Rangers 2-1 Motherwell: Devante Cole scores for Steelmen in narrow defeat

Action from Rangers v Motherwell on Sunday (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Action from Rangers v Motherwell on Sunday (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Motherwell took the lead through Devante Cole before going down 2-1 to Rangers in the Scottish Premiership encounter at Ibrox Stadium on Sunday.

Motherwell had the first chance after just two minutes. A great run down the right flank by Liam Grimshaw saw his cross partially cleared to Chris Long whose left footed snap shot went well over.

Rangers responded on 13 minutes with good link up play between Greg Stewart and Brandon Barker, whose rasping long ranger went wide.

The Ibrox side were starting to boss possession and Steven Davis played a central pass from midfield to Jermain Defoe who blasted over.

But it was Motherwell who silenced Ibrox by taking the lead on 20 minutes when a breakaway saw Campbell's initial shot blocked but Cole blasted the ball low past Allan McGregor from 18 yards.

The Steelmen then survived two scares in quick succession as firstly Bevis Mugabi did brilliantly to block a Barker shot before a Barisic cross from the left struck Liam Grimshaw and the home fans howled loudly for handball and a penalty but it wasn't given.

James Tavernier wasted a glorious chance to level for Rangers on 37 minutes when he shot a penalty off the inside of the left post. The spot kick award by Andrew Dallas had looked soft as Tavernier appeared to go down easily in a challenge with Liam Polworth.

But Rangers equalised in first half stoppage time when Defoe sharply shot home the rebound after Davis's terrific initial shot from outside the box had been punched out by Gillespie.

The first action of the second half saw Jo Aribo shoot well off target after a good passing move.

The Light Blues were in the ascendancy and wasted a great chance on 54 minutes when Filip Helander headed a clear chance wide from a Barisic corner.

Tavernier's scuffed shot was then turned round the post by Gillespie before the Rangers right back sent a 20-yard free-kick just over the bar.

The Steelmen then had a great chance on 68 minutes when a counter attack saw Campbell play Long in on McGregor but the English striker's left footed effort hit the side netting.

Rangers went 2-1 up on 79 minutes when Helander headed in Tavernier's corner from the right.

Ryan Kent then surged forward for the hosts on 82 minutes but his parting shot was deflected wide.

In injury time, Rangers sub Alfredo Morelos burst through but shot straight at Gillespie.

Team: Gillespie, Hartley, Gallagher, Carroll (Tait 55), Grimshaw, Donnelly, Campbell, Polworth, Long (Hylton 74), Mugabi (Seedorf 80), Cole.

Crowd: 49,629

Referee: Andrew Dallas