Kilmarnock 2-3 Rangers
Rangers substitute Nuno Capucho scored a late winner at Rugby Park after Kilmarnock had given the champions a real scare.
Shota Arveladze scored twice for Rangers
After a sluggish start, Shota Arveladze fired Rangers in front only for Gary McDonald and Peter Canero to reply with goals for the home side.
The Ibrox side laid siege to the home goalmouth for much of the second half and Arveladze claimed his second before Capucho popped up to head the winner.
It was a deserved three points for Rangers, who had a strong penalty claim turned down and struck the woodwork twice.
In a scrappy opening period the Kilmarnock defence were able to cope with Rangers' attacking thrusts without too much trouble.
But with half an hour gone Rangers went in front when Arveladze scooped the ball into the top corner after Peter Lovenkrands had failed to connect with a corner and distracted the home defence.
Killie made a change with Kris Boyd limping off in the 35th minute to be replaced by Gary McSwegan and they equalised three minutes later.
McDonald converted a superb move that started with a backheel from Stevie Fulton to Canero on the right side of the box and the Scotland Under-21 man picked out his unmarked colleague to apply the finish at the back post.
Lovenkrands then got in behind the Killie defence and was bundled over by a challenge from Greer in the area but referee John Underhill waved away Rangers' appeals for a penalty.
In the 50th minute Canero fired Killie into a surprise lead with a well placed shot after McSwegan headed a high hanging ball from the left to where the midfielder was lurking unmarked on the edge the box.
Emerson thumped a long-ranger just wide as Rangers tried to get back on level terms straight away.
Gary McDonald hit a first half goal for Kilmarnock
Lovenkrands fired in a shot that was blocked by a defender before Mols saw a close range effort bounce back off the underside of the bar.
Killie were under immense pressure and when Francois Dubourdeau could only parry an Emerson effort it seemed Arveladze must net the rebound but he fired across goal and wide.
The Georgian striker made amends to grab his second goal of the day after 63 minutes when he lashed home a shot from ten yards after a neat flick from Mols had opened up the home defence.
A few minutes later, Lovenkrands sprinted away from his marker but the Dane's powerful angled shot crashed off the crossbar.
Dubourdeau blocked a close-range Mols shot with his legs before Greg Shields threw himself in front of a blast from Fernando Ricksen.
Kilmarnock were still a threat and substitute Martin Hardie saw his 18 yard shot blocked by Klos and Mikel Arteta was on hand to clear off the line as the ball squirmed towards the net.
Dubourdeau was able to smother another Arveladze effort and had to get down quickly to stop Ricksen's low shot.
Kilmarnock finally capitulated in the 86th minute, when Arteta swung a free kick into the back post area and Capucho was allowed to squeeze his header past Dubourdeau.
Kilmarnock: Dubourdeau, Shields, Greer, Dindeleux, Hay, Canero, Fulton, McDonald, Murray, Boyd, Nish. Subs: Meldrum, McLaughlin, McSwegan, Hardie, Dillon.
Rangers: Klos, Ricksen, Berg, Ball, Emerson, Arteta, Hughes, Vanoli, Arveladze, Mols, Lovenkrands. Subs: McGregor, Capucho, Ostenstad, Ross, Burke.
Referee: J Underhill