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Page last updated at 18:54 GMT, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 19:54 UK

St Johnstone   0 - 2   Rangers

St Johnstone v Rangers

Highlights - St Johnstone 0-2 Rangers

By Andy Campbell

Rangers beat St Johnstone to move top of the Scottish Premier League with Celtic inactive until Wednesday.

The visitors went ahead in the 20th minute when Kyle Laffetry punished Danny Grainger's mistake with a composed finish.

Saints pressed hard after the break and Kevin Moon and Murray Davidson forced Allan McGregor to make vital saves.

But Steven Naismith ended the home side's hopes of a comeback, the forward finishing well with his left foot.

The Ibrox side now hold a one-point lead over their Old Firm rivals, who will return to the top of the division if they draw or win against Hibernian on Wednesday, Celtic boasting a superior goal difference.

The physical threat of Jordan Robertson, making his first start for St Johnstone, caused the Rangers defence problems early on.

Gregg Wylde caught Grainger in the box but the St Johnstone player regained his footing to get away a pass and appeals for a penalty fell on deaf ears.

Grainger was involved in the opening goal but it was the visitors who found the net.

Having done little in attacking areas, Rangers were gifted a chance when Grainger's headed passback was short of Peter Enckelman and Lafferty nipped in to round the goalkeeper and slot the ball into the empty net.

Saints looked to respond and Robertson's low drive brought McGregor into action.

Lafferty threatened again when he ran on to Sasa Papac's huge clearance but Dave MacKay diverted the volley out of play.

Davidson's trundled shot was nudged wide by McGregor as the Perth side continued to press.

Lafferty was booked for dissent before David Weir's header from Wylde's free-kick clipped the post on its way out.

Nikica Jelavic did not connect properly with his shot when put through by Lafferty early in the second half, the ball trickling wide.

St Johnstone went back on the attack and Moon's inswinging cross from the right looked to be creeping in at the far post, forcing McGregor to dive across to save, Danny Invincibile unable to convert the rebound.

Alan Maybury was next to test McGregor, the full-back's shot right down the throat of the keeper.

Wylde failed to deal with a cross into the box and Davidson's downward shot was blocked by McGregor's excellent save and Robertson's follow-up effort was deflected wide.

Substitute Peter MacDonald crossed for Robertson to head at goal but the attempt was straight at McGregor.

And just as St Johnstone were having their best spell, Rangers dealt them a sucker punch.

Naismith carried on his run after heading forward to Jelavic and when the forward got the ball back he slammed it past Enckelman.

Maurice Edu's header from John Fleck's corner was blocked by a St Johnstone defender as Rangers looked to add to their score.

Jelavic rattled the underside of the crossbar after skilfully evading two defenders and Naismith's rebound header dropped just wide of the far post.

Edu drew a save from Enckelman as the match petered out.

Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Scottish Premier

Home Team Score Away Team Time
St Johnstone 0-2 Rangers FT
(HT 0-1)
    • Lafferty 20
    • Naismith 83

    St Johnstone

    • 01 Enckelman
    • 02 MacKay yellow card
    • 03 Grainger (Novikovas 66)
    • 06 Duberry
    • 19 Maybury
    • 07 Millar
    • 10 Craig
    • 14 Moon (MacDonald 66 yellow card)
    • 20 Davidson
    • 22 Invincibile
    • 28 Robertson (May 81)

    Substitutes

    • 15 Smith,
    • 12 Anderson,
    • 37 Caddis,
    • 11 Taylor,
    • 32 May,
    • 08 Novikovas,
    • 16 MacDonald

    Rangers

    • 01 McGregor
    • 03 Weir
    • 05 Papac
    • 12 Foster
    • 16 Whittaker
    • 39 Wylde (Fleck 76)
    • 07 Edu
    • 08 Davis
    • 11 Lafferty yellow card (Ness 76)
    • 14 Naismith
    • 18 Jelavic

