Dundee United recorded a thoroughly deserved win over ragged Rangers, with two first-half goals doing the damage.
Andy McLaren celebrates United's second goal
The opening half-hour was fairly even but Mark Kerr broke the deadlock with a stunning drive from 16 yards after Jim McIntyre's knock-down.
Three minutes later Andy McLaren headed a second goal from close range as the Rangers defence went to sleep.
Rangers huffed and puffed throughout the second half, but United keeper Paul Gallacher was scarcely troubled.
The opening stages were unremarkable, aside from a wonderful run by Ronald de Boer that ended with the Dutchman's shot being blocked.
The first real attempt on goal came in the 12th minute when Christian Nerlinger picked out Michael Mols in the box, but his header was poor and looped on to the top of Paul Gallacher's net.
Mark Wilson was first to test Stefan Klos in the visitors' goal after 19 minutes when he curled a free-kick towards the German's top left-hand corner, but the keeper saved comfortably.
The home side had a real let-off two minutes later when a clearance fell to Mikel Arteta, but the young Basque's shot was deflected on to the inside of Gallacher's post and bounced clear.
United took the lead with a cracking goal after 31 minutes. McLaren's cross was nodded down by McIntyre into the path of the onrushing Kerr and he lashed the ball past Klos and into the net off the underside of the bar.
Three minutes later, McLaren made it two when he got on the end of a Barry Robson corner to head past Klos, with the Rangers defence posted missing.
Frank de Boer had a goal-bound free kick headed clear by Chris Innes but United came within inches of making it 3-0 four minutes before half-time when Frank de Boer got a slight deflection to take a McLaren shot onto the bar.
Mark Kerr wheels away in delight after scoring the opener
Rangers made two changes at half time and one shortly afterwards, with Maurice Ross, Steven Thompson and Gavin Rae replacing Emerson, Mikel Arteta and Christian Nerlinger.
But the changes brought about little improvement in Alex McLeish's side's play as United comfortably defended their lead.
Mols fired a shot wide from the angle of the box after 71 minutes but Rangers, for the most part, failed to threaten the home side's goal.
United should have had a third goal in the second minute of injury time when McLaren picked out Robson 12 yards out, but Klos denied him with a fine save.
Dundee Utd: Gallacher, Wilson, Innes, McCracken, Archibald,
McLaren, Kerr, McInnes, Robson, Miller, McIntyre.
Samuel, Duff, Easton, Scotland.
Rangers: Klos, Ricksen, Moore, Frank de Boer, Ball, Capucho,
Arteta, Emerson, Nerlinger, Ronald de Boer, Mols.
McGregor, Rae, Thompson, Ross, Namouchi.
Referee: J Underhill