Rangers returned to winning ways in the Scottish Premier League with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the Caledonian Stadium.
An impressive first half display secured the points for Ally McCoist’s men. Goals from Steven Davis, Sone Aluko and Andrew Little put the match beyond the reach of the hosts before Steve Williams pulled a goal back, and Lee McCulloch added a fourth 20 minutes from time.
The win keeps Rangers in pole position to secure Europa League football for next season via a second place league finish, although the club’s ongoing financial struggles mean it is not yet clear whether it will be able to participate even if it does so.
Inverness were looking to prey on any weaknesses in the Scottish champions’ defense in the early moments, but instead it was their opponents who seized the initiative – Davis starting an incisive counterattack and then continuing his run to slot home from Kerkar’s low cross.
The hosts’ attacking intent remained despite this early setback, and Billy McKay’s dangerous center caused panic in the Rangers backline before Aluko missed a great chance to double their lead at the other end when he headed wide from a Davis cross.
It wasn’t long, however before Aluko redeemed himself, firing low into the bottom corner from the edge of the box after McCulloch had helped Little’s cross into his path.
Inverness continued to commit men forward in search of a way back into the game. Greg Tansey twice worried Rangers keeper Allan McGregor from long range, before McKay threatened from much closer in.
But the hosts were leaving far too much room at the back, and Kerkar soon had his second assist when his pinpoint cross found Little, who beat Inverness keeper Ryan Esson with a calm dinked finish.
Williams pulled one back for the hosts when he rose highest to head home Tansey’s corner, but Rangers went into the break well in command.
Inverness was forced into two desperate goal-line clearances in the second half as McCoist’s men looked to further extend their lead, but could not prevent McCulloch tapping home a fourth with just under 20 minutes to play.
McCulloch was then denied a superb second when his long-range strike was ruled out despite bouncing down over the line after striking the crossbar, but Rangers fans still found themselves with something to cheer about at the final whistle.
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