    Substitutes

    • 25 Alexander,
    • 45 Cole,
    • 40 Ness,
    • 10 Fleck,
    • 17 Diouf,
    • 28 Kerkar,
    • 41 Hutton
    Ref: AllanAtt: 5,820
    ST JOHNSTONE
    RANGERS

    Possession

    • St Johnstone 43%
    • Rangers 57%

    Attempts on target

    • St Johnstone 5
    • Rangers 5

    Attempts off target

    • St Johnstone 1
    • Rangers 5

    Corners

    • St Johnstone 4
    • Rangers 3

    Fouls

    • St Johnstone 6
    • Rangers 9
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+2:37 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
    • 89:02 Maurice Edu takes a shot. Save by Peter Enckelman.
    • 88:27 Steve May has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 86:47 Header from close in by Steven Naismith misses to the left of the target.
    • 86:22 Nikica Jelavic takes a shot.
    • 85:02 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by John Fleck, Maurice Edu takes a shot. Blocked by Alan Maybury.
    • 82:46 GOAL - Steven NaismithSt Johnstone 0 - 2 Rangers Steven Naismith grabs a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. St Johnstone 0-2 Rangers.
    • 82:19 Chris Millar challenges Steven Davis unfairly and gives away a free kick. Richard Foster takes the direct free kick.
    • 80:07 Substitution Steve May comes on in place of Jordan Robertson.
    • 79:00 Jordan Robertson takes a shot. Save by Allan McGregor.
    • 78:27 Jamie Ness crosses the ball, clearance by Michael Duberry.
    • 78:19 Nikica Jelavic crosses the ball.
    • 77:40 Peter MacDonald is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Steven Whittaker.
    • 77:40 Booking Booking for Peter MacDonald for unsporting behaviour.
    • 75:23 Substitution (Rangers) makes a substitution, with John Fleck coming on for Gregg Wylde.
    • 75:23 Substitution (Rangers) makes a substitution, with Jamie Ness coming on for Kyle Lafferty.
    • 74:20 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Liam Craig.
    • 73:39 The ball is swung over by Daniele Invincibile, Murray Davidson takes a shot. Save made by Allan McGregor.
    • 70:33 Alan Maybury takes a shot. Save by Allan McGregor.
    • 68:44 The ball is sent over by Richard Foster.
    • 67:46 The ball is delivered by Alan Maybury, Steven Whittaker makes a clearance.
    • 65:12 Substitution (St Johnstone) makes a substitution, with Peter MacDonald coming on for Kevin Moon.
    • 65:12 Substitution Arvydas Novikovas is brought on as a substitute for Daniel Grainger.
    • 64:01 Foul by Kyle Lafferty on Alan Maybury, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
    • 62:56 Kevin Moon crosses the ball.
    • 60:42 Corner taken left-footed by Daniel Grainger, clearance by Nikica Jelavic.
    • 57:36 Gregg Wylde produces a cross.
    • 56:27 A cross is delivered by Chris Millar, clearance made by Steven Whittaker.
    • 53:37 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jordan Robertson by Steven Whittaker. Liam Craig crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, clearance made by David Weir.
    • 53:01 Nikica Jelavic has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.
    • 52:15 Centre by Steven Naismith.
    • 52:15 Booking The referee cautions David MacKay for unsporting behaviour.
    • 51:11 Daniel Grainger sends in a cross, save by Allan McGregor.
    • 49:38 Corner taken by Steven Davis from the left by-line, clearance made by David MacKay.
    • 49:29 The ball is delivered by Gregg Wylde, blocked by Alan Maybury.
    • 48:56 The ball is sent over by Richard Foster, Kevin Moon makes a clearance.
    • 47:49 Richard Foster challenges Chris Millar unfairly and gives away a free kick. David MacKay crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Steven Whittaker manages to make a clearance.
    • 47:19 Chris Millar fouled by Maurice Edu, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Grainger.
    • 47:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Daniel Grainger on Nikica Jelavic. Steven Davis takes the free kick.
