Report as Alfredo Morelos’ third league goal of the season and Kemar Roofe’s deflected effort continue Rangers’ run of wins ahead of Saturday’s Old Firm game with Celtic, live on Sky Sports
Digital Football Journalist
Wednesday 30 December 2020 17:20, UK
Alfredo Morelos’ first Scottish Premiership goal since September helped Rangers wrap up a 13th consecutive league victory with a 2-0 win at in-form St Mirren.
The hosts had shaded the first half before a stroke of misfortune saw Conor McCarthy deflect Kemar Roofe’s shot past Jak Alnwick for the opening goal.
They made their own issues to hand Morelos a second seven minutes later though, with the striker pouncing on Joe Shaughnessy’s poor back pass to beat Alnwick for his first league goal since September 30.
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St Mirren came closest through Jonathan Obika’s early double effort but failed to test Allan McGregor enough to seriously threaten a comeback, while Roofe saw his header from a corner cleared off the line in the second half.
The result sees Rangers keep up their 16-point lead at the top going into Saturday’s Old Firm game, live on Sky Sports Football, while St Mirren miss the chance to rise into the top half of the Scottish Premiership.
Rangers’ class shows against plucky hosts
St Mirren had provided Rangers’ first and, so far, only defeat of the season two weeks ago to the day and within 15 seconds they burst into life when Jamie McGrath strode forward and tested McGregor from 25 yards.
The hosts’ bright start continued, with their confidence clear and an intensity to their play with and without the ball, and Obika went close twice in quick succession as they threatened the opening goal.
That made the rotten luck which played its part in falling behind all the harsher, with Hagi’s slide-rule pass turned goalwards by Roofe, but deflected past his own goalkeeper by McCarthy’s despairing dive.
They could have less reason to feel short-changed when Rangers’ second followed soon after, courtesy of a horribly under-hit backpass from Shaughnessy, allowing Morelos through to beat Alnwick with a cool finish for the perfect Christmas gift to end his goalscoring drought.
After the break, St Mirren began the second half on the front foot as they had in the first, but were nearly sunk without trace when Glen Kamara found Morelos free, but from a tight angle Alnwick kept out his curling effort.
The visitors came close to putting the result beyond doubt again when Roofe’s header from a corner was cleared off the line with 20 minutes to go.
Jim Goodwin brought on Kristian Dennis in the final quarter of an hour as he looked to throw the kitchen sink at Rangers – but the league leaders saw out their 13th league victory in a row confidently to retain their 16-point lead at the top.
St Mirren travel to Kilmarnock for their first game of 2021 on Saturday; Kick-off at 3pm.
Rangers face their second Old Firm game of the campaign against Celtic earlier that day, live on Sky Sports Football from 11.30am; Kick-off at 12.30pm.
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