Motherwell 2-4 Rangers: Visitors fight back in thrilling six-goal thriller

Todd Cantwell’s first Rangers goal turned the game in the away side’s favor

Rangers manager Michael Beale extended his unbeaten start to the Scottish Premiership to 14 games after his side fought back to claim victory in a thrilling six-goal thriller at Motherwell.

The visitors trailed early on a Kevin van Veen strike, but James Tavernier’s free-kick equalized before the captain delivered for Fashion Sakala at the net.

Motherwell responded through Bevis Mugabi but two goals in six minutes from Todd Cantwell and Malik Tillman took the game away from the hosts, who had Callum Slattery fired.

Victory for Beale’s side cuts the gap on leaders Celtic to six points, but Ange Postecoglou’s men can restore their nine-point advantage with a home win against Hibernian later on Saturday.

The loss to Motherwell, who remains ninth and is now winless in 55 top-flight games against Rangers, ends Stuart Kettlewell’s four-game unbeaten start as manager.

A James McFadden goal in 2002 earned the Fir Park club their last Premiership victory in that match.

And it was current talisman Van Veen who had the home fans dreaming as the Dutchman ran into Max Johnston’s cross and then swept away past a roving supporter protesting the Ibrox council pre-game.

Rangers struggled in their quest for an equalizer as rigid Motherwell made life difficult in their 5-4-1 form, but Slattery’s savage challenge to John Lundstram at the edge of the box led Tavernier to bend a free-kick on the wall, beating Liam Kelly far too easily.

Tavernier then turned provider a minute after the break for Sakala to go home – the Zambian’s sixth goal in six games against Motherwell.

Out of nowhere, Kettlewell’s side equalized when Rangers failed to clear their lines, allowing Mugabi to drive the ball down the slide.

But Beale’s men regained their lead four minutes later when Cantwell slotted in from close range – his first goal for his new club – before substitute Tillman drilled in a quick fourth shot with a fine strike from the edge of the box.

Motherwell was reduced to 10 men for the final 14 minutes when Slattery received a second yellow for a flailing arm on Cantwell, but the hosts were spared a heavier defeat as Rangers squandered further chances to add from brilliance to victory.

Player of the Match – Todd Cantwell

Todd Cantwell's goal against Rangers
The former Norwich man made himself a key cog alongside Beale early in his career at Rangers, and his first goal for the Ibrox club capped another impressive display.

Rangers react after making life difficult again – analysis

Beale will leave Fir Park with positives as his side continue to regain momentum on the pitch after the disappointing Viaplay Cup final last month.

The Rangers boss has won all of his first eight Premiership away games, becoming the first manager to do so in more than 12 years, but he will be pushing for more from his players after another performance which has fluctuated throughout the 90 minutes.

The visitors struggled to break down their hosts in the first half, with Tavernier’s 23rd-minute equalizer coming from their first shot on target.

The character of the Ibrox side to respond is to be praised, but they have made games unnecessarily difficult by losing the opening goal on too many occasions.

Rangers’ directness in the first half was in part due to Motherwell’s resolute form, but perhaps if Kettelwell’s men were more adventurous they could have taken advantage of their goalscoring advantage.

The Fir Park boss’s flexibility in how he has approached each of his five games in charge is to be commended, however. Despite the loss, Motherwell fans will not have given up hope in their team’s bid for survival.

And after?

After the international break, both sides return to the Premiership on Saturday April 1 as Motherwell travel to Hibernian, while Rangers host Dundee United (both 3pm BST).



Training 5-3-2

  • 1Kelly
  • 22Johnston
  • 16McGinnReplaced bymugabiTo 53′minutes
  • 66Butcher
  • 52CaseyBooked 20 mins away
  • 24Furlong
  • 8gratingBooked at 76 mins
  • 27KidReplaced byTierneyTo 71′minutes
  • 18CorneliusReplaced bymandronTo 71′minutes
  • 9van VeenReplaced byBlaneyTo 84′minutes
  • 7spit


  • 2O’Donnell
  • 4lamia
  • 5mugabi
  • 13Oxborough
  • 17McKinstry
  • 20Blaney
  • 21mandron
  • 26Tierney
  • 38Miller


Training 4-3-1-2

  • 1Mc Gregor
  • 2innkeeper
  • 6Goldson
  • 26Davies
  • 3YilmazReplaced byArfieldTo 71′minutes
  • 13CantwellReplaced byKamaraTo 78′minutes
  • 4LundstramReplaced bySudtarTo 78′minutes
  • 8JackBooked at 45 mins
  • 14Kent
  • 9ColakReplaced byMorelosTo 65′minutes
  • 30sakalaReplaced bytillmanTo 65′minutes


  • 7Hagi
  • 16Sudtar
  • 18Kamara
  • 20Morelos
  • 23Wright
  • 33McLaughlin
  • 37Arfield
  • 44Guess
  • 71tillman

Nick Walsh


Live Text

player of the match

KidSean Goss


  1. squad number27player nameKid

  2. squad number9player namevan Veen

  3. squad number22player nameJohnston

  4. squad number52player nameCasey

  5. squad number18player nameCornelius

  6. squad number7player namespit

  7. squad number1player nameKelly

  8. squad number24player nameFurlong

  9. squad number66player nameButcher

  10. squad number5player namemugabi

  11. squad number16player nameMcGinn

  12. squad number8player namegrating

  13. squad number20player nameBlaney

  14. squad number21player namemandron

  15. squad number26player nameTierney


  1. squad number71player nametillman

  2. squad number20player nameMorelos

  3. squad number37player nameArfield

  4. squad number16player nameSudtar

  5. squad number18player nameKamara

  6. squad number13player nameCantwell

  7. squad number2player nameinnkeeper

  8. squad number14player nameKent

  9. squad number8player nameJack

