Rangers moved four points clear at the top of the table with an impressive win over Dundee United in Walter Smith's last Ibrox game as manager.
Nikica Jelavic headed home from 15 yards after a Steven Whittaker cross on 21 minutes in a fine Rangers start.
Kyle Lafferty, who had already struck a post, fired home after being set up by Steven Naismith four minutes later.
Stuart Armstrong sent a drive against a post late on for a United side who cannot now catch third-top Hearts.
Rangers survived some late nervousness to avoid a repeat of their recent 3-2 defeat at home to the Tannadice side.
And the reigning champions' win means Celtic must now avoid defeat by Hearts on Wednesday if they are to ensure the Scottish Premier League title race goes to the final round of matches on Sunday.
Rangers were unchanged as they looked to continue the form shown in the clinical 4-0 weekend win over Hearts as Smith resisted the temptation to introduce fit-again Scotland midfielder Lee McCulloch.
Jon Daly was dropped to the United bench despite scoring a hat-trick against Motherwell at the weekend, with midfielder David Robertson coming into a more defensive line-up in place of the striker.
If United boss Peter Houston had predicted that his side would have to endure early pressure, he was proved right as Rangers started with great speed and purpose.
United's Keith Watson was the first to threaten with a long-range drive that powered a couple of feet over, but the home side were soon on the offensive.
Naismith looked set to finish off a superb move in which he played successive one-two's before advancing into the penalty box, but team-mate Lafferty took the ball off the Scotland forward's toes and poked a weak shot wide.
Rangers squandered another good chance when Maurice Edu found the unmarked Jelavic with a fine cross, but the striker headed well wide from 14 yards.
Jelavic and Lafferty both scored in the first half at Ibrox
United were having to withstand wave after wave of Rangers attacks and were fortunate to remain on level terms when Lafferty curled an excellent drive off the inside of the far post from the edge of the penalty box.
Jelavic failed to capitalise after making space for himself to collect a clever Steven Davis pass, but the striker soon followed his dipping drive over the bar with the opening goal.
United defender Garry Kenneth was left flat-footed as Jelavic rose to loop a header into the far corner for his eighth goal in 11 games.
Rangers were relentless in the torment being inflicted on the United defence and, when Naismith rolled the ball into Lafferty's path after another incisive break, the Northern Ireland forward's low drive from the edge of the box flew low into the far corner.
United worked themselves into the game, but a deep Watson cross that Allan McGregor palmed away under pressure at the back post was as close as they came to threatening the Rangers goalkeeper.
Daly came on for fellow forward Johnny Russell at half-time, but it was Rangers who continued to be the more dangerous and Lafferty just failed to find a scoring touch on a Jelavic cross that flashed across the face of the United goal.
However, United were now enjoying more possession against a Rangers side who appeared to have already started to think about their final game of the season against Kilmarnock.
Smith's decision to replace young winger Gregg Wylde with experienced holding midfielder McCulloch suggested that the Rangers manager was also out to protect the lead.
Rangers continued to live dangerously and, after McGregor missed his attempt to gather a cross to the back post and Davis was forced to concede a corner, Scott Robertson's head flick forced the goalkeeper into a save.
A powerful Jelavic free-kick curled just over the United crossbar, but it was the visitors who were the more dangerous in the closing stages.
McGregor had to beat away a dipping Daly drive as the striker looked to capitalise on a Madjid Bougherra slip then fellow substitute Armstrong's shot struck the upright.
However, Rangers took the three points to signal tributes from the Ibrox stands for the veteran Smith, who will hand over the manager's chair to assistant Ally McCoist at the end of the season.
Live text and stats
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
39 Wylde (McCulloch 65)
11 Lafferty (Foster 90+1)
18 Jelavic (Diouf 86)
08 Robertson (Buaben 70)
12 Robertson (Armstrong 75)
27 Russell (Daly 46)
Ref: MurrayAtt: 49,267
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+2:35 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
89:41 El-Hadji Diouf takes the direct free kick.
89:41 Substitution Kyle Lafferty leaves the field to be replaced by Richard Foster.
89:41 Foul by Morgaro Gomis on Kyle Lafferty, free kick awarded.
89:11 The ball is crossed by Prince Buaben, clearance by Sasa Papac.
87:05 Shot on goal by Lee McCulloch from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
86:11 Steven Whittaker takes a shot. Save made by Dusan Pernis.
