Dundee’s bad start to the season continued with a 4-0 defeat against Rangers at Ibrox. Lassana Coulibaly and Ryan Kent shot the Gers into a quick two goal lead. A James Tavernier penalty made it three on the stroke of half time and Glenn Middleton completed the scoring with a late goal. A bad day for the Dee was completed when captain Kenny Miller was penalised with a straight red card late in the match.
The Dark Blues made five changes. Elliott Parish, Darren O’Dea, Elton Ngwatala came in, while Andy Boyle made his debut in central defence and Calvin Miller was given his first start after impressing in his susbstitute appearance against Motherwell. Jack Hamilton, Genseric Kusunga, Adil Nabi, and Lewis Spence moved onto the bench. Josh Meekings was injured. The Rangers line up had three changes, with Andy Halliday, Daniel Candeias, and Lassana Coulibaly replacing Ryan Jack, Oviemuno Ejaria and Kyle Lafferty.
The last thing Dundee wanted was to give Rangers the boost of an early goal, but that’s exactly what happened. The home side put the Dee under the cosh in a prolonged attack with the Dark Blues unable to clear. It ended with Borna Barisic’s shot being deflected into the path of Lassana COULIBALY, who couldn’t miss from five yards.
Rangers were slicing through the midfield with ease putting the Dundee defence under constant pressure. Alfredo Morelos had the ball in the net again within two minutes of the goal, but was judged to be offside.
The second goal arrived after 13 minutes when Ryan KENT quickly swapped passes with Morelos before tucking the ball past Parish.
Kent almost scored again when Rangers cut Dundee open in a quick attack, but Parish saved well to push the shot round the post. From the corner Dundee broke quickly with Elton Ngwatala racing upfield, finding Kenny Miller and taking the return pass before seeing his shot blocked.
That little passage of play summed up the first half. Dundee had plenty of the ball and worked it into promising positions around Rangers’ penalty area, but without forcing Allan McGregor into a save. Rangers, on the other hand, were ripping through Dundee, making far better use of the ball in possession.
After a lengthy spell in which Dundee were matching Rangers, they conceded a penalty in stoppage time at the end of the first half. Morelos sneaked into the corner of the penalty area on Darren O’Dea’s blind side to take a pass from Kent. O’Dea turned and tackled in the same movement, and clumsily brought Morelos down for an obvious penalty. James TAVERNIER scored comfortably.
The first half was open with play flying from end to end and Rangers allowing Dundee the time and space to attack. That changed after half time with Rangers ruthlessly closing Dundee out of the game, exercising total control, holding the ball and building their attacks more patiently.
Dundee had only one shot in the second half, when Kharl Madianga forced a routine save from Allan McGregor from 18 yards. For the rest of the half Rangers were turning the screw on the Dundee defence, always threatening to score more goals.
Cammy Kerr saved a certain fourth goal, flinging himself at Morelos’s shot after O’Dea had missed the ball allowing Kent to draw Parish and set up the Colombian striker for what looked like a tap in. O’Dea, who had been struggling with injury, was then replaced by Genseric Kusunga.
Elliott Parish was not at fault with any of the goals and made a fine save from Morelos’s angled shot. He was finally beaten after 82 minutes, following another defensive mistake. Instead of clearing a low cross into the six yard box Kusunga chested it down right in front of substitute Glenn MIDDLETON who reacted quickly to sweep the ball past the astonished Parish.
Shortly before the goal Kenny Miller received a straight red card for a challenge on Barisic. After that the final whistle couldn’t come quickly enough for the 10 men as Rangers pummelled the Dark Blues looking for more goals.
Substitute Kyle Lafferty had a goal disallowed when he turned Middleton’s cross into the net. He then hit the angle of post and bar with a header. In injury time Parish made a final great save, somehow keeping out Connor Goldson’s close range header.
After conceding the two early goals Dundee had a huge mountain to climb if they were to get anything from the match. Although they did have some promising attacks in the first half the players could never find the right final pass or cross. The decision making in the final third wasn’t good enough and Allan McGregor was never worried by anything the Dee did.
The defence was shaky throughout, with regular lapses. The midfield offered little serious protection to the defence, but did look creative coming forward in the first half. After half time Dundee vanished from the match as an attacking force when Rangers throttled the game. Three of the goals might have come before half time, but it was only after the break that the game became completely one sided. Sadly today there was very little to offer any cheer for the loyal travelling support.
Tavernier, Katic, Goldson, Barisic
Halliday, Coulibaly (Middleton 55)
Candeias, Arfield, Kent (Lafferty 64)
Morelos (Grezda 75)
Unused subs: Foderingham (gk), Worrall, Flanagan, McRorie.
Goals: Coulibaly (3), Kent (13), Tavernier pen (45+2), Middleton (82).
Booked: Katic (foul on Ngwatala), Morelos (foul on Kerr).
Dundee FC 3-5-2
O’Dea (Kusunga 50), Boyle, Kerr
Curran, McGowan, Madianga, Ngwatala, Calvin Miller (Nabi 70)
Kenny Miller (c), Källman (Moussa 62)
Unused subs: Hamilton (gk), Mendy, Spence, Moore.
Booked: Kerr (foul on Candeias), Ngwatala (foul on Candeias), Miller (foul on Halliday).
Sent off: Miller (foul on Barisic)
Referee: Kevin Clancy. Assistants: Douglas Ross, Sean Carr. Fourth Official: Euan Anderson.
Report: James Christie.