Rangers needed a late goal to see off dogged Kilmarnock at Ibrox as they began the countdown to Steven Gerrard’s imminent arrival as manager with a 1-0 win over Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership.
Jimmy Nicholl took charge of the Gers following Graeme Murty’s sacking earlier in the week and made two changes to the side which was thrashed 5-0 by Celtic with Alfredo Morelos and David Bates replacing Josh Windass and Ross McCrorie.
The Light Blues saw lots of possession in the opening half without every really threatening Jamie MacDonald’s goal with Morelos and Jason Cummings looked isolated for long spells.
Nicholl’s side had Jak Alnwick to thank for keeping the scores level when he pulled off a brilliant double save to deny Killie from Kris Boyd’s free-kick and then stop the rebound being poked home.
Jamie Murphy had the Gers’ best chance of breaking the deadlock when his looping header was clawed out by Jamie MacDonald
After getting to the break level at half-time, Killie were happy to sit back and let the Ibrox giants have the ball but Nicholl’s side lacked any real bite to break down the hosts defence and open the scoring.
Kilmarnock continued to frustrate the Gers before Bates finally scored from substitute Sean Goss’ free-kick to ease the tension and bring a palpable sense of relief to Ibrox.
Click ‘reveal’ below to see how we rated Rangers’ stars v Kilmarnock