Following on from the weekend hammering of Dundee, McLeish’s revamped side again bagged four goals in a thoroughly deserved victory over Dunfermline this evening.

Celtic now wait in the wings this weekend and on this form few would bet against Rangers claiming their first Old Firm victory of the season.

Dunfermline, of course, were the victims of a rampant Rangers on the title-winning final day conclusion to last season and here they were swatted aside just as easily.

They had barely found time to accustom themselves to the unusual playing surface when they found themselves a goal behind.

Alan Hutton was the goalscorer, ghosting unmarked onto Ronald de Boer’s precise corner to glance a header past the stranded Derek Stillie with just 78 seconds showing on the clock.

Hutton seemed as surprised as anyone in the crowd to have netted and stood motionless for a split second before celebrating his first Rangers goal in due style.

Rangers, and Ronald de Boer, looked in the mood and after just 11 minutes they scored again with a devilishly sweet strike.

Peter Lovenkrands worked a 1-2 with Gavin Rae with the Dane seizing onto the return pass before sending a spinning volley low past the goalkeeper to warm up the crowd on a chilly night.

Dunfermline, it seemed, were struggling to touch the ball nevermind stop the incessant flow of Rangers attacks but remarkably they clawed a goal back, Andy Tod heading in from Barry Nicholson’s deep centre.

Incensed by the cheek of it all, Rangers rallied and after 26 minutes they were 3-1 in front.

Lovenkrands on this occasion was the provider, inching along the goalline before feeding Stephen Hughes who in turn laid the ball off for de Boer.

Without taking a touch, the Dutchman arced a sweet shot into the top corner of Stillie’s net.

This was Ronald de Boer at his best; chest puffed out, dragging the ball from foot to foot and approaching the kind of form that dazzled the Ibrox crowd last season.

The game was moving along at breakneck speed, with Rangers threatening to score with every attack they mounted.

After just 28 minutes it was 4-1, with Ronald de Boer again at the heart of the action, threading a delicious through ball to Michael Mols who turned delicately on the ball before thumping a right-foot shot past the helpless Stillie. Were Dunfermline lying down again?!

It was vintage stuff from Rangers and moments later only a great block from the goalkeeper denied Mols his second after a precise 50-yard pass from Michael Ball.

The victory duly achieved, Ronald de Boer was excused duty from the second half allowing Stephen Thompson on in his place.

The Scotland internationalist may at times look as ungainly as an octopus in a phone box but he again led the line superbly and could count himself unfortunate to see a flashing header from a Mols cross creep narrowly over.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the second half lacked the excitement or action of its predecessor, with a Frank de Boer free kick well blocked by Stillie the pick of the incidents.

The Ibrox crowd were then treated to further glimpses of Rangers’ future, with Chris Burke and Bajram Fetai both thrown on as second-half substitutes for Lovenkrands and Mols respectively.

Only the linesman’s flag denied Fetai a debut goal after he had powered Frank de Boer’s deflected free kick past Stillie before Rae tested the goalkeeper again with a low drive from outside the box.

Rangers finished the game with just 10 men on the park when Frank de Boer limped up the tunnel with six minutes remaining.

RANGERS (4-4-2): 1 Klos; 28 Hutton, 5 F de Boer, 15 Khizanishvili, 18 Ball; 11 Rae, 27 Hughes, 12 Malcolm, 26 Lovenkrands (Burke 61); 14 R de Boer (Thompson 46), 10 Mols (Fetai 72)

Subs not used: McGregor, Vanoli

Booked: Hutton (53), Fetai (86)

DUNFERMLINE (5-4-1): 20 Stillie; 15 Shields, 3 Wilson, 5 Skerla, 32 Tod (Brewster 37), 28 Labonte (Byrne 46); 7 Nicholson, 4 Darren Young, 11 Derek Young, 8 Mason (Mehmet 82); 9 Crawford

Subs not used: Ruitenbeek, Dempster

Booked: Darren Young (46), Byrne (85)

Man of the Match: Ronald de Boer

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