85:15 Substitution Nikica Jelavic leaves the field to be replaced by El-Hadji Diouf.
85:03 Paul Dixon produces a cross, Sasa Papac makes a clearance.
84:46 The ball is sent over by Keith Watson, Sasa Papac manages to make a clearance.
81:57 Stuart Armstrong has an effort at goal from a long way out hitting the post.
80:45 Jon Daly takes a shot. Allan McGregor makes a save.
79:02 Unfair challenge on Kyle Lafferty by Keith Watson results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
78:31 The ball is crossed by Craig Conway, Stuart Armstrong takes a shot. Save made by Allan McGregor.
77:31 Unfair challenge on Lee McCulloch by David Goodwillie results in a free kick. David Weir takes the direct free kick.
75:54 Steven Davis takes the outswinging corner, Nikica Jelavic takes a shot. Comfortable save by Dusan Pernis.
75:48 Centre by Steven Whittaker, blocked by Paul Dixon.
74:06 Substitution Stuart Armstrong replaces David Robertson.
73:55 Morgaro Gomis produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.
72:02 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Maurice Edu by Garry Kenneth. Strike on goal comes in from Nikica Jelavic from
the free kick.
70:39 Paul Dixon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nikica Jelavic. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Madjid
Bougherra from right wing, clearance by Keith Watson.
69:47 Substitution Scott Robertson leaves the field to be replaced by Prince Buaben.
69:02 Craig Conway takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Scott Robertson takes a shot. Allan McGregor makes a comfortable
68:56 Keith Watson sends in a cross, clearance by Steven Davis.
66:46 Shot by Kyle Lafferty. Save made by Dusan Pernis.
66:38 Centre by Nikica Jelavic, Garry Kenneth makes a clearance.
64:46 Substitution Lee McCulloch replaces Gregg Wylde.
64:14 The ball is sent over by Keith Watson.
62:56 Craig Conway handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Allan McGregor restarts play with the free kick.
62:20 Outswinging corner taken by Craig Conway, Sasa Papac manages to make a clearance.
61:53 Craig Conway takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post.
61:02 Keith Watson sends in a cross, clearance by David Weir.
60:55 Keith Watson produces a cross, clearance made by Madjid Bougherra.
60:08 The ball is sent over by Paul Dixon, clearance made by David Weir.
58:41 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kyle Lafferty on Scott Severin. Direct free kick taken by Garry Kenneth.
57:40 Steven Naismith gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Conway. Craig Conway delivers the ball from the free
kick right-footed from left wing.
56:54 Morgaro Gomis fouled by Sasa Papac, the ref awards a free kick. Garry Kenneth restarts play with the free kick.
Correction - 56:18 Craig Conway has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
56:18 Craig Conway has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
55:43 The ball is crossed by Craig Conway, David Weir makes a clearance.
55:27 The ball is swung over by Keith Watson, clearance by Madjid Bougherra.
54:35 Shot from 12 yards from Nikica Jelavic. Save made by Dusan Pernis.
52:31 Centre by Nikica Jelavic.
51:03 Foul by Jon Daly on Sasa Papac, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
50:40 The ball is delivered by Paul Dixon.
50:25 Free kick awarded for a foul by Madjid Bougherra on Scott Robertson. Morgaro Gomis takes the free kick.
47:55 A cross is delivered by Steven Whittaker.
46:42 Foul by Craig Conway on Steven Naismith, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Gregg Wylde, save made
by Dusan Pernis.
45:01 The second half begins.
45:01 Substitution Jon Daly comes on in place of Johnny Russell.
45:00+0:10 The match has reached half-time.
45:00 The ball is sent over by Steven Naismith, Dusan Pernis makes a comfortable save.
44:24 The ball is swung over by Keith Watson.
43:36 The offside flag is raised against Nikica Jelavic. Scott Severin restarts play with the free kick.
43:11 Free kick awarded for a foul by David Goodwillie on Madjid Bougherra. Madjid Bougherra takes the direct free kick.
43:03 Keith Watson crosses the ball, Allan McGregor makes a save.
42:52 The ball is delivered by Craig Conway, David Weir makes a clearance.
42:03 Paul Dixon delivers the ball.
39:53 Craig Conway crosses the ball.
