Joe Aribo’s brilliant striker put the Rangers on their way to victory
Steven Gerrard has urged Rangers to be “more ruthless” after starting a big week by beating Ross County in the Scottish Premiership.
Jordan White’s late penalty made it 3-2 before substitute Scott Arfield put the game behind the hosts.
The Rangers, whose 41-game unbeaten league run was ended 14 days ago by Dundee United, were headed by Joe Aribo and Connor Goldson.
Harry Clarke reacted after Alfredo Morelos restored the two-goal lead.
Gerrard’s men move one point behind the top and are 1-0 away in the second leg of the Europa League play-offs on Thursday against Alashkert from Armenia before Celtic visits Ibrox for the Old Firm derby on Sunday.
“It was a really strong away performance, a lot of our attacking game was quality and we could have scored more goals,” Gerrard told Sky Sports.
“I would wish we were more ruthless – I can see goals five and six there for sure if we really wanted to.
“We’re still fine-tuning after the busy summer late arrivals and people are on their way.”
County remains without a win after the first three league games under new manager Malky Mackay.
The Dingwall club have never beaten Rangers and have not scored a goal in their last six games – all defeats – but it was unfortunate that Alex Iacovitti hit Leon Balogun’s arm with a header.
The Rangers made the most of the break with a rampant start and Aribo opened his scoring account for the season with a wonderful finish that turned into the top corner.
Goldson’s first goal since January soon followed, with the defender sending a header down from a corner into the post.
It looked like many Rangers were going to score, and County was doing itself a disservice.
Goldson had another free header from a corner off the line and home goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw made amends for Steven Davis’s giving up possession by shoveling an Ianis Hagi shot wide off.
Mackay’s men had been overrun but managed to even out when Clarke, on loan from Arsenal, marked his first start by hitting the rebound home after Allan did a good job saving McGregor from White.
It was hardly deserved, but a self-inflicted blow after the restart gave the hosts a mountain to climb again. Jordan Tillson’s terrible equalizer on a Calvin Bassey cross went straight to Glen Kamara and the Finn reeled the ball to Morelos for a worn finish in the far corner.
But here, too, the hosts came straight back to the Rangers. McGregor held off a stabbing attempt from Blair Spittal, but Regan Charles-Cook’s attempt at rebound hit Calvin Bassey in the arm and White turned clinically on the spot.
Enter Arfield to calm the Rangers’ nerves after Laidlaw was only able to hold off one angled drive from Morelos.
Arfield, Ryan Kent and James Tavernier all threatened fifth place when the Rangers ended in the same dominant way they started.
Man of the Game – Alfredo Morelos
The Rangers forward scored one goal, had another game and was a constant threat
What did we learn?
The Rangers’ attacking game was a return to their stellar form last season as they broke up County on several occasions.
Defensively, however, they lack the security that made their title win. They conceded three goals in three league games, while last season it took nine games to get the same amount against them.
County only has one of nine points on offer, but there were positives for Mackay as his team caught up after a Covid-disrupted start to the season.
The hosts refused to give in to the master and that fighting spirit will do them well as they try to climb the table.
What did you say
Ross County Manager Malky Mackay: “I asked the players to make sure they were in the game for 90 minutes and we did.
“If you get 2-0 down after 20 minutes, those are the games that can get away from you when you play against the Rangers and it can be six or seven, as we have seen in the past.”
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard Rangers TV said, “I think this was a lot more like us when it looked both in and out of the ball, and I’m a lot happier.
“We were really well organized at times – okay, we’re still trying to refine that and are waiting to get the whole squad back on and calm down so we can get better in this department – but I thought we showed a lot of quality today . “
The Rangers are in Armenia on Thursday for the second leg of their Europa League play-offs against Alashkert (4:00 p.m. CEST) before they host Old Firm rivals Celtic in the Premiership next Sunday (12:00 p.m. BST) .
Ross County is in action in the league in Aberdeen (3:00 p.m.) on the same day.
Player of the game
- 1Public prosecutor
- 2RandallBooked at 50 minutes
- 4thCancolaReplaced byHungboat 70 ‘protocolBooked at 72 minutes
- 17thCharles-CookReplaced bySamuelat 90 ‘protocol
- 31Maynard brewer
- 3BasseyBooked at 77 minutes
- 17thAriboBooked at 37 minutesReplaced byroofat 83 ‘protocol
- 18thchamberReplaced byLundstrasseat 74 ‘protocol
- 7thHagiReplaced byArfieldat 78 ‘protocol
Match ends, Ross County 2, Rangers 4.
The second half ends, Ross County 2, Rangers 4.
Corner, ranger. Granted by Ross Laidlaw.
Attempt saved. Ryan Kent (Rangers) left footed shot on the right side of the box is saved by the goalkeeper in the lower left corner. Supported by Scott Arfield.
Attempt saved. Leon Balogun (Rangers) headed from the center of the box and the goalkeeper saved it in the center of the box. Assisted by James Tavernier with a flank.
Corner, ranger. Granted by Ross Laidlaw.
Attempt saved. Scott Arfield (Rangers) left footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the center of the goal. Supported by Connor Goldson.
Substitute, Ross County. Dominic Samuel replaces Regan Charles-Cook.
Attempt failed. Leon Balogun (Rangers) header from the center of the box misses to the left. Assisted by James Tavernier with a cross following a corner.
Corner, ranger. Granted by Ben Paton.
Ryan Kent (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ross Callachan (Ross County).
Target! Ross County 2, Rangers 4. Scott Arfield (Rangers) right footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom left corner.
Attempt saved. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the lower left corner. Supported by Scott Arfield.
Replacement, ranger. Kemar Roofe replaces Joe Aribo.
Attempt failed. Joseph Hungbo (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Supported by Blair Spittal.
Foul by John Lundstram (Rangers).
Blair Spittal (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Replacement, ranger. Scott Arfield replaces Ianis Hagi.
Target! Ross County 2, Rangers 3. Jordan White (Ross County) converts a right footed penalty to the lower right corner.