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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 January, 2004, 16:52 GMT
Rangers 1-0 Motherwell
Shota Arveladze was Rangers' saviour
Shota Arveladze was Rangers' saviour
Rangers were made to battle all the way for their victory, with a late Shota Arveladze goal sealing the points.

Motherwell matched Rangers for much of the game, which was short on excitement and entertainment.

Neither side looked capable of breaking the deadlock until the Georgian striker popped up with eight minutes to go.

He played a neat one-two with Nuno Capucho before lifting the ball deftly over the outrushing Gordon Marshall in the Motherwell goal.

Rangers dominated possession in the early stages and put together a delightful move after 10 minutes, which almost brought about the opening goal.

Arveladze exchanged passes with Capucho before volleying just wide from ten yards out.

Motherwell came close to taking the lead themselves when Stephen Craigan glanced a header wide and then Derek Adams held off the challenge of Craig Moore before curling a shot narrowly past the post.

Rangers had a penalty claim turned down after 26 minutes when Keith Lasley appeared to trip Peter Lovenkrands in the box, but nothing was given.

Alex Burns flashed a shot wide from 25 yards, but the game was lacking in inspiration.

Moore headed just over the bar a minute before half time after getting on the end of Mikel Arteta's corner.

Marshall pulled off a tremendous save to keep the scores level after four minutes of the second half, diving low to his left to touch Arveladze's powerful effort round the post.

Gordon Marshall is helpless as Arveladze nets the winner
Gordon Marshall is helpless as Arveladze nets the winner
Henning Berg was short with his back-pass midway through the second half, almost allowing Alex Burns in on goal, but Stefan Klos did well to sweep the ball to safety before Burns could pounce.

With eight minutes remaining, Rangers finally made the breakthrough after another nice exchange between Capucho and Arveladze culminated with the Georgian deftly chipping Marshall.

Steven Hammell tried to catch Klos out at his near post with a free kick, but the German was equal to it.

Rangers: Klos, Khizanishvili, Berg, Moore, Vanoli, Namouchi (Ross 88), Malcolm (Mols 63), Arteta (Nerlinger 59), Lovenkrands, Capucho, Arveladze.

Subs Not Used: McGregor, Ball.

Booked: Moore, Arveladze.

Motherwell: Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Quinn, Hammell, Lasley, Adams, Leitch (Bollan 86), Dair, Clarkson, Burns (Scott McDonald 74).

Subs Not Used: Corr, O'Donnell, Kinniburgh.

Booked: Burns.

Att: 48,925

Ref: C Thomson

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