Four-star Gers hit back to sink Well

Nick Blackman gave the visitors the lead just before half-time but
the champions hit back through Steven Naismith, Steven Davis, Kenny
Miller and Vladimir Weiss in a blistering second-half spell. The
victory allowed Rangers to maintain their 100% record ahead of next
week’s Old Firm derby and also pile the pressure on Celtic ahead of
their clash with Dundee United tomorrow. Neil Alexander made his
first SPL start of the season for Rangers, in place of the
suspended Allan McGregor, who was controversially handed a
retrospective ban following an incident against Aberdeen. Walter
Smith’s men were also without the injured Lee McCulloch for the
visit of high-flying Motherwell. Rangers started well and could
have taken an early lead when Naismith tried his luck from the edge
of the area and his shot took a massive deflection that saw the
effort fall just wide of the post. Steven Whittaker was then not
too far away with an angled drive that dipped just over the
crossbar, as the Scottish champions continued to pile on the
pressure. Weiss also had a decent chance when he did well to hold
off three Motherwell players before unleashing a shot from 20 yards
that had just too much height on it. At the other end, Blackman
tried to give Motherwell the lead with a shot from distance that
failed to trouble Alexander in the Rangers goal. Darren Randolph
was called into action for the visitors when he blocked from
Whittaker at the near post before the Rangers full-back nodded over
from the rebound. Motherwell were looking dangerous in flashes and
Alexander had to be alert to intercept a Chris Humphrey cross
before John Sutton could connect in front of goal. It was the
visitors who took the lead a minute before the break when Steven
Jennings delivered a cross from the left and Blackman nodded home
in off the underside of the bar. Rangers were back on level terms
just two minutes after the restart. Kyle Lafferty slipped a pass
through to Naismith, who managed to bundle over the line despite
the best efforts of Randolph trying to smother at his feet.
Naismith could have claimed a second just moments later, when Weiss
attempted to pick him out with a long ball but the goalkeeper raced
off his line to block before he could shoot. The home side took the
lead with 63 minutes gone. Davis collected from Naismith before
surging into the box and lashing high into the net, leaving
Randolph with no chance. The champions then claimed their third of
the day a minute later, Naismith providing the delivery from the
left and Miller directing a low header into the back of the net.
Motherwell were left reeling as the goals continued to come, this
time Weiss raced on to a Lafferty pass and rounded the goalkeeper
before slotting home after 66 minutes. With little hope of a
comeback from Motherwell, Rangers were able to withdraw goalscorers
Miller and Weiss and throw youngsters Rory Loy and Gregg Wylde into
the action late on. Wylde delivered a great ball into the box but
there were no takers in the goalmouth to claim Rangers’ fifth of
the day and Mark Reynolds was able to clear the danger. Another
young player, Kyle Hutton, came off the bench as Rangers cruised to
victory in the end, providing a boost ahead of the visit of
Valencia in the Champions League.