    • 46:19 Unfair challenge on Michael Duberry by Kyle Lafferty results in a free kick. Peter Enckelman restarts play with the free kick.
    • 45:37 Nikica Jelavic produces a cross, Michael Duberry makes a clearance.
    • 45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+0:10 The referee blows for half time.
    • 43:55 Foul by Chris Millar on Maurice Edu, free kick awarded. Steven Davis restarts play with the free kick.
    • 43:15 Jordan Robertson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Whittaker. Allan McGregor takes the free kick.
    • 40:56 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kyle Lafferty by David MacKay. The ball is crossed by Gregg Wylde, Header from inside the area by David Weir strikes the post.
    • 39:06 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kyle Lafferty on Daniel Grainger. Peter Enckelman takes the free kick.
    • 39:06 Booking The referee cautions Kyle Lafferty for unsporting behaviour.
    • 38:37 Centre by Liam Craig, clearance made by Sasa Papac.
    • 37:17 The ball is delivered by David MacKay, Sasa Papac makes a clearance.
    • 36:43 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Daniel Grainger from the right by-line, save made by Allan McGregor.
    • 36:26 Murray Davidson takes a shot. Save by Allan McGregor.
    • 35:58 Richard Foster handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Grainger.
    • 34:17 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Naismith on Michael Duberry. Direct free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
    • 32:10 The ball is sent over by Steven Davis, save made by Peter Enckelman.
    • 31:27 Inswinging corner taken by Gregg Wylde from the right by-line, David MacKay makes a clearance.
    • 31:16 Kyle Lafferty takes a shot. Blocked by David MacKay.
    • 25:33 The referee blows for offside. Allan McGregor takes the free kick.
    • 24:21 Jordan Robertson takes a shot. Save by Allan McGregor.
    • 22:32 Richard Foster crosses the ball, Alan Maybury makes a clearance.
    • 20:56 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Duberry by Kyle Lafferty. Michael Duberry takes the free kick.
    • 19:05 GOAL - Kyle LaffertySt Johnstone 0 - 1 Rangers Kyle Lafferty grabs a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. St Johnstone 0-1 Rangers.
    • 17:02 Daniele Invincibile is ruled offside. David Weir takes the indirect free kick.
    • 16:41 The ball is delivered by Gregg Wylde, fantastic save by Peter Enckelman.
    • 13:06 Alan Maybury sends in a cross, Richard Foster makes a clearance.
    • 11:40 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David MacKay, clearance made by Nikica Jelavic.
    • 11:36 Liam Craig delivers the ball, clearance by Richard Foster.
    • 11:18 Alan Maybury delivers the ball, David Weir makes a clearance.
    • 10:44 The ball is swung over by Daniel Grainger.
    • 9:50 Maurice Edu takes a shot and missed to the left of the target.
    • 4:33 Unfair challenge on Michael Duberry by Kyle Lafferty results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
    • 1:39 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Whittaker by Jordan Robertson. Allan McGregor takes the free kick.
    • 0:00 The referee gets the game started.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Scottish Premier results

    5 Apr 2011 23:59 UK


    Scottish Premier table snapshot

    As it stood on 5 Apr 2011 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Rangers 29 37 68
    2 Celtic 28 44 67
    3 Hearts 31 16 59
    4 Dundee Utd 30 6 49
    5 Kilmarnock 31 10 46
    6 Motherwell 31 -8 40
    7 Inverness CT 30 1 36
    8 St Johnstone 31 -18 34
    9 Hibernian 30 -14 33
    10 Aberdeen 30 -17 31
    11 St Mirren 30 -22 25
    12 Hamilton 31 -35 16

    see also
    Boss Smith lauds Rangers resolve
    05 Apr 11 |  Rangers
    Home pitch costs goals - McInnes
    05 Apr 11 |  St Johnstone
    St J'stone v Rangers as it happened
    05 Apr 11 |  Scottish Premier


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