RANGERS cruised into the semi-final of the Scottish Cup with a quite fabulous win and performance over Premiership Dundee at Ibrox Stadium this afternoon.
Dominant from start to finish, Mark Warburton’s side turned in arguably their best performance in what has already been a superb season to demolish the Dark Blues and progress onto tomorrow afternoon’s draw.
And in front of what was a raucous Ibrox support, Rangers simply could not have made a better start.
Straight from kick-off, Dominic Ball received the ball in midfield and immediately played it forward, but Kevin Holt looked to have intercepted it before being robbed by Harry Forrester.
He sprinted into the area and with just 15 seconds on the clock, he fired the ball beyond Scott Bain at his near post to send both Forrester and the home support into utter delirium, although referee Alan Muir took a dim view of that, booking the Gers winger for his celebration.
Forrester was playing out his skin though, and after receiving a switch of play from Barrie McKay, he slipped in the flying James Tavernier who saw his shot this time blocked by Bain at his near stick.
Rangers were absolutely rampant, and from the resulting corner, Kevin Holt was a whisker away from turning the ball into his own net as the ball cannoned off the post before being cleared for another corner.
At the other end with virtually Dundee’s first attack, they ought to have levelled through Gary Harkins after some neat play from Greg Stewart set him up just inside the area for a shot that he dragged wide to Wes Foderingham’s left.
That was as good as it got though for the visitors in the opening stages, with Dundee again coming close to putting through their own net, this time Darren O’Dea being close to turning a Lee Wallace cross into another goal.
Tavernier was having an excellent match, and only the fingertips of Bain at his top right-hand corner prevented the Englishman netting yet another of his fantastic free-kicks.
Time and again, Warburton’s boys were cutting through Dundee in midfield, and Bain had to be alert again, this time to deny Kenny Miller after he drove the ball from the edge of the box.
Right on half time, Harkins again came close, this time getting his head on a corner kick around 10 yards out from goal, but Foderingham did well to get down and gather his effort before Kane Hemmings could nip in to touch the ball over the line.
Into the second half, and as they did with their first attack of the first half, Rangers scored with their first attack of the second.
Receiving the ball just inside the area from Forrester, Barrie McKay chested the ball into the path of Miller who cut it across the face of goal for the arriving Jason Holt to nod into the back of the net.
It was another fantastic move, and once again it left Ibrox erupting with sheer euphoria with the way in which their team was playing.
And it was to get even better for Warburton’s side in the 55th minute as incredibly, they went 3-0 in front.
With Kenny Miller being fouled on the edge of the ‘D’, it looked as if Tavernier would try his luck again from the resulting free-kick, but he left it to Andy Halliday this time, and he came up trumps, curling a beautiful effort low and around the wall and into the bottom corner.
The Light Blues continues to put on a wonderful display of entertaining, enterprising football, continually testing the Dundee backline, while the best chance of the half for Paul Hartley’s side came when Rob Kiernan missed his kick on a long ball into the box which dropped into the path of Paul McGowan before a combination of Foderingham and Tavernier cleared.
There was time for a fourth goal before the full time whistle, and what a goal it was from captain Lee Wallace.
Galloping away down the left in trademark fashion, he skipped by both Paul McGowan and Darren O’Dea in superb fashion before sliding the ball under Bain to complete was what nothing short of a rout for Rangers.
The draw for the semi-finals takes place tomorrow afternoon, and on today’s showing, Rangers will fancy their chances against any one of the remaining teams.
RANGERS: Foderingham; Tavernier, Wilson, Kiernan, Wallace; Ball, Halliday, Holt (Law, 75); McKay (Sheils, 73), Miller, Forrester (Clark, 73).
SUBS NOT USED: Bell, Law, Shiels, Clark, Burt, Thomson, Roberts.
DUNDEE: Bain, Holt, Konrad (Kerr, 63), Stewart, Loy (Wighton, 56), Hemmings, Ross, McGowan, McGinn, O’Dea, Harkins.
SUBS: Mitchell, Meggat, Low, Perez-Reverte, Gadzhalov.
REFEREE: Mr Alan Muir