GLASGOW: Rangers moved 11 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 4-0 demolition of under-strength Aberdeen on Sunday.
Steven Gerrard’s men remain unbeaten in 21 games this season and took full advantage of Celtic’s latest slip up in dropping two points against Hibernian on Saturday.
First-half goals from Ryan Kent and Kemar Roofe put the hosts in command at Ibrox before Scott Arfield’s deflected third and James Tavernier converted his ninth penalty of the season.
Celtic have two games in hand but Rangers are off to their best league start in 53 years and are in pole position to stop their Glasgow rivals achieving a record 10th consecutive Scottish title.
Aberdeen had only lost once in the league since going down to Rangers in a disappointing opening-day performance, but Derek McInnes’s squad was decimated without eight first-team players.
Niall McGinn, Marley Watkins, Dylan McGeouch, Scott Wright and Jonny Hayes were injured before on-loan Rangers midfielder Ross McCrorie’s positive coronavirus test forced Scotland Under-21 team-mates Connor McLennan and Lewis Ferguson into self-isolation.
Kent opened the floodgates on 15 minutes when the former Liverpool winger nutmegged Funso Ojo and fired a 30-yard shot which spun off Tommie Hoban’s face and the post before hitting the net.
Roofe doubled the lead in the 29th minute when he latched on to Connor Goldson’s delicate ball over the top of Andy Considine and ran through Greg Leigh’s challenge before hitting a shot in off Lewis.
Arfield scored from his second chance in the opening four minutes of the second-half when his shot hit off Shay Logan and deceived Lewis after the midfielder had been set up by Kent.
Tavernier netted his 13th goal of the season after Considine had been penalized for a pull on Leon Balogun at a corner.
At the other end, Rangers registered a 13th clean sheet in 15 league games this season as Gerrard’s side already boast a plus 38 goal difference.