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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 January 2007, 16:56 GMT
Rangers 5-0 Dundee United
Chris Burke headed home Rangers' second goal
Chris Burke headed home Rangers' second goal
Rangers ensured manager Walter Smith got his second spell at Ibrox off to winning ways with a thumping victory over a profligate Dundee United.

Charlie Adam opened the scoring against the run of play when he fired home from 40 yards after 24 minutes following United keeper Derek Stillie's mistake.

United spurned several opportunities before Chris Burke's 36th-minute header sealed the points.

Kris Boyd fired two second-half goals and Barry Ferguson completed the rout.

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Ferguson was reinstated as Rangers captain for Smith's first game in charge in his second spell at Ibrox.

He made three changes for the visit of Dundee United following last week's Tennent's Scottish Cup exit at Dunfermline.

Chris Burke, Jeremy Clement and Dado Prso were drafted into the starting line-up, replacing Gavin Rae, Nacho Novo and the departed Julien Rodriguez.

New recruits Jon Daly and Sean Dillon were both handed first-team slots to make their Dundee United debuts on a rain-swept Ibrox pitch.

Rangers manager Walter Smith and chairman David Murray
Walter Smith watched his Rangers side produce a five-star show

Rangers were frustrated in the early stages by the visitors' offside trap as Prso and Boyd continually fell foul of the tactic.

The Ibrox side had the first chance of the game when Adam tried his luck with a 25-yard shot, but the effort came off team-mate Prso and fell wide.

Boyd then had the ball in the back of the net but the offside flag was already raised before the shot had left his boot.

The Ibrox side were then forced into some last-gasp defending at the other end of the park when Karl Svensson scooped a Craig Conway drive off the line.

Dundee United spurned several promising positions to take the lead before a calamitous mistake by Stillie allowed the quick-thinking Adam to fire home from 40 yards into an unguarded net.

Stillie raced from his goal to clear the ball before Boyd got there, but the ball broke to Adam who steered the ball home.

United immediately pressed for an equaliser and Jon Daly's shot screamed past Allan McGregor's post after 25 minutes.

Rangers' management deal celebrate a goal against Dundee United
Rangers coaches Kenny McDowall and Ally McCoist celebrate

But the home side extended their lead 10 minutes before the break through a rare headed goal by Burke.

There appeared to be some doubt over whether the game would continue when referee Craig Mackay inspected the pitch at half-time - but he decided play could continue.

Greg Cameron almost got the visitors back into the game just after half-time, but his drilled cross along the six-yard box was not converted.

Rangers punished United for failing to take their chances after 59 minutes when Nacho Novo's cross was swept home by Boyd from close-range.

Boyd got his second and Rangers' fourth when he headed home Ian Murray's cross with just over 20 minutes left.

Ferguson completed the rout with two minutes left after exploiting yawning gaps in United's defence before sliding home.


Rangers: McGregor, Hutton, Hemdani, Svensson, Murray, Burke (Sebo 74), Ferguson, Clement, Adam, Prso (Novo 41), Kris Boyd. Subs Not Used: Klos, Papac, Rae, Lowing, Lennon.

Booked: Svensson.

Goals: Adam 23, Burke 36, Kris Boyd 59, 68, Ferguson 88.

Dundee Utd: Stillie, Dillon, McCracken, Kenneth (Archibald 46), Duff, Samuel (Hunt 52), Kerr, Cameron (Gomis 81), Robertson, Conway, Daly. Subs Not Used: McLean, Easton, Goodwillie, Watson.

Booked: Kerr.

Att: 50,276

Referee: C MacKay

SEE ALSO
Smith content with first victory
13 Jan 07 |  Rangers
Levein to wield axe after defeat
13 Jan 07 |  Dundee Utd


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