Miller's double and Boyd's strike set Rangers on their way to a handsome win
By Andy Campbell
Rangers moved four points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League with a convincing home win over Motherwell.
Kenny Miller's superb strike gave Rangers the lead early on and Kris Boyd poked in a second on 53 minutes.
Miller beat the offside trap to score before Shaun Hutchinson bulleted home a header for the visitors.
Kyle Lafferty tapped home Rangers' fourth, DaMarcus Beasley scored from close in and Lafferty's neat finish completed the rout.
Celtic can reduce Rangers' lead to one point when they take on Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.
The match survived a downpour of snow in the run-up to kick-off and Rangers stated their intentions straight from the off, snapping at the heels of the visiting defence and taking the lead in the fifth minute.
Steven Davis teed up Miller 20 yards out and the striker curled an excellent shot home with the aid of the crossbar.
The home side kept up the pressure and Boyd had two efforts cleared off the line in quick succession, with Steven Saunders rescuing Well on both occasions.
Sasa Papac glanced a header wide of Ruddy's goal before the injured Kevin Thomson had to be replaced with Lee McCulloch for the Ibrox side.
Motherwell slowly began to work their way back into the match and Lukas Jutkiewicz's header from Tom Hateley's corner was deflected wide.
Steve Jennings was next to threaten for the visitors, the midfielder's shot picking up a deflection en route to goal before keeper Allan McGregor tipped wide.
Lafferty scored his first Rangers goals of the season
Rangers came close to a second just before the break when Papac's low shot was blocked by the feet of Motherwell goalkeeper John Ruddy.
Davis was again the provider for Rangers' second, the midfielder sending an inviting cross into the penalty area to meet Boyd's well-timed run and the striker stretched out a foot to nudge the ball beyond Ruddy and into the net.
Madjid Bougherra's long ball was the catalyst for Rangers' third on 58 minutes as Miller beat the offside trap and rounded Ruddy before slipping the ball over the line from a tight angle.
Hutchinson rose unchallenged to head Hateley's inswinging corner into the net and reduce Motherwell's deficit after 67 minutes.
But the comeback was short-lived as Miller and Kirk Broadfoot combined to set up Lafferty to tap home at the back post, the Northern Ireland international having earlier replaced Boyd.
Miller's searching pass in behind Mark Reynolds was intercepted by Beasley, who slotted past Ruddy with 15 minutes left.
Lafferty completed the rout with two minutes left when he latched on to Beasley's lofted pass and clipped the ball past the advancing Ruddy from outside the box.
Rangers manager Walter Smith: "It was a terrific result for us and a good performance from us overall. We're delighted.
"We started really well, we should've had a few more goals with that start. After that, we settled down and we had to work to hard to get our goals.
"Motherwell had a lot of players back and made it very difficult for us in the early part of the match to break them down.
"Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd are doing exceptionally well in terms of helping the team, linking up and working hard. It's always good that, when they do that and do it as unselfishly as they are, they still get goals at the end of it.
"Young Kyle Lafferty coming on and getting a couple of goals will do him the world of good as well."
Motherwell manager Jim Gannon: "We didn't expect much from today. We didn't expect to lose 6-1, but we certainly didn't expect to win. I'm not too disappointed, I'm not going to be too hard on the players.
"The lads were a little bit at sea at times, we didn't show the quality on the ball to be able to take the pressure off.
"We played a little bit and gave as good as we got in the second part of the first half, but their quality showed in terms of the way they took their goals and the way they created their goals.
"Tactics don't work without techniques. No matter what shape you have, you've got to have quality. You've got to be able to keep the ball, you've got to move the ball quickly, you've got to have players who can shoot on target and players who can put crosses in.
"I don't think there's an issue about tactics today, I think it's just about quality."
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