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Saturday, 2 November, 2002, 14:22 GMT
Gers ease Dundee aside
Bob Malcolm drives the ball home for Rangers
Defender Bob Malcolm put Rangers into the lead
Dundee 0-3 Rangers

Rangers made sure they will remain top of the Scottish Premier League by the end of the weekend after a workmanlike victory at Dens Park.

Bob Malcolm, Peter Lovenkrands and Craig Moore grabbed the goals for the Glasgow side.

Dundee defender Zurab Khizanishvili made an unhappy return to the starting line-up by being sent off in between those first two strikes either side of half-time.

But Dundee will rue missed opportunities to take a deserved lead before Rangers made their greater finishing power tell at Dens Park.

Barry Ferguson congratules goalscorer Bob Malcolm
Rangers were celebrating at Dens Park
Instead, it was Rangers who stretched their lead in the SPL to four points before champions Celtic entertain Aberdeen on Sunday.

Both sides had gone into the game on the back of heartening victories last weekend.

Rangers thumped Kilmarnock 6-1 at Ibrox and Dundee picking up a 2-1 win away to Hearts.

Mikel Arteta returned from injury to replace Stephen Hughes and strengthen the Rangers midfield, while Kevin Muscat replaced Maurice Ross at full-back.

Dundee's two changes were enforced, Steve Lovell, who netted both goals at Tynecastle, and defender Tom Hutchinson both missing out through injury.

Khizanishvili made his first league start since suffering a serious knee injury last season and Georgian international team-mate Giorgi Nemsadze also returned.

An excellent through ball from the midfielder gave Nacho Novo a great chance to open the scoring after two minutes.

The Spanish forward rounded goalkeeper Stefan Klos, but his attempt to find the unguarded net was thwarted twice by last-ditch interventions from Moore.

Novo set up Gavin Rae at the edge of the box, but the Scotland midfielder sliced his effort and Nemsadze failed to control the ball with the goal beckoning.

Fabian Caballero came close to giving Dundee the lead with a clever back-heel from six yards that foxed Klos but struck the outside of the post.

Either side of that bit of magic, Lovenkrands and Michael Mols had forced excellent blocks from goalkeeper Julian Speroni.

Rangers took the lead in the 30th minute when an Arteta corner was headed against the bar by Moore and the loose ball fell perfectly for Malcolm to fire home from eight yards.

Zurab Khizanishvili is shown the red card by Ian Fyfe
Dundee's Khizanishvili was sent off for a foul
The home side were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time.

Khizanishvili battled for a through ball and, as De Boer cut across the defender, the Dutchman collapsed 20 yards from goal.

Referee Ian Fyfe angered the Dundee players by immediately awarding a free-kick and sending the Georgian packing for being the last man.

Rangers made their man advantage tell five minutes after the break.

Arteta was allowed to whip in a cross after evading two defenders and Lovenkrands left his marker flat footed as he headed home from six yards.

More poor marking at a corner allowed Moore to power a header home for the third goal 11 minutes from the end.


Dundee: Speroni, MacKay, Khizanishvili, Wilkie, Hernandez Santos, Brady (Robertson 83), Smith, Nemsadze (Mair 69), Rae, Novo (Sara 74), Caballero.
Subs Not Used: Langfield, Beith.

Sent Off: Khizanishvili (45).

Rangers: Klos, Muscat, Moore, Malcolm, Numan (Hughes 69), Ricksen, Arteta, Ferguson (Konterman 74), Lovenkrands, Mols, de Boer.
Subs Not Used: McGregor, Caniggia, Latapy.

Booked: Ricksen.

Goals: Malcolm 30, Lovenkrands 50, Moore 79.

Attendance: 10,124

Referee: I Fyfe.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Andy Gillies
"Ten-man Dundee were never able to threaten"
Rangers boss Alex McLeish
"It was brilliant to see Moore score"
The SPL season gets under way

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