Dundee were well beaten tonight in Glasgow by a Rangers side that had the game sewn up long before half time. Ex Dee Glen Kamara gave Rangers an early lead and James Tavernier added a quick second. The third came from Alfredo Morelos midway through the first half. The Dark Blues stuck to their guns and held out until shortly before the final whistle when Jermain Defore added the final goal.
Both clubs made two changes from the weekend’s games. Dundee brought in Darren O’Dea and Ethan Robson in the places of Craig Curran, who was unwell, and Genseric Kusunga who dropped onto the bench. Rangers’ changes were Borna Barisic, in for Andy Halliday, and Alfredo Morelos who returned from suspension and replaced Jemain Defoe.
Not for the first time this season the Dark Blues got off to a dreadful start, falling behind after only three minutes. In their first attack Rangers won a free kick wide on the right. James Tavernier’s low cross allowed Glen KAMARA to score with a simple volley at the near post. It may have been his first goal in Scottish football but the celebration of a goal against his former club was extremely restrained.
The defending for that first goal was bad and it didn’t improve. Rangers cut Dundee open repeatedly with fast passing and endless clever movement as they approached the penalty area and they went further ahead four minutes later. Alfredo Morelos was sent clear but Seny Dieng made a fine save. However, the rebound fell to TAVERNIER who had no trouble scoring.
The third goal came after 22 minutes. More quick passing sent Scott Arfield to the byline and his low cross was turned in at the far post by MORELOS.
Dundee made regular, but ineffective trips forward into Rangers’ half. The moves almost always fell apart with poor passing or poor decisions. Rangers were happy to let Dundee venture forward, justifiably confident that they could hurt the Dee on the break. The home side attacked less often in the later stages of the first half, but always looked deadly when they did.
Rangers should have run in a fourth goal 10 minutes from half time when Morelos was inexplicably left unmarked 30 yards from goal. Arfield sent him running in on goal, but Rangers’ top scorer shot wide.
Rangers started the second half in the same vein, pushing for more goals. A fast one-two played Morelos in to shoot but Dieng saved well and this time the rebound evaded the Rangers players trying to follow up.
After that Rangers lost some of their cutting edge and became sloppier all over the pitch, making life easier for Dundee. The home side never relinquished their control of the game, however, but started to give the ball away and allow Dundee players some space. When Rangers did attack wild finishing and careless passing frustrated the home fans for long periods as Dundee held on.
Dundee offered more threat in attack than they had in the first half and should have done better when Scott Wright worked his way clear on the right and his low cross found Ethan Robson in front of goal. He took a touch, lost the chance when he was closed down and fed the ball sideways to Andy Dales, whose shot flew over.
Ryan Kent remained Rangers’ most dangerous player and went close with a cross shot after a skillful run into the penalty area.
Kenny Miller came on for Jesse Curran and almost scored within a minute. Dales raced down the right and crossed for Miller, but McGregor managed to block the shot and Robson made a mess of the follow up, slicing the ball well wide.
Borna Barisic came desperately close to a fourth with a free kick from 22 yards that bounced down off the underside of the crossbar, landing a foot outside the line. As Rangers continued to stutter in attack it looked as if Dundee would reach the final whistle without further damage. However, a minute from the end of normal time substitute Jermain DEFOE ran on to Ryan Jack’s pass, held off Ryan McGowan and smacked the ball past Dieng for the fourth goal.
The game was ended as a contest in the opening stages when Rangers ran through Dundee repeatedly. The Dark Blues simply could not cope with Rangers’ fast movement and passing. Dundee’s defending was poor at times in the first half, but they were facing very high quality attacking. After the interval Dundee were more successful at frustrating Rangers and they did manage to use the ball better at times, but over the 90 minutes there is no doubt that they were well beaten by the better team.
Tavernier (c), Goldson, Worrall, Barisic
Candeias (Defoe 65), Kamara, Arfield (Davis at half time), Kent (McRorie 72)
Unused subs: Foderingham (gk), Lafferty, Katic, Coulibaly.
Dundee FC 4-1-4-1
Horsfield, Ryan McGowan, O’Dea, Ralph
Jesse Curran (Miller 67), Robson, McGowan, Dales (O’Sullivan 86)
Unused subs: Parish (gk), Kerr, Kusunga, Hadenius, Moore.
Booked: O’Dea (foul on Kent), Woods (foul on Davis).
Referee: Don Robertson. Assistants: Paul O’Neill, Joseph Lawson. Fourth Official: William Collum.
Report: James Christie.