Livingston fell to their fifth consecutive defeat on a cold midday kick off, with Rangers rolling to a comfortable 2-0 win in West Lothian. Goals from Cyriel Dessers and a James Tavernier penalty consolidated two disallowed goals and a missed penalty in an eventful day at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Cyriel Dessers would be the first to cause the Livi defence problems in a match that would be predictably mostly Rangers. Cutting in from the left, his shot demanded a good save from Shamal George who blocked with his legs.
Rangers would have the ball in the back of the net early, with James Tavernier whipping in a free kick from the left that bounced off George to Borna Barisic at the back post, who nodded the ball back across for Connor Goldson to knock home. His effort would be chalked off though, with Dessers adjudged to have interfered with play from an offside position courtesy of a VAR check.
Clever play from Ross McCausland almost caught Livi on the counter attack, breaking from his own half, his footwork appeared to wrongfoot Jame Penrice, however the defender managed to keep the pressure on, causing the Rangers winger to shoot wide of the target.
Rangers would get a penalty perhaps controversially midway into the first half. McCausland would get to the ball first following a good sliding challenge initially put him off his stride. Knocking the ball past George, the Livi keeper appeared to catch his left leg, however replays would show that the youngster was already going down before George got to him. A VAR check would maintain the original on-field decision, and up stepped Tavernier. The script would be thrown out though, as the Rangers skipper clipped the ball past the right post for a goal kick and a moment of perhaps justice for the Lions.
The visitors would get their goal on 26 minutes, however. Tom Lawrence broke on the counter again, driving towards the half way line before playing a beautiful through ball to Dessers. His attempt was blocked by Sean Kelly, but still trickled over the line into the net to put the Glasgow giants 1-0 up.
There would be further VAR controversy as the visitors would again have the ball in the back of the net. Goldson sent a looping cross to the back post where Abdallah Sima was waiting. His initial touch caused him to go down, and Dessers’ follow up shot was blocked into the path of McCausland who made no mistake blasting the ball into the top corner. VAR would get involved and rule the goal out, with Sima fouling Cristian Montano in the lead up.
And VAR would again get involved in the second half, with referee Steven McLean being invited to review a handball incident following a cross into the box from the left wing for Rangers. Livi skipper Michael Devlin’s hand was above his head as he attempted to clear the ball, it striking his hand, and leaving the referee with no choice but to award Rangers their second penalty of the game. Tavernier made no mistake this time, sending the ball to the right of George and securing a comfortable 2-0 win and three points back along the M8 to Glasgow.
Match Report: David Hastie
George, Devlin ©️, Montaño ▊ (Brandon 83), Sn.Kelly, de Lucas (Parkes 69), Penrice, Shinnie, Sangare (Holt 45), Pittman, Nouble (Guthrie 78), Anderson
Butland, Goldson, Barisic, Balogun, Tavernier, Lundstram, McCausland (Cantwell ▊ 78), Jack (Yilmaz 89), Lawrence (Lammers 78), Sima (Cifuentes 89), Dessers (Danilo 61)
Subs not used:
|Referee: Steven McLean | HT: 0-1 | Att: 8,089