Rangers move closer to the top as they defeat St Johnstone

Rangers are now just two points behind leading cinch Premiership leaders Celtic after defeating 10-man St Johnstone 2-0 at Ibrox. The victory was secured with goals from Cyriel Dessers and James Tavernier.

The win comes on the heels of Philippe Clement’s first trophy win as Rangers boss just days earlier, in the Viaplay Cup final against Aberdeen. However, the success was tempered by the loss of striker Kemar Roofe to injury after just 16 minutes.

Replacement player Cyriel Dessers put the Light Blues ahead in the 28th minute, just before Saints forward Diallang Jaiyesimi was sent off for a challenge on midfielder John Lundstram after a VAR intervention.

The Rangers captain, James Tavernier, secured the victory with a penalty in the 84th minute. This win puts Rangers tantalizingly close to their rivals, Celtic.

In the lead up to the game, Clement made several changes to the team. Kieran Dowell had a standout performance, making only his third start of the season. While Saints boss Craig Levein brought back Andy Considine, Oludare Olufunwa and Sven Sprangler to his team.

Despite a low-key start to the match, the game quickly turned intense. John Souttar required treatment for a facial injury, while Roofe, in his first start since October, left the game with an injury, leaving him visibly distraught.

Rangers dominated possession throughout the match, with the game mostly being played in the Saints’ half. Their disciplined defense was eventually breached as Dessers put the Light Blues in the lead after Olufunwa missed a cross from Tavernier.

The deeper into the game it got, the more intense it became. Diallang Jaiyesimi’s challenge on Lundstram led to his sending off, which was upgraded from a yellow to a red card after a VAR check. The match’s pace remained high with several close misses from both sides.

Ultimately, the Saints’ defense was undone, and Rangers secured their victory with a penalty, cementing their position as a formidable challenger to the Premiership leaders.


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