Rangers get season up and running with convincing win over Livingston

Four summer signings scored their first goals for the club at Ibrox.

Rangers get season up and running with convincing win over Livingston SNS Group

Sam Lammers, Danilo, Abdallah Sima and Kieran Dowell all scored their first competitive goals for Rangers as the Light Blues came on strong to beat Livingston 4-0 in the cinch Premiership at Ibrox.

Attacking midfielder Lammers hammered in the opener after 10 minutes as the hosts dominated but it was late in the second half before Michael Beale’s new-look side secured the points.

Brazilian attacker Danilo headed in a second in the 78th minute before Sima pounced from close range six minutes later with fellow second-half substitute Dowell thrashing in a fourth in the final minute of normal time.

The Govan outfit lost their league opener at Kilmarnock last week before beating Servette 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

Boss Beale – who has signed nine new players this summer with the promise of more to come – will see this as a building block for his side but more will be required going forward, starting with the return game against Servette on Tuesday night.

As Beale revealed on Friday, Jose Cifuentes, the 24-year-old Ecuador international midfielder signed last week from Los Angeles FC, made his starting debut. Centre-back Leon Balogun was back in again for the first time since returning to the club for a second spell, with Ryan Jack and Connor Goldson rested.

It was a patient start by the home side and the opener came when influential midfielder Todd Cantwell’s shot from inside the box was blocked by the foot of Livi keeper Shamal George but Lammers slammed in the rebound from 16 yards.

The goal forced Livi to come out their shell a little although a mix-up in defence allowed John Souttar a shot at goal only for the Gers defender to balloon the ball high over the bar, before George dived full length to tip a Cifuentes drive past the post.

When captain James Tavernier’s delivery came over, Cifuentes volleyed into the net at the second attempt but after a VAR check, referee Don Robertson awarded a free-kick to Livingston for an initial hand ball by the midfielder.

The tempo dropped towards the end of the first half which finished with Light Blues forward Cyriel Dessers heading a Tavernier cross over the bar.

Lammers headed a Borna Barisic cross just wide of the target at the start of the second period and missed the target again from a Dessers cut-back, after George had made a fine save from a Danilo drive.

In a rare Livingston attack, Gers keeper Jack Butland was tested twice in a minutes by Andrew Shinnie, twice making good saves before Livi defender Ayo Obileye threw himself to block a Dessers drive from 14 yards after he had been set up by Danilo, the corner coming to nothing.

In a 68th minute counter-attack, Danilo flicked a Cifuentes cross over the bar from two yards out which cranked up frustration levels, however all was soon well in Govan.

Rabbi Matondo and Sima came on for Lammers and Dessers and in the 77th minute Sima drove a shot from point-blank range against George but the second goal was on its way, coming when Barisic’s deep cross found Danilo at the back post and he rose to head past the Livi keeper for his first Gers goal and alleviate the building pressure.

Dujon Sterling came on among more substitutions to make his Rangers debut before Danilo hit the post from close range.

Sima then opened his account in a Light Blue jersey and there was time for Dowell, on for Cantwell, to fire in off the crossbar for number four to make his mark at Ibrox.

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