GOALS from Joe Aribo and Alfredo Morelos secured Rangers a very convincing Scottish Premiership victory at Livingston this afternoon.
The duo netted either side of half-time to send Gers back along the M8 with the all-important three points going into the international break.
From the side which defeated Porto on Thursday in the Europa League on what was a never-to-be-forgotten night at Ibrox, Steven Gerrard made two changes.
Steven Davis, who netted the second, clinching goal against the Portuguese, was replaced by Joe Aribo, while Scott Arfield came in for Brandon Barker.
Kick-off was preceded by a minute’s silence to mark Remembrance Sunday, before Rangers quickly got to grips with the game once the action got underway.
After dominating all the early possession, Ryan Jack had the first effort of the game, with an effort from 20-yards looking destined for the top corner before goalkeeper Matija Sarkic clawed the ball away at the last possible moment.
Livi threatened with a Steve Lawson cross which Scott Pittman came close to connecting to, before Alfredo Morelos was handed a golden opportunity on 22 minutes.
A long ball forward from Connor Goldson was misjudged by Jon Guthrie on the edge of the area, allowing Morelos to pounce, but as the Colombian adjusted to shoot, across came Ricki Lamie with a superb challenge to deny him.
Ryan Kent then had a 25-yard effort from the central area flash just wide of Sarkic’s left-hand post, before the opening goal arrived on 33 minutes.
After doing superbly to get a loose ball under control in the middle of the park, Scott Arfield played it forward onto Morelos, who was charging through the middle of the park.
Arfield went with Morelos, and after the striker realised his path to goal was likely to be blocked by Guthrie and Lamie, he played the ball back onto Arfield.
By this point Joe Aribo had also joined the duo, and Arfield did superbly to play it into his path as he reached the edge of the area, and on his left foot, Aribo finished first-time with real aplomb.
It was a deserved lead for the visitors, and they immediately went in search of a second from the restart.
Glen Kamara was denied another goal here at Almondvale as his screaming 25-yard shot was superbly saved by Sarkic, while Connor Goldson headed wide from a Tavernier corner.
That same search for the second goal resumed as the second half began, and within seven minutes of the restart, it duly arrived thanks to Alfredo Morelos’ 22nd of the season.
Borna Barisic found the Colombian with a ball down the left channel, but he still had so much to do. After initially showing great strength to hold off Hakeem Odoffin as he entered the penalty area, he then produced a super piece of skill to beat his marker and fire low beyond Sarkic and into the far corner.
Morelos’ record simply gets better and better – not only is that him now on 22 for the season, it was his eighth goal in his last seven games for the Light Blues.
Substitute Sheyi Ojo headed a flighted Morelos cross wide as Gers chased a third, while Jack had another effort from distance that this time was off-target.
Ojo then turned provider for fellow sub Jermain Defoe to poke wide at the back post before a combination of the upright and Sarkic denied Barisic with a wicked effort from the left.
James Tavernier played Greg Stewart in late-on for a super chance for a third, and while he had just Sarkic to beat, from right of the goal he found only the side-netting.
2-0 is how it was to end, however, and Rangers will resume action in a fortnight’s time away to Hamilton Accies.
RANGERS: McGregor; Tavernier, Helander, Goldson, Barisic; Jack, Kamara, Aribo (Stewart, 87); Kent (Ojo, 58), Morelos (Defoe, 82), Arfield.
SUBS NOT USED: Foderingham, Davis, Flanagan, Katic.
LIVINGSTON: Sarkic, Odoffin (Souda, 60), McMillan, Lamie, Guthrie, Bartley, Pittman, Lawson (Taylor-Sinclair, 60), Lawless, Crawford (Jacobs, 70) Dykes.
SUBS NOT USED: Stewart, Tiffoney, Robinson, Sibbald.
REFEREE: Nick Walsh