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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 March 2006, 17:09 GMT
Rangers 4-0 Kilmarnock
Rangers striker Kris Boyd
Rangers' Kris Boyd celebrates the opening goal against Kilmarnock
Rangers shook off their Champions League exit, beating Kilmarnock with goals from Kris Boyd, Julien Rodriguez, Dado Prso and Peter Lovenkrands.

Alex McLeish's side were on form, and although Killie competed well initially they collapsed in the second half, with goalkeeper Alan Combe dismissed.

Boyd drilled home the opener after 12 minutes, before Rodriguez headed the second in the 71st.

Prso's penalty was followed by a late Lovenkrands free kick to make it four.

The win gives Rangers a boost as they attempt to claim a Champions League slot, with rivals Hearts only managing a draw at Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The opening stages were played at a high tempo, as the Ibrox side were determined to shake off their European hangover.

The busy Buffel provided a good cross in the 8th minute which the Kilmarnock defence failed to clear, but striker Boyd failed to direct the ball goalward.

However, Boyd made sure of his next opportunity, when he fired Rangers into a 12th minute lead against his former club.

With Killie struggling to cope with Prso in the penalty area, the Croatian slipped the ball to Chris Burke.

And although the youngster mishit his effort, the ball fell kindly to Boyd, who composed himself before stabbing home a left foot shot from six yards.

Boyd saw another shot saved by Combe on the half hour as Rangers continued to press for the second, with the visitors living dangerously.

The Rugby Park side were being totally outplayed and failed to threaten Ronald Waterreus in the home goal in the first half.

Kilmarnock pushed forward in the second period with renewed confidence, and although they had not managed to carve out any clear opportunities, they took encouragement from being only a goal down.

Boyd was eventually withdrawn by McLeish with Lovenkrands coming on to add pace to the Ibrox attack.

It proved timely as Rangers eventually wore down Kilmarnock's resistance, and Rodriguez came forward to power home a header - his first goal for the club in the 71st minute.

Ferguson's cross was met by the unmarked Sotirios Kyrgiakos, and the Greek headed across goal with the former Monaco defender on hand to pounce.

There was no way back for the Ayrshire men when the busy Combe was red-carded for a rush of blood to the head when he upended Lovenkrands for a penalty after 83 minutes.

James Fowler reluctantly stepped into goal as his replacement for the latter stages but could do nothing as Prso stepped up to blast the ball high into the top left hand corner.

Killie promptly fell apart and Fowler could do nothing as Rangers fourth came two minutes later courtesy of Lovenkrands.

The Dane cracked in a free kick from 30 yards, to cap a fine afternoon for McLeish's team.

Rangers: Waterreus, Hutton, Murray, Kyrgiakos, Rodriguez, Buffel, Ferguson (Ricksen 85), Burke (Novo 73), Hemdani, Kris Boyd (Lovenkrands 66), Prso. Subs Not Used: Klos, Andrews, Namouchi, Smith.

Goals: Kris Boyd 13, Rodriguez 71, Prso 85 pen, Lovenkrands 87.

Kilmarnock: Combe, Wilson (Lilley 23), Hay, Ford, Wright, Invincibile (McDonald 82), Fowler, Johnston, Di Giacomo, Nish (Campbell 80), Naismith. Subs Not Used: Smith, Locke, Leven, Bell.

Sent Off: Combe (84).

Booked: Lilley, Hay, Fowler, Johnston.

Att: 49,442

Ref: D McDonald


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