Dundee 1-2 Rangers:Match report and goals

Match Analysis
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Rangers went to the top of the table on Saturday beating Dundee 2-1 at Dens Park as they recorded their first top flight win since winning at St Johnstone in May 2012.

Three first half goals settled the contest. Harry Forrester and Kenny Miller had Rangers 2-0 ahead, but Mark O'Hara made sure Dundee had some say in the game with his header before half-time.

Rangers came away from Dens with all three points, but the game itself was, to use the old cliche, a game of two halves in terms of the Rangers performance.

The first half washed away the Hamilton display. Rangers were excellent and should have finished the game off in the first 45. The fluid movement within the 4-3-3 system was a joy to watch and it was tough for Dundee to cope with, especially Danny Williams and Cammy Kerr who were playing down Dundee's right-hand side.

And that was evident from Rangers' first move in the fifth minute. Danny Wilson played the ball wide to McKay and the young winger's perfectly weighted pass sent Wallace in behind Cammy Kerr, but the Gers captain's cross was tipped away by Bain, with Rangers having no takers in the six-yard box.

Rangers would continue to threaten and this time it was down the right-hand side. Barton, Rossiter and Tavernier were all involved but unfortunately for Rangers, Halliday's effort was kept out by Bain.

But Rangers were well on top and the interchanging between the front three had Dundee well and truly on the back foot, and the opening goal would result from both wide men swapping flanks. With 14 minutes on the clock, McKay and Tavernier combined, Tavernier's cross was partially cleared but McKay kept the ball alive before Harry Forrester's acrobatic swivel and shot thundered beyond Bain to an outstanding roar from the away fans behind the other goal.

And Just after the goal, Rangers could and probably should have doubled the lead. Barton and Halliday pressed and won the ball in midfield – Halliday found Wallace on the left but his cutback couldn't be converted as Harry Forrester fired over.

Forrester went close again, but this time he got up beyond the defender to head over Tavernier's fine whipped delivery.

The pressure would finally pay off seven minutes before the break. And it was the McKay-Wallace combination again. Wallace latched onto McKay's ball in behind - Wallace cut it back for Miller to finish expertly into the top corner with his left foot.

By this stage there only looked to be one winner and Rangers were on easy street and they should have been even further ahead when Miller was one-on-one with Bain, but it appeared that the veteran was caught in two minds and Bain got the better of him on this occasion.

However, when one team doesn't take their chances, they usually are made to pay. And that was true of Rangers. They couldn't deal with Danny Williams' corner and Mark O'Hara lost Joey Barton and headed beyond Foderingham, which was more than Dundee deserved at that point. 2-0 completely flattered them and going in at 2-1 was a huge boost for the home side.

Rangers struggled to hit the heights of their superb first-half showing in the second 45. However, the main positive to take from it was that the team's defensive shape was well-kept and it showed that they are able to deviate from their usual way of playing in order to see out a sticky patch and get the three points.

Danny Wilson and Rob Kiernan were particularly solid and were largely untroubled - both made important blocks at periods in the half. In fact, The only two times Dundee caused the Rangers goal any danger was when Williams ran through onto a long ball, but Wallace and Foderigham saw him out and when Dundee sub Yordi Teijsse fired a shot straight at Foderingham from 19 yards out.

Rangers' game management was much better in the second half, in terms of seeing the game out. And even so they could have added to the lead in stoppage time when Dodoo flicked the ball over the head of the defender on the left and McKay was denied by another fingertip Bain save.

It was a momentous moment at the final whistle as Rangers grabbed their first league win since April. It wasn't perfect, but it certainly showed that Rangers have a new-found stubborn and solid side to their play.


RANGERS:Foderingham; Tavernier, Kiernan, Wilson, Wallace; Halliday (Kranjcar 63), Rossiter, Barton; Forrester (O'Halloran 69), Miller (Dodoo 62), McKay.

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