Rangers fought to a resilient 1-0 victory at home to St Johnstone on Wednesday evening, edging closer to the SPFL title and handing Steven Gerrard his 100th win as manager.
The league leaders started off in dominant fashion but failed to take their chances in the first half. Ryan Kent fired wide from inside the box, while James Tavernier couldn’t capitalise on his run and finish off a well-placed cross from the right flank.
St Johnstone grew into the first half after missed chances and came close themselves when Craig Byson forced a low save out of Allan McGregor. The visitors were happy to surrender possession, however, and Rangers continued to test their defence through to half-time, but were a tad fortunate to return for the second half with 11 men when Kemar Roofe was only booked for a late challenge on Murray Davidson.
Rangers finally found a way through after the break. Winger Ianis Hagi drifted inside from the right flank and fired the ball home from outside the box with a low, left-footed strike after 52 minutes, bagging his fifth goal in all competitions this season.
The solo effort settled the nerves for Gerrard’s side who looked much more in control and continued to create chances. Roofe almost caught out goalkeeper Zander Clark who struggled to deal with a low cross from Tavernier, but he managed to gather the ball.
St Johnstone didn’t go down without a fight and managed to sting the palms of McGregor before the full-time whistle through Craig Bryson, but the home side held out for a resilient win that puts them within six games of securing their first top flight title in ten years.
Speaking after the match, assistant Gary McAllister praised the togetherness of the club, quoted by Sky Sports: “It shows the level of job that he (Gerrard) has produced here, but he will say and I will say and the players will say that it has been about everybody. It is not just about Steven and he won’t be taking the acclaim for that.
“It is a whole team effort and it is credit to everyone that has been on this journey.”