Michael Beale post match press conference 👆🏻
Rangers recorded another victory under the management of Michael Beale as goals from Alfredo Morelos, Connor Goldson and Malik Tillman helped sink Motherwell at Ibrox.
First half headers by Morelos and Goldson, both from Borna Barisic deliveries, put the home side in the driving seat. Tillman’s cool finish in the second half made it a comfortable scoreline for the men in blue.
The 3-0 win felt needed after three tight encounters to start Beale’s tenure.
The new boss now has maximum points going into the next match, a small matter of an Old Firm game on January 2.
After a hattrick of hard-fought victories—all by a margin of one goal—Beale wanted his players to have more control. But above all he knew winning first and foremost was the most important thing as the Light Blues look to claw themselves back into the title race.
The home team made five changes to the starting XI from Friday’s win in Dingwall: Allan McGregor returned from illness; Barisic was back after his World Cup exploits with Croatia; Ryan Jack slotted into midfield; Morelos led the line once more; and Alex Lowry got his chance to impress from the get-go.
So, out went Jon McLaughlin, Adam Devine, Glen Kamara, Scott Arfield and Fashion Sakala.
The away side tested Rangers with a few early set-pieces, and McGregor had to rush out of his goal to challenge the onrushing Connor Shields, who capitalised on a short back-pass from John Lundstram to Ben Davies. Nevertheless the goalkeeper and the Englishman done enough between them to only concede a corner.
Not long after, Morelos opened the scoring with 13 minutes played, thumping home a delicious cross from Barisic. The Columbian was in the right place at the right time in the middle of the six-yard box to settle any early nerves around the stadium.
Malik Tillman could have made it 2-0 seven minutes later. His shot from an acute angle was fired high over the bar after the ball had deflected into his path following a blocked shot from Lundstram.
A second for Rangers eventually came and via another header seven minutes from half-time. Goldson on this occasion rose highest at a Barisic corner and the defender’s looping effort came crashing off the underside of the bar, leaving Liam Kelly with no chance.
Lowry and Morelos had chances to make it three before the break. However, Kelly stood firm to deny them respectively. Lowry’s shot from distance was beaten away and Morelos fired straight at the keeper after a backheel from Tillman played him in.
The two-goal lead perhaps flattered the Ibrox men, but they looked good for preserving the manager’s winning start.
Young Lowry was denied again as the second period got underway, his shot cleared off the line after a scramble at a corner.
Motherwell’s defence was there again to prevent a third goal crossing the line when Paul McGinn cleared Morelos’ nonchalant back-flick to safety after the striker had evaded the attentions of the Steelmen’s backline.
But the game was officially over as a contest in the 63rd minute when Morelos set up Tillman, who grabbed his goal when he slid the ball calmly past Kelly and into the corner from the right-hand side.
As the game entered its closing stages, both goalkeepers maintained the 3-0 scoreline. McGregor denying ‘Well youngster Luca Ross from close-range and Kelly prevented substitute Rabbi Matondo from getting on the scoresheet.
Team line ups
1 Allan McGregor
2 James Tavernier
6 Connor Goldson
26 Ben Davies
31 Borna Barisic
4 John Lundstam
8 Ryan Jack
51 Alex Lowry
71 Malik Tillman
14 Ryan Kent
20 Alfredo Morelos
33 Jon McLaughlin
17 Rabbi Matondo
18 Glen Kamara
19 James Sands
23 Scott Wright
30 Fashion Sakala
37 Scott Arfield
38 Leon King
44 Adam Devine
1 Liam Kelly
2 Stephen O’Donnell
16 Paul McGinn
4 Rickie Lamie
24 Matt Penney
27 Sean Goss
8 Callum Slattery
7 Blair Spittal
18 Dean Cornelius
17 Stuart McKinstry
29 Connor Shields
13 Aston Oxborough
6 Barry Maguire
9 Kevin van Veen
26 Ross Tierney
36 Kian Speirs
38 Lennon Miller
47 Luca Ross
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