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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 May, 2004, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Rangers 4-0 Motherwell
Steven Thompson celebrates rounding off the scoring
Steven Thompson celebrates rounding off the scoring
Four goals in 11 minutes either side of half-time gave Rangers a comprehensive victory over Motherwell at Ibrox.

Mikel Arteta started things off a minute before the break with a curling free kick.

Substitute Maurice Ross scored a second two minutes after the interval with a cool finish from eight yards.

Hamed Namouchi prodded the ball under Gordon Marshall for Rangers' third and Steven Thompson glanced a header past the keeper to round off the scoring.

In the glorious May sunshine, with nothing at stake, it was no surprise that the game failed to start at any great pace and it was fully 10 minutes before a genuine chance was created.

The lively Chris Burke found room on the right but his cross was headed wide by Steven Thompson.

Nine minutes later, Thompson took a raking Frank de Boer pass on his chest only to shoot straight at Gordon Marshall, although the striker was penalised for pulling back his marker in any case.

Burke fired a left-foot volley into Marshall's arms and then the keeper made amends for a dreadful attempted clearance by keeping out Hamed Namouchi's powerful volley.

A Mikel Arteta cross was flicked on by Thompson and almost found its way into the net via the head of Fernando Ricksen, though the Dutchman knew little about it.

Motherwell's first effort on goal came from Steven Craig after 35 minutes, but the striker's effort was smashed into the side-netting with several team-mates in better positions.

Mikel Arteta is congratulated on his opening goal
Mikel Arteta is congratulated on his opening goal
Rangers' pressure paid off just before half time when Arteta curled a free kick towards the top corner and though Marshall got a hand to it, he could not keep it out.

Ross came on for Alan Hutton at half time and within two minutes he had doubled Rangers' lead.

Burke played him in with a beautiful pass and though he initially attempted a square pass to Thompson, the ball fell kindly back to him and he calmly slotted the ball into the net with Marshall stranded.

Four minutes later it was 3-0 as Namouchi latched onto De Boer's perfect pass to poke the ball under Marshall.

Motherwell had fallen to pieces and incredibly Thompson added a fourth goal after 55 minutes.

Paolo Vanoli and Arteta exchanged passes on the left and the Italian's cross was perfect for the striker to glance past Marshall.

With the game well won, Rangers introduced teenagers Ross McCormack and Gary Mackenzie for their first-team debuts.

A McCormack shot-cum-cross with 15 minutes remaining almost provided Ricksen with Rangers' fifth goal, but he could not quite direct the ball into the gaping net.

At the other end, Mackenzie showed great strength to prevent David Clarkson from getting on the end of a misplaced pass by Ross.

Stefan Klos was called into action for the first time in the closing minutes, producing a fine save to keep out Clarkson's close-range effort.

Then McCormack curled a 20-yard effort just wide of Marshall's left-hand post.

Rangers: Klos, Hutton, Khizanishvili, Frank de Boer, Vanoli, Ricksen, Arteta, Hughes, Burke, Thompson, Namouchi.

Subs: McGregor, Ball, Ross, Mackenzie, McCormack.

Motherwell: Marshall, Quinn, Corrigan, Craigan, Hammell, Adams, Burns, Dair, Fagan, Clarkson, Craig.

Subs: Corr, Scott McDonald, Kevin McDonald, Kinniburgh, Wright.

Referee: S Dougal

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