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Rangers fall 2-1 to Dundee as second place starts to slip away

Dundee United v Dundee - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Rangers fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Dens Park to leave the Gers chances of finishing second in the table hanging by a thread. It was the first time Dundee had won at home against Rangers since August 1992.

Interim boss Graeme Murty made three changes to the side that beat Morton 2-1 in the Scottish Cup last weekend with Joe Garner, Lee Hodson and Rob Kiernan coming in for Jason Holt, Lee Wallace and Philippe Senderos.

Dundee almost took the lead immediately when Craig Wighton burst down the left before putting a cross right on Mark O’Hara’s head but he couldn’t direct it goalwards.

Rangers started to put pressure on their hosts and push for the opener but with 12 minutes gone Dundee took the lead. Henrik Ojamaa and Craig Wighton linked well down the left to take advantage of some poor defending by James Taernier and Rob Kiernan before the Scotland U21 cap played a low cross to O’Hara who steered the ball into the back of the net.

O’Hara’s goal knocked the wind out of Rangers and Murty’s side struggled to regain their composure. Scrappy defensively and wasteful in midfield it was no surprise when Dundee made it 2-0 just before the break.

Mark O’Hara fooled Wilson into tripping him on the edge of the Rangers penalty box and Kevin Holt stepped up to whip a low free kick into the penalty area that flew by everyone, including Wes Foderingham, into the bottom corner. Foderingham got a hand to it but should have done much better to keep the ball out.

Dundee came out after the break looking to immediately grab a third goal and kill off the tie completely. Wighton and O’Hara both caused problems for the Rangers defence but it was Rangers who scored first in the second period.

With an hour gone Joe Garner picked the ball up wide on the left and was allowed to drive forward unchallenged before firing a swerving shot beyond Bain from 25 yards and give the Rangers fans hope of a comeback.

Rangers’ best chance to level the score fell to sub Harry Forrester with just ten minutes left. Waghorn’s hooked cross didn’t fall properly for Joe Garner before Forrester took a swipe at it and missed completely with the goal at his mercy.

Rangers now face the prospect of Celtic wrapping up the SPFL Premiership at Ibrox when the sides meet in March.

Dundee: Bain, Holt, Vincent, O’Dea, O’Hara, Extabeguren, McGowan, Haber, Ojamaa (Williams), Kerr, Wighton

Subs: Gourlay, Hateley, Ross, El Bakhtaoui, Grozhalov, Gomis

Goals: O’Hara 12, Holt 41’

Rangers: Foderingham; Tavernier, Hill (Wilson), Kiernan, Hodson; Hyndman, Halliday (Holt); Waghorn, Miller, McKay (Forrester); Garner

Subs: Alnwick, O’Halloran, Dodoo, Houston,

Goals: Garner 61’,