Title race: Rangers beat St Mirren in hard fought Premiership clash

Cyriel Dessers scored a second-half header to seal all three-points for Philippe Clement's side.

Title race: Rangers beat St Mirren in hard fought Premiership clash in Paisley SNS Group

Rangers have defeated St Mirren in Paisley to go equal on points with Celtic at the top of the Premiership for at least a couple of hours.

An own goal from James Bolton in the first-half and second half winner from Cyriel Dessers cancelled out Mikael Mandron’s header in the 2-1 victory.

It means Philippe Clement’s side stay within touching distance of the league leaders going into the last four games of the season.

Celtic play Dundee at Dens Park in the second of Sunday’s double header as they look to retain a three-point lead at the top.

Rangers knew they had to get back to winning ways in the league after going three games without a win in the top-flight.

The home side created the first chance of the game but Jack Butland pulled off a good save to deny Mandron in the first minute.

Rangers then had their first sight of goal when John Lundstram tried his luck from the edge of the box, but his curling effort was just wide of the post.

It was end-to-end in a hectic opening period and Mandron forced Butland into another save just minutes later before Zach Hemming was forced inti action to deny Cyriel Dessers.

Hemming was to thank again for keeping the score-line level when he pulled off a good save from a Lundstram volley before denying James Tavernier’s long range strike.

St Mirren should have had a lead on the half-hour mark but Conor McMenaman fired over from close range after connection with a Mandron knock-down inside the box.

And the visitors took advantage of that let-off by taking the lead just moments later when James Bolton put the ball into his own net to make it 1-0.

Mohamed Diomande done well to header a Borna Barisic cross back across the goal-mouth and Bolton got the last touch while under pressure from Dessers who was waiting to knock it in.

But St Mirren fought back and found themselves level soon after when a Mandron’s header hit the inside the post before hitting the back of the net to make it 1-1.

And they should have been in-front just before half-time but Butland pulled off a terrific save to deny a close range effort from Bolton in first-half injury-time.

Both sides had chances in the second-half as the game continued to flow from end-to-end with Cantwell coming close for Rangers and O’Hara for St Mirren.

Rangers started to dominate possession and they took the lead again through Dessers who struck from close range to make it 2-1.

Tavernier sent a pinpoint cross to the back post and the Nigeria forward nodded it home for his 20th of the season with 15 minutes remaining.

That was enough to seal all three-points for Rangers and all eyes now turn to Dens Park to see how Celtic get on as the title-race gets closer to its climax

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