Rangers manager Michael Beale is “seeing really good signs” from his team, but he was “frustrated” by aspects of their play as they fought back to win a six-goal thriller at Motherwell.
The visitors fell behind early on thanks to a Kevin van Veen strike, but James Tavernier’s free kick leveled things up before the captain delivered for Fashion Sakala to score.
Motherwell responded through Bevis Mugabi, but Todd Cantwell and Malik Tillman scored twice in six minutes to put the game out of reach for the hosts, who had Callum Slattery sent off.
“We recovered really well,” Ibrox manager Jim McInnes told BBC Sportsound. “I thought we were in control of the whole game, it was just whether we could up our quality.
“Again we’re frustrated there wasn’t a couple of more goals. I’d like to see us score more points. It’s starting to become a habit. This team has the ability to score more goals.”
The win for Beale’s side cut the gap on leaders Celtic to six points, but Ange Postecoglou’s men restored their nine-point lead with a victory over Hibernian at home later on Saturday.
The defeat ends Stuart Kettlewell’s four-game unbeaten run as manager for Motherwell, who remain ninth and are now winless in 55 top-flight games against Rangers.
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A James McFadden goal in 2002 earned the Fir Park club their last Premiership victory in this fixture.
And it was current talisman Van Veen who had the home fans dreaming as he tucked in Max Johnston’s cross before wheeling away in front of a travelling support who had protested against the Ibrox board prior to the game.
Rangers toiled in search of an equalizer as Motherwell’s rigid 5-4-1 shape made life difficult, but Slattery’s wild challenge on John Lundstram on the edge of the box resulted in Tavernier bending a free-kick over the wall, beating Liam Kelly far too easily.
Tavernier then set up Sakala to head home a minute after the break, his sixth goal in six games against Motherwell.
Rangers failed to clear their lines, allowing Mugabi to prod the ball in on the slide, bringing Kettlewell’s side level.
Cantwell smashed in from close range for his first goal for his new club four minutes later, before substitute Tillman drilled a quickfire fourth with a fine strike from the edge of the area.
Motherwell were reduced to 10 men for the final 14 minutes after Slattery was shown a second yellow card for a flailing arm on Cantwell, but the hosts were spared a heaver defeat as Rangers spurned additional chances to add gloss to the win.