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Ross County go down 5-0 to Premiership leaders Rangers at Ibrox

Ryan Kent celebrates scoring netting against Ross County.
Ryan Kent celebrates scoring netting against Ross County.

Ross County went down to a 5-0 defeat against a relentless Rangers side at Ibrox.

The Staggies trailed by three goals at the break, courtesy of strikes by Ryan Kent, Filip Helander and Joe Aribo, with James Tavernier also seeing a penalty saved by Ross Laidlaw.

Although the Dingwall men hit the woodwork twice in the opening stages of the second half, further efforts from Ryan Jack and Connor Goldson left John Hughes’ men on the receiving end of a heavy loss.

County remain 10th in the Premiership, although they have played two games more than both Hamilton Accies and Motherwell below them.

County made two changes from the side which emphatically defeated Aberdeen 4-1 the previous weekend, with Jermaine Hylton and Regan-Charles Cook dropping out for Ross Draper and new signing Leo Hjelde.

Leo Hjelde

Rangers made the perfect start, taking the lead after just six minutes when James Tavenier’s cross was nodded across goal by Alfredo Morelos, setting up Kent to guide a looping header into the far corner of the net past Ross Laidlaw.

The Gers were handed the perfect opportunity to double their lead on 13 minutes after Alex Iacovitti had been robbed of possession by Morelos, who was then brought down by the defender as he bore down on goal. It was only a booking for Iacovitti as he had attempted to win the ball, however Tavernier saw the spot-kick superbly saved by Ross Laidlaw.

Alex Iacovitti is booked after conceding a penalty at Ibrox.

The home side were piling on the pressure, with Kent denied a second with a low strike from the edge of the box which was turned wide by Laidlaw.

County produced their first effort on 22 minutes when skipper Iain Vigurs played the ball on to Connor Randall, whose low drive was well held by Allan McGregor.

The Staggies had another chance from a corner three minutes later, with Vigurs’ corner nodded over by Callum Morris.

Rangers doubled their advantage on 28 minutes however, with Borna Barisic’s corner picking out the unmarked Helander, who nodded past Laidlaw from close-range.

The Staggies were hit by a third goal eight minutes before the break, with Joe Aribo cutting in from the right before unleashing a strike into Laidlaw’s far corner.

Ross Draper contests Ianis Hagi for the ball.

Rangers could have done further damage before the break, with Ianis Hagi striking a long-range effort just over from distance, before he was thwarted by a last-ditch tackle by Morris when he was clean through.

County were inches away from pulling a goal back inside the opening 20 seconds of the restart, with Paton taking aim with a low effort which struck the inside of McGregor’s left hand post. At the other end, Laidlaw did well to get down to smother a Morelos effort on the turn.

The Staggies hit the woodwork again on 54 minutes, with Iacovitti nodding Vigurs’ free kick off the crossbar.
Aribo was denied his second goal on the hour mark when he flicked Tavernier’s corner goalwards at the near post, only to be met by a fine reflex save by Laidlaw.

Rangers were not to be denied a fourth on 66 minutes however, with a crisp move seeing Hagi set up Jack to slot home a goal on his return from a two-month injury absence.

Ryan Jack netted Rangers’ fourth goal against Ross County.

Jack was denied a second by a full stretch save by Laidlaw, however Rangers made it five with 10 minutes to spare when Goldson’s header from Barisic’s corner crept in at the far post.

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