt’s men tried to scale the uphill mountain.
In fairness to Livingston, it would have been easy to completely lose control of a game against a dominant Rangers side after two heavy blows early doors. But the containment job was completed well enough.
Rangers weren’t creating all that many chances and Livi had a couple of opportunities of their own throughout the match.
After a run of four wins, Livi have now suffered consecutive defeats. Including League Cup matches, four of the next six will be played on their home turf which few visitors like going to.
Considering all of these matches are either against lower league opposition or Premiership rivals a maximum of two points ahead of them, Livi may be targeting another run of wins leading into December.