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Sunday, 13 August, 2000, 19:49 GMT 20:49 UK
Rangers overpower brave Buddies
St Mirren 1-3 Rangers
Rangers demonstrated their awesome power once again as they emerged from Love Street with a 3-1 victory, but battling St Mirren made them work hard.
Rangers took a first half lead courtesy of a controversial Jorg Albertz penalty, and the German later added a spectacular free kick to the tally. Billy Dodds pitched in with the other goal.
The solitary goal for the Saints came from Jens Paeslack.
It was 1992 when Rangers and St Mirren last met in league competition - and they started this game like they wanted to make up for lost time.
As expected, it was the Ibrox side who enjoyed the best of the early chances with Jorg Albertz and Billy Dodds proving to be the dangermen.
Dodds looked to be through on goal as early as the third minute before tumbling in the box under Tommy Turner's challenge, but the penalty call proved to be half-hearted.
Three minutes later, Albertz went on a surging run and sent in a fierce shot, producing a superb save from home keeper Ludovic Roy.
A Barry Ferguson cross from a tight angle found Dodds on seven minutes and he flicked the ball on to Rod Wallace, but Paul Rudden deflected the danger.
Albertz found himself clear through the middle again a couple of minutes later, but this time the big German pulled his shot wide.
It was 14 minutes before Saints had their first chance of the game when Paeslack found Mark Yardley in the box, but Stefan Klos easily held Yardley's header.
Paeslack had a great opportunity on 19 minutes when his header looked to be on target, but was turned away by Klos at the near post.
Rangers were looking by far the more likely candidates to snatch the opener and when it did come it was in controversial circumstances.
Albertz coolly converted the spot-kick to give the Scottish champions the lead on the 27th minute.
Dodds almost added the second a few minutes later when he drilled the ball goalward from a seemingly impossible angle but was denied by the vigilant Roy.
The Love Street keeper almost cost Saints after 34 minutes when his poor clearance fell to the feet of Dodds about 10 yards from goal, who flicked on to Ferguson but the Scotland international sent the ball over the crossbar.
Rangers increased their advantage five minutes into the second half when Neil McCann used his quicksilver pace to get in behind the home defence before presenting Dodds with a clear view of goal with a clever reverse pass.
The little striker slammed the ball high into the net.
The Buddies' endeavour was rewarded on the hour with a fine goal.
Steven McGarry wriggled through the Rangers defence and fired in a rasping shot which Klos did well to push away, but Paeslack was alive to the rebound and hammered the ball home from a tight angle to make it 2-1.
St Mirren were punished for their insolence almost immediately.
Albertz restored the two goal cushion when he powered a wonderful swerving free kick round the St Mirren defensive wall from 25 yards. The ball flashed past the diving Roy to find the net.
With fifteen minutes remaining Wallace rattled the St Mirren crossbar with a spectacular overhead kick.
The victory lifts Rangers back to the top of the table, while St Mirren remain in bottom spot, without a point from their opening three games.
St Mirren: Roy, Nicolson, Turner, B. McLaughlin, Ross, Murray, Rudden, Gillies, Paeslack, Quitongo, Yardley
Subs: Scimgour, Brown, McGarry, McKenzie, Drew.
Rangers: Klos, Ricksen, Amoruso, Konterman, van Bronckhorst, Ferguson, Tugay, Albertz, McCann, Wallace, Dodds.
Subs: Brown, Kanchelskis, Miller, Vidmar, Malcolm.
Referee: M McCurrie (Glasgow)
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