39:46 Craig Conway produces a cross, blocked by Steven Whittaker.
39:15 Garry Kenneth produces a drilled right-footed shot from 25 yards. Blocked by Steven Davis.
37:51 The ball is sent over by Nikica Jelavic, Paul Dixon manages to make a clearance.
37:23 David Robertson fouled by Steven Naismith, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Robertson.
36:30 Corner taken left-footed by Gregg Wylde, Paul Dixon makes a clearance.
36:24 Gregg Wylde produces a cross, Paul Dixon makes a clearance.
34:14 Garry Kenneth concedes a free kick for a foul on Nikica Jelavic. Steven Davis crosses the ball in from the free kick, Garry
Kenneth manages to make a clearance.
32:05 Craig Conway produces a cross, Sasa Papac manages to make a clearance.
30:54 Craig Conway delivers the ball, David Weir manages to make a clearance.
28:54 Free kick awarded for a foul by Johnny Russell on David Weir. Free kick taken by David Weir.
28:18 The ball is crossed by Kyle Lafferty, clearance made by Scott Severin.
27:51 Keith Watson produces a cross, blocked by Steven Naismith.
27:04 Steven Davis sends in a cross, Garry Kenneth manages to make a clearance.
26:16 Johnny Russell sends in a cross.
25:49 Foul by Steven Whittaker on Craig Conway, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Craig Conway.
24:20 Assist by Steven Naismith.
24:20 GOAL - Kyle Lafferty:Rangers 2 - 0 Dundee Utd Kyle Lafferty gets on the score sheet with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal.
Rangers 2-0 Dundee Utd.
22:43 Keith Watson delivers the ball, David Weir manages to make a clearance.
22:29 Paul Dixon sends in a cross, Sasa Papac makes a clearance.
20:45 The assist for the goal came from Steven Whittaker.
20:45 GOAL - Nikica Jelavic:Rangers 1 - 0 Dundee Utd Nikica Jelavic grabs a headed goal from inside the penalty area. Rangers 1-0 Dundee Utd.
20:42 Centre by Steven Whittaker,
19:25 Effort on goal by Nikica Jelavic from just inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
17:35 Steven Whittaker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Paul Dixon. Paul Dixon takes the direct free kick.
16:31 Centre by Gregg Wylde. Gregg Wylde crosses the ball.
16:00 Centre by Craig Conway, Steven Davis gets a block in.
15:34 Gregg Wylde sends in a cross, blocked by Johnny Russell.
15:00 Effort from just inside the box by Kyle Lafferty strikes the post.
Correction - 14:01 The ball is delivered by Maurice Edu, Headed effort from inside the box by Nikica Jelavic misses to the right of the target.
14:01 Maurice Edu delivers the ball, Headed effort from inside the box by Nikica Jelavic misses to the right of the target.
13:18 A cross is delivered by Nikica Jelavic, save by Allan McGregor.
11:54 The ball is crossed by Steven Davis.
11:21 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Davis, Dusan Pernis makes a save.
10:26 The assistant referee signals for offside against Craig Conway. Indirect free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
10:06 Steven Whittaker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Robertson. Garry Kenneth takes the free kick.
8:00 The referee blows for offside. Dusan Pernis takes the free kick.
6:50 Nikica Jelavic takes a shot. Save by Dusan Pernis.
6:46 Effort from 25 yards by Steven Whittaker. Keith Watson gets a block in.
6:21 Inswinging corner taken by Steven Davis, Garry Kenneth manages to make a clearance.
5:58 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Gregg Wylde from the right by-line, clearance by Paul Dixon.
Correction - 5:18 Foul by Scott Severin on Kyle Lafferty, free kick awarded. Steven Davis crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from
left channel, save by Dusan Pernis.
5:18 Scott Severin challenges Kyle Lafferty unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Steven
Davis, save by Dusan Pernis.
3:48 Corner taken right-footed by Craig Conway, clearance made by David Weir.
3:30 Foul by Steven Naismith on Craig Conway, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Scott Severin.
3:16 The ball is crossed by Nikica Jelavic, clearance made by Garry Kenneth.
2:11 Kyle Lafferty crosses the ball, save made by Dusan Pernis.
1:50 Effort on goal by Keith Watson from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
0:42 A cross is delivered by Sasa Papac, Paul Dixon makes a clearance.
0:00 The match begins.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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