Rangers hammer Hamilton 5-0 but Steve Clarke chants continue

Rangers finally found their shooting boots without the suspended Alfredo Morelos as a first-half rout helped them to a comfortable Premiership victory at Hamilton.

Steven Gerrard’s side had not won any of the five previous matches Morelos missed through suspension this season and drew a blank in the first two games of his current three-match ban. But goals from Ryan Jack, Jermain Defoe and Scott Arfield plus James Tavernier’s penalty made the second half a formality at the Hope Stadium. Substitute Kyle Lafferty added a fifth in the 88th minute with his first league goal in five months.

Defoe came in for Morelos after the Colombian hit four goals in a 5-0 Scottish Cup replay win over Kilmarnock on Wednesday before dropping out to complete the league ban he received for his latest clash with Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna.

Jack was allowed all the time and space he needed after receiving Ryan Kent’s pass 25 yards out to curl into the far corner in the 16th minute and Defoe then converted a free header from close range after being picked out by Daniel Candeias. It was soon game over as Arfield made it three goals in eight minutes when he steered the ball into the top corner from 22 yards.

Rangers got their fourth in the 43rd minute after Ziggy Gordon went in late on Kent as the winger cut the ball back. The referee, Nick Walsh, pointed to the spot and Tavernier sent Woods the wrong way.

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Hamilton rarely troubled their visitors although Worrall might have been penalised for a high boot on Oakley inside his penalty box and Darian MacKinnon needlessly strayed offside before finishing off a counterattack for the hosts. Lafferty came close on a number of occasions before slotting home a square pass from Candeias.

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Rangers’ Jermain Defoe scores his side’s second goal.

Rangers’ Jermain Defoe scores his side’s second goal. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA

Steve Clarke’s appeal over sectarianism fell on deaf ears with some Rangers fans who repeated the chants that offended the Kilmarnock manager on Wednesday. Clarke had accused the Rangers fans who called him a “Fenian bastard” of living in the Dark Ages following his team’s Scottish Cup defeat at Ibrox.

Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images Europe

But Rangers fans against chanted about Clarke during the first half on Sunday as they chanted the same “Cheer up Steve Clarke” song he complained about in midweek. A banner stating “Get well soon Steve Clarke” was unveiled by some visiting fans before kick-off.

Gerrard said: “At the risk of repeating myself, we don’t want to hear that or see anything. I was quite clear in my press conference last week. There’s no place for it. We want it to stop.”

Celtic moved eight points clear at the top of the Premiership following a 4-1 win over Motherwell at Parkhead. After a slow start by the leaders goals from winger Scott Sinclair and striker Odsonne Edouard had them comfortably ahead by the interval.

An otherwise uneventful match turned sour six minutes after the break when Gboly Ariyibi reduced the deficit with a controversial goal, as the home side thought they were initially getting the ball back from a throw-in.

The match continued to the soundtrack of boos from the angry home fans before Edouard curled in a free-kick in the 88th minute to ease the tension, with substitute Oliver Burke adding a fourth.



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