De Boer suffered the knock playing for Holland in last Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with England – Dick Advocaat’s first game since returning as national coach – and when he felt some pain no chances were taken.

Rangers have bigger fish to fry in the shape of Feyenoord on Thursday and Alex McLeish immediately took de Boer out of his starting line-up to give him a chance of being ready for the UEFA clash.

His omission meant promotion for Latapy and an inclusion for the first time for under-21 star Steven MacLean on the bench, but it mattered little in this context as Rangers cruised to victory.

Indeed McLeish was able to give match action to Michael Mols and Billy Dodds as well as Maurice Ross which is also important ahead of Thursday. Indeed, Mols might have had a hat-trick had it not been for the heroics of Stevie Woods.

Latapy had been completely out of the picture for nearly a month. He had been such a peripheral figure that it was almost surprising to see him among the list of substitutes before kick-off.

However, when chances come in football you have to grab them and Latapy wasted no time in seizing his opportunity with a fabulous goal after just 13 minutes of the contest to settle Rangers and delight the crowd.

Motherwell must have thought there was little danger as Latapy collected Shota Arveladze’s pass on the right corner of the box as he had his back to goal.

However, the former Hibs star lost Karl Ready with a twist of his body and hammered a left foot shot which raged past Stevie Woods to put Rangers one up.

It was all they deserved after taking the game to Motherwell from the start with Arveladze having a header deflected for a corner in five minutes and then Greg Strong just managing to deflect Lovenkrands’ shot for another corner two minutes later.

Barry Ferguson, as has been the case in recent weeks, dominated the midfield from the outset and with the pace and movement Rangers have up front Motherwell were fighting a losing battle after going behind.

In fairness, Eric Black’s youthful side caused considerable mayhem in the Rangers box in 28 minutes and had they scored then the task would have a more difficult one.

However, when Tore Andre Flo popped the second goal in five minutes before half-time there was never any doubt about the outcome.

It was Stephen Hammell’s freekick which caused all the trouble when firstly Ready’s header came off the foot of the post and then Klos saved at point blank range from Dirk Lehmann’s rebound although he knew very little about it.

Eventually the ball was cleared and with it when Motherwell’s chances. Rangers raged all over the Motherwell for the remainder of the first half and the only surprise was it took them until the 41st minute to add to their lead.

Amoruso volleyed over the bar in 23 minutes after showing great control with his head and chest then Flo fired over a couple of minutes later as Motherwell struggled to cope.

The pace of Lovenkrands was a constant problem and when Numan played him in on the half-hour it looked odds on a goal. Eric Deloumeaux did his best to prevent the young Dane by tugging at his shirt but Lovenkrands managed to get his shot in although it flew wide.

Referee Willie Young had noted the French defender’s actions and when he fouled Numan two minutes later the yellow card was shown. There was worse to come for Deloumeaux as he was cautioned again and sent off in 59 minutes for a late challenge on Lovenkrands.

By that time Rangers were two ahead and it was a personal disaster for Keith Lasley which led to the second goal in 41 minutes.

The young midfielder tried to play the ball back to keeper Woods from just inside his own half but was woefully short and gifted possession to Flo. Woods tried to make a challenge but the towering Norwegian elegantly skipped past him before tucking the ball away with his left foot.

Motherwell looked a beaten team in the second half as Rangers maintained their tempo and managed to carve out at least half a dozen openings – if not more – but failed to add to their lead until the 84th minute.

That said, it was worth waiting for as Fernando Ricksen took a leaf out of Bert Konterman’s book with a stunning right foot strike.

It was just as well as the crowd were getting a little miffed that Shota Arveladze had squandered a few chances and Woods had managed to keep out substitute Mols with a string of good saves.

The Fir Park men were well beaten when Latapy rolled the ball to the Dutch fullback and from 22 yards he slammed an unstoppable shot into the left corner.

Not to be outdone, Amoruso crashed a freekick against the underside of the crossbar in the final minute but the ball stayed out and it finished 3-0.

It was as comfortable as the scoreline suggests and the performance undoubtedly augurs well for Thursday’s visit of Feyenoord.


RANGERS: Klos; Ricksen, Amoruso, Vidmar, Numan; Konterman, Latapy, Ferguson (Dodds 75); Arveladze, Flo (Mols 68), Lovenkrands (Ross 75). Subs not used – McGregor, McLean.

Bookings: None

MOTHERWELL: Woods; Deloumeuax, Ready, Strong; McFadden (Ferrere 67), Lasley, Leitch, Adams, Hammell; Lehmann, Elliot (Pearson 78). Subs not used – Brown, Forrest, Ramsey.

Sent off: Deloumeauux (59)

Bookings: Ready (19), 

Ref: Willie young

Att: 49,284

Man of the match: Barry Ferguson

Moment of the match: No doubt about it, Ricksen’s stunning drive. 


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