Morelos stars from the bench as Gers move up to second

Rangers 3-0 Livingston: Alfredo Morelos stars from the bench as Gers move up to second in the Premiership

  • Rangers beat Livingston 3-0 to move up to second in the Ladbrokes Premiership 
  • Substitute Alfredo Morelos scored the second goal befoe setting up the third
  • Daniel Candeias gave the Steven Gerrard’s side the lead after 20 minutes
  • Scott Arfield netted the third and final goal with two minutes remaining at Ibrox 

Alfredo Morelos came off the bench to finally see off the challenge of Livingston as Rangers moved second in the Ladbrokes Premiership with a 3-0 victory.

Daniel Candeias headed Rangers in front in the 20th minute at Ibrox but the visitors stayed in the game despite a lack of striking options.

However Morelos – who was rested from the start – scored his 16th goal of the season with seven minutes left before setting up Scott Arfield to seal a 3-0 victory in the 88th minute.

Alfredo Morelos scored one goal and assisted another as Rangers beat Livingston 3-0 

Alfredo Morelos scored one goal and assisted another as Rangers beat Livingston 3-0 

The forward was rested but came off the bench to put the game beyond Livingston at Ibrox

The forward was rested but came off the bench to put the game beyond Livingston at Ibrox

The result see Rangers move up to second in the Premiership, just two points behind Celtic

The result see Rangers move up to second in the Premiership, just two points behind Celtic

Rangers handed Gareth McAuley a first start and named Kyle Lafferty in attack.

Livingston started with midfielder Scott Robinson as their lone frontman after losing Dolly Menga, the striker who netted the winner when the teams met in September. He was suspended following a headbutt on Celtic’s Ryan Christie.

The visitors threatened first when Alan Lithgow turned and shot against the outside of a post after Shaun Byrne had returned the ball following a half-cleared corner.

Rangers left-winger Glenn Middleton was seeing plenty of the ball and his cross created a double chance – Liam Kelly saved from Arfield and then Lithgow cleared the follow-up from Candeias off the line.

The hosts went ahead after another brilliant delivery from Middleton, who whipped a corner into the near-post area. The unmarked Candeias got there before Kelly and powered a header home from four yards.

Daniel Candeias' brave header gave Rangers a 1-0lead 20 minutes into the first half 

Daniel Candeias’ brave header gave Rangers a 1-0lead 20 minutes into the first half 

Despite the early joy Rangers could not make the most of their play until Morelos' introduction

Despite the early joy Rangers could not make the most of their play until Morelos’ introduction

Steven Gerrard looked frustrated at times before he decided to introduce the Portuguese

Steven Gerrard looked frustrated at times before he decided to introduce the Portuguese

Steven Gerrard’s side failed to build on the goal and conceded a series of set-pieces which gave the visitors some half-chances. Lithgow headed wide, Scott Pittman shot over and Allan McGregor stopped Craig Halkett’s free-kick.

Lafferty had a great chance to double the lead just before the interval when Arfield charged down Lithgow’s clearance, but the Northern Ireland striker hit the side netting.

Middleton had a shot saved as Rangers broke with numbers six minutes after the break but still they could not sustain pressure on Kelly’s goal.

Livingston were still getting chances to deliver set-pieces but McGregor was untroubled and Gary Holt gradually threw on more creative and attacking players. Steven Lawless and Craig Sibbald entered the fray before striker Jack Hamilton replaced the injured Robinson in the 74th minute.

After making it 2-0, Morelos set up midfielder Scott Arfield to round off an important win

After making it 2-0, Morelos set up midfielder Scott Arfield to round off an important win

Arfield made sure Morelos got plenty of credit for the assist, before his trademark celebration

Arfield made sure Morelos got plenty of credit for the assist, before his trademark celebration

McGregor was soon called into action to make a double save from Keaghan Jacobs and Lawless.

But Morelos – who had replaced Lafferty in the 62nd minute – soon removed any doubt about the result.

The Colombian collected a pass from James Tavernier before cutting inside Halkett and drilling home from 16 yards.

The striker was booked along with Lithgow following an off-the-ball clash but then turned provider by firing a ball from the byline which Arfield forced home at the near post.

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