Rangers move clear at the top
© Getty Images

Rangers scored two goals in two second-half minutes to secure a 2-0 win over Kilmarnock at Ibrox that moved the champions seven points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

Ally McCoist's side struggled to make an impact in the first-half without their top scorer Steven Naismith after he was retrospectively given a two-match ban following an elbow incident in the weekend match against Dunfermline.

However, Rangers improved after the break and took a 64th minute lead when Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic converted a Steven Davis free-kick. Gary Harkins could have had Kilmarnock level when he sent a header crashing against the bar, but Rangers raced up the pitch to immediately double their lead through Gregg Wylde in the 66th minute.

The win, Rangers' eighth consecutive victory in the SPL, opens up a significant gap over Celtic, although the Parkhead club have a game in hand.

Kilmarnock made a positive start and Paul Heffernan was inches away from getting on the end of Jamie Fowler's inviting cross from the right before Gary Fisher came close with a thunderbolt strike from long-range that flashed past the post.

Good play from Jelavic saw the Croatian pick out the run of Sasa Papac in the box, but the left-back's shot was blocked by the legs of Cammy Bell. Jelavic then latched on to a weak pass, but he failed to get the ball under control and sent his shot wide from the edge of the box.

Maurice Edu scored from long-range against Dunfermline on Saturday, but when he was teed up at the edge of the box this time he blasted his effort over the bar.

Rangers were struggling to produce any meaningful attacks and when Juanma Ortiz swung the ball over from the right Jelavic sent his header harmlessly wide under pressure from Manuel Pascali. The Croatian did better a minute before the break, though, when his downward header produced a last ditch fingertip save from Bell.

McCoist's side made the breakthrough in the 64th minute. Wylde was brought down on the far left by Fowler and from the resultant free-kick Davis squared the ball to Jelavic, who hit a fierce first-time effort into the bottom right-hand corner beyond Bell.

Kilmarnock almost hit back immediately when Harkins sent a header crashing off the bar, but in a quick counter-attack Rangers doubled their lead. Edu and Wylde linked up well outside the box before the American midfielder rolled a perfectly-weighted pass into his team-mate's path to allow him to tap into an empty net.

Davis should have got a third in the 78th minute when Jelavic sent the Northern Irishman racing clear, but his attempted lob was saved by Bell.