Rangers coasted past Livingston at a snowy Ibrox to extend their lead at the top of the SPFL Championship to six points ahead of Hibs' trip to Falkirk tomorrow.
The damage was all done in the first half, with Rangers hitting four goals past their opponents in the opening period. Danny Wilson got his first goal for the club to open the scoring, before a Kenny Miller effort and Martyn Waghorn double made it four. A sluggishly-paced second half saw Rangers fail to add to their tally, however, with Livingston pulling a goal back through Liam Buchanan.
Rangers had gotten off to a flying start, with Barrie McKay immediately causing havoc down the left flank, quickly drawing two bad fouls and a yellow card from the Livingston right-back. The resultant chaos at the back contributed greatly to Rangers' success, and despite the conditions, Mark Warburton's men were playing decent football. The deadlock was broken by a surprising source, however, when Danny Wilson headed home after Waghorn saw his effort saved but loop up in front of the goalmouth.
Rangers didn't take long to double their lead, with Miller clattered in the area for a clear penalty. Waghorn stepped up to do what he does best, and duly made it 2-0. Livi were in disarray, and Miller later made it three with a fine finish after a short corner.
Rangers' fourth came from another loose ball in the area, as Lee Wallace saw a shot blocked before Waghorn raced onto it to flick it over the keeper, and a rugby score looked on the cards as Livingston wilted. Yet the half-time whistle was soon to come, and the second half proved to be a mediocre one.
Rangers were rarely looking troubled, although Buchanan pulled one back with an effort from the edge of the area which crept past Wes Foderingham into the far post, before almost scoring an improbable second with a long-range lob which landed over the bar.
Waghorn didn't get the chance to complete his hat-trick, as he was soon withdrawn after suffering a minor knock, with Nicky Clark and Gedion Zelalem getting in on the action. Unfortunately for Rangers, the pace was soon taken out of the game, and they could force few clear chances.
Rangers ought to have had five when Nicky Clark headed home in the dying minutes, but the referee had blown his whistle for a handball, meaning a penalty was the result instead. Andy Halliday stepped up to take it, but saw his powerful effort beaten away by the Livingston keeper.
Considering the conditions, any win and no injuries would've been a decent enough result here. The football in the first half was outstanding, and while the second half was a disappointment, the drop in tempo is probably understandable. Hibs' trip to Falkirk tomorrow will be of some interest to see if Rangers' six-point lead will stand.