Rangers swept to a 4-1 win over Dunfermline today as the Scottish champions kept the pressure on leaders Celtic. Ally McCoist's team desperately needed a victory at East End Park to remain in touch with Celtic, who host Inverness this afternoon, and they survived a slow start to move within one point of their Glasgow rivals.
Andy Kirk had given Dunfermline a shock lead in the first half but David Healy equalised soon after and goals from Lee McCulloch, Sone Aluko and Salim Kerkar sealed the points. Dunfermline made a strong start and could have taken the lead when David Graham burst through on goal only to see his shot crash off the post, before Liam Buchanan's rebound effort was blocked by goalkeeper Allan McGregor.
The hosts were celebrating with 16 minutes gone when Paddy Boyle's deep cross from the left found Kirk at the back post and he slotted home. Rangers equalised eight minutes later when Maurice Edu saw his shot blocked by the goalkeeper after a one-two with McCulloch, and Healy pounced to rifle the loose ball into the back of the net.
McCoist's men threatened again when a Steven Davis shot bounced onto the crossbar and over. The pressure paid off after 39 minutes as Davis sent over a free-kick that found Carlos Bocanegra and he teed up McCulloch to lash home his first goal of the season.
McCulloch could have added to his tally shortly after the restart when he met a Healy cross and nodded just over. Rangers increased their lead after 70 minutes when Nigerian midfielder Aluko raced onto a pass from McCulloch and sent an unstoppable left-foot shot into the top corner from 25 yards.
The winger then came to the rescue at the other end when he cleared an Alex Keddie header off the line. Substitute Kerkar sealed the rout when he dispatched a low shot past Smith with five minutes left.