Liverpool floor Rangers in friendly
Rangers were convincingly beaten 4-0 by a classy Liverpool side in a friendly match at Ibrox on Saturday. The English Premiership giants cruised to victory with a first-half strike from Fernando Torres followed by second-half goals from David Ngog, Yossi Benayoun and Xabi Alonso.
Both teams had fielded strong line-ups with Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez opting to try out his new strike partnership of Torres and Robbie Keane for the first time.
The game was played at a high tempo and the home side had the better of the opening exchanges. Rangers twice went close to opening the scoring in the first ten minutes. Lee McCulloch was unlucky to see his low drive from the edge of the box go just wide of Liverpool keeper Diego Cavalieri's left-hand post in the fourth minute before Scottish international Kenny Miller blasted a shot over the bar.
Liverpool soon settled and UEFA EURO 2008 hero Torres' pace was soon causing problems for the home side. The Spanish striker had a great opportunity in the 10th minute when Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard found him with a pass in the box. But Torres' touch was heavy and Gers' keeper Allan McGregor rushed out to save at his feet.
The Spaniard soon had the better of McGregor though, when he opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. The Rangers keeper could only palm a powerful shot from 30 yards out from Frenchman Damien Plessis into the path of Torres, who tapped the ball in from six yards.
Only a well-timed tackle from Kirk Broadfoot stopped Torres increasing Liverpool's lead after good link-up play between him and Keane. The Anfield side were on top at this stage and McGregor's gloves were stung again in the 30th minute when Gerrard fired a shot at him.
But Rangers should have gone in at half-time level when Nacho Novo missed a chance to equalise. The diminutive striker was played clear into the box by a clever ball from Kenny Miller, but after knocking the ball past Cavalieri his shot was somehow blocked on the line by Italian defender Andrea Dossena.
Both teams made five changes at the break but it made little difference to the pace of the game.
Rangers came close in the 50th minute when Jean-Claude Darcheville, on for Miller, played the ball across the box which Cavalieri did well to get to before the advancing Novo.
But it was another substitute, teenager Ngog, who increased Liverpool's lead in the 57th minute. The summer signing from Paris St Germain strolled past three Rangers players before slotting the ball in the bottom left-hand corner.
Liverpool soon made it three when McGregor could only palm a cross into the path of Israeli Benayoun, who tapped in from a couple of yards out.
Worse was to come for the home support in the 71st minute when Kirk Broadfoot conceded a penalty after fouling substitute Christian Meneth in the box. Spanish international Alonso buried the ball low into the right-hand corner of the net with Alexander, who had replaced McGregor minutes earlier, getting close to it.
Rangers' attacks were few and far between with the best chance falling to prolific striker Kris Boyd in the 82nd minute but he was crowded out.