Gers knock four past Livinston

Rangers 4 Livingston 0

Rangers 4 Livingston 0

Rangers recorded their first win of the season at the third attempt with a comfortable 4-0 win over Livingston at Ibrox.

Goals from Dado Prso – notching his first competitive strike since joining from Monaco in the summer – two from Stephen Hughes and a late finish from Shota Arveladze were enough to send Allan Preston’s toothless side home empty-handed.

The result relieved the pressure on Rangers manager Alex McLeish, who had seen his new-look side held at Aberdeen last week and lose a Champions League qualifier against CSKA Moscow during the week.

It was a foul by Emmanuel Dorado on Nacho Novo near the right touchline that began the sequence of play which saw Prso net in only the sixth minute.

Gregory Vignal, who appears to have started the season as Rangers’ designated set-piece taker, delivered the free-kick into the box to be met by the head of Arveladze.

The Georgian was denied by Burton O’Brien’s astute positioning on the line, but after the South Africa-born player had booted clear it was not long before the ball was nestling in the back of the net.

Hughes returned the ball to the danger zone along the ground to Prso, who had little difficulty finding the net from six yards out.

The Livi defenders appealed for offside but although the Croatian had already been flagged – and would be again later in the match – the goal was allowed to stand.

Livi carved out two good chances to equalise before Hughes made it 2-0 just after the half-hour mark.

Defender Marvin Andrews was making his Rangers debut following his summer switch from Almondvale and it was his error that nearly allowed Derek Lilley to fire his side on level terms.

The striker, who also left Livi before hastily returning when his wife could not settle in England, was denied by the legs of Stefan Klos at his near post.

And when Klos could only punch a Steven Boyack free-kick as far as the striker just inside the box, the Rangers fans were grateful for the deflection that diverted the resulting shot behind for a corner.

Peter Lovenkrands had earlier attracted jeers for a poor excuse of a shot when he had been given a sight of goal beyond the back post but had a major part in Hughes’ goal in the 32nd minute.

Arveladze began the move with an exquisite back-flick on the left touchline that found the Dane and took out two defenders.

Lovenkrands fed Prso, who switched the ball across to Novo on the right. The Spaniard was held up by two challengers – but only momentarily though, as he was able to cross from the byline to find Lovenkrands once more in a good position beyond the back post.

The shot came in and there was Hughes to force it over the line in case a Livi defender was going to emulate O’Brien’s earlier block.

The Almondvale side were deflated by that strike, with skipper Stuart Lovell’s optimistic long-range effort failing to beat Klos.

There was a let-off shortly after the restart when Rubio succeeded only in looping a Fernando Ricksen long ball over his own goalkeeper, who had come to collect.

The ball fell to Arveladze but the Georgian failed to connect, having decided to try to hook the ball goalwards first time with his back to goal and the chance was gone.

Marc Libbra had not had a kick all game up front for Livi and was replaced by Colin McMenamin in the 55th minute, with Gustave Bahoken replacing Scott McLaughlin at the same time.

Steven Boyack, the former Ranger, sent a well-struck effort from the edge of the box whistling just wide before Rangers replaced Vignal with Paolo Vanoli in the 65th minute.

Livi survived a penalty appeal three minutes later when Dorado appeared to use his arms to haul Prso back as they challenged for a high ball into the box.

Within seconds Prso had been booked for a touchline foul on O’Brien and was immediately replaced by Steven Thompson.

Thompson should have made it 3-0 in the 79th minute but mis-kicked an inviting pull-back from the byline by Arveladze.

Hughes showed him how it was done however by slotting home the loose ball to make sure the chance was not passed up.

Arveladze fired home the fourth with three minutes remaining having been picked out beyond the far post, despite a desperate attempt from Bahoken to block the effort.

The game marked the competitive Ibrox debut of a number of the Gers’ summer signings, including Alex Rae.

The former Wolves midfielder had a quiet and controversy-free afternoon following his headline-making European debut that saw a CSKA Moscow player kicked in the head on Tuesday night, an incident that could land him a lengthy UEFA ban.

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