Rangers bounced back from their cup final disappointment to blow Kilmarnock away at Ibrox and cut the gap at the top of the Premiership to six points.
Goals from Connor Goldson, Fashion Sakala and James Tavernier gave Michael Beale’s side a 3-0 lead at half-time as their struggling opponents were reduced to the role of spectators.
The visitors did manage to get one back in the second half but by then it was too little too late as Rangers eased to the three points with a 3-1 victory.
Fans had been calling for Nicolas Raskin and Todd Cantwell to start and they got their wish when Beale named a new look midfield with the two new signings alongside Ryan Jack in the middle of the park.
Antonio Colak was the fourth change from the final as he replaced last week’s goal scorer Alfredo Morelos.
The game was only five minutes old when Connor Goldson scored the opener to put Rangers 1-0 up and give the expectant home support something to cheer after their Hampden defeat.
Fashion Sakala doubled the lead on the 25th minutes after good work from Cantwell and Colak to cut Kilmarnock open.
And the game was as good as over before the half-time break when James Tavernier stepped up to make it three from the penalty spot.
Willie Collum pointed to the spot after consulting VAR and the captain scored his 12th of the season and 96th in a Rangers jersey from right-back.
Kilmarnock had the first real chance of the second half when they had players queuing up in the box after the Rangers defence were caught out by a quick free-kick.
But Ash Taylor and Jeriol Dorsett both failed to get the desired connection and the ball sailed wide of the post.
The Ayrshire club looked like a different side at the start of the second half and they had one back when on-loan Reading defender Dorsett headed past Allan McGregor just before the hour mark.
The game settled down again after that and Rangers never really looked in any danger of letting their lead slip any further.
Ryan Jack had the ball in the net in the closing stages but the goal was ruled out for offside and the game ended 3-1.
Celtic will have a chance to reinstate their nine-point lead when they travel to Paisley to play St Mirren on Sunday afternoon.
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