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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 November 2007, 16:50 GMT
Rangers 2-0 Inverness CT
Carlos Cuellar celebrates scoring the second goal against Inverness
Carlos Cuellar grabbed Rangers' second goal at Ibrox
Rangers maintained the three-point gap with Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic after a workmanlike disposal of Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Kris Boyd fired the Glasgow side into the lead from the edge of the box after just 34 seconds at Ibrox.

And Boyd's replacement, Jean-Claude Darcheville, set up Carlos Cuellar to head the second after 62 minutes.

Cuellar cleared a Graham Bayne effort off his own line before Darcheville crashed an attempt off the bar.

Fit-again Brahim Hemdani had returned to the Rangers starting line-up in place of Kevin Thomson, who is suspended for Wednesday's Champions League trip to face Barcelona.

Darcheville was only deemed fit enough to start on the bench.

And fellow striker Boyd took less than a minute to justify Walter Smith's decision to retain him up front.

Nacho Novo was hauled down by Stuart McCaffrey just inside the Inverness half and took the quick free-kick, feeding Kris Boyd and he slotted home from 18 yards with his first touch of the ball.

DaMarcus Beasley then had the ball in the back of the net, but the offside flag was already raised before he had even connected with Barry Ferguson's cross.

Inverness player-boss Craig Brewster had introduced Ian Black and David Proctor for Barry Wilson and Don Cowie following the midweek CIS Cup drubbing by Aberdeen.

But the visitors showed some resilience at Ibrox, with Graham Bayne, Grant Munro and Russell Duncan firing in off-target long-range efforts.

Kris Boyd celebrates his early goal against Inverness
Kris Boyd put Rangers ahead within the opening minute

However, Rangers were the more dangerous, David Weir having a ferocious effort deflected just wide following a corner kick.

Novo headed a Sasa Papac cross into the path of Lee McCulloch, who somehow blasted wide of the upright.

Caley Thistle goalkeeper Michael Fraser smothered a Novo volley, while Beasley lashed into the side-netting on the stroke of half-time.

Bayne poked an effort over from the edge of the box as Rangers looked flat at the start of the second half.

Weir then almost handed Inverness an equaliser when he knocked his back-header past goalkeeper Allan McGregor, but the defender recovered to clear the danger.

Rangers boss Walter Smith decided it was time for changes, replacing Boyd and Novo with Darcheville and Daniel Cousin.

And the two new strikers inspired a period of pressure that ended with the second goal after 62 minutes, with Darcheville setting up Cuellar to head home from six yards.

Cuellar had work to do at the other end, clearing a Bayne header before it crossed the line.

But it was Rangers applying most of the pressure and Darcheville fired into the side-netting then headed against the crossbar.


Rangers: McGregor, Hutton, Cuellar, Weir, Papac, Beasley, Ferguson, Hemdani, McCulloch, Novo (Cousin 60), Boyd (Darcheville 61).
Subs Not Used: Carroll, Faye, Naismith, Lennon, Furman.

Goals: Boyd 1, Cuellar 63.

Inverness CT: Fraser, Tokely, McCaffrey, Munro, Hastings, Proctor (Morgan 86), McBain, Duncan, Black (Cowie 87), Bayne, Wyness (Niculae 84).
Subs Not Used: Malkowski, McDonald, Kerr, Vigurs.

Booked: Tokely, Hastings.

Att: 48,898

Ref: W Collum



SEE ALSO
Smith happy ahead of Barca trip
03 Nov 07 |  Rangers
Brewster consoled by improvement
03 Nov 07 |  Inverness CT


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