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Thursday, 2 January, 2003, 16:47 GMT
Thompson seals Dundee's fate
Barry Ferguson scores Rangers' first goal
Barry Ferguson scores Rangers' first goal
Rangers 3-1 Dundee

Steven Thompson marked his Rangers debut with the goal that sealed Rangers' victory over a battlling Dundee side.

Barry Ferguson had put the league leaders ahead only for Steve Lovell to equalise.

Ronald de Boer put Rangers back in front shortly before the break, but Dundee always looked capable of sneaking a point until Thompson scored with eight minutes remaining.

The visitors were first to threaten, Garry Brady's shot being deflected just off target.

Rangers replied through Peter Lovenkrands, who was stopped in his tracks by a good challenge, and then Bob Malcolm tested Julian Speroni from outside the box.

The home side were presented with a good opportunity after 18 minutes when Michael Mols won possession before playing the ball to Ronald de Boer just inside the box, but Speroni knocked his shot away with his leg.

Barry Ferguson celebrates Rangers' first goal
Barry Ferguson celebrates Rangers' first goal
The keeper was helpless, though, moments later when De Boer's pass was knocked into the path of Ferguson by Claudio Caniggia and the skipper lifted the all over Speroni and into the net.

Two minutes later Dundee were level through Lovell, who tucked the ball beyond Stefan Klos at the back post after Fabian Caballero's shot was deflected into his path.

Mols had a chance to restore Rangers' lead after De Boer put him through, but although the striker took the ball round Speroni, he could not get his shot on target.

De Boer missed an incredible chance when Speroni's clearance was blocked by Lovenkrands, leaving the Dutchman with an open goal, but his first-time effort ran wide of the post.

De Boer made amends two minutes before the break by putting Rangers ahead, finishing an excellent move involving Mols and Lovenkrands with aplomb.

Steven Milne drove just wide from outside the box as Dundee continued to pile forward.

The first real chance of the second half fell to Lovenkands after De Boer's clever pass, but the Dane's shot was well saved by Speroni.

Ronald de Boer celebrates his goal
Ronald de Boer celebrates his goal
New signing Steven Thompson entered the fray on the hour mark, replacing the ineffective Caniggia.

He almost made an immediate impact by releasing Lovenkrands, but Speroni saved well to keep his side in the game.

Lovell was denied an equaliser after out-muscling Lorenzo Amoruso only for Klos to save his shot with 10 minutes left.

Thompson got on the scoresheet two minutes later, tapping in from four yards after De Boer picked him out.


Rangers: Klos, Ross, Moore, Amoruso, Muscat, Malcolm, Ferguson, Lovenkrands (Nerlinger 85), Caniggia (Thompson 61), Mols (McLean 80), De Boer.

Subs Not Used: McGregor, Billy Gibson.

Dundee: Speroni, Mackay, Khizanishvili, Mair, Smith, Hernandez Santos, Rae, Brady (Novo 69), Lovell (Robertson 83), Caballero, Milne.

Subs Not Used: Soutar, Beith, Robb.

Att: 49,112

Ref: T Brown

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Roddy Forsyth
"It was not simple for Rangers"
Rangers boss Alex McLeish
"We have to focus and look forward"
Rangers' Steven Thompson
"I'll score harder goals"
Dundee manager Jim Duffy
"We played some excellent football"
The SPL season gets under way

Thursday games

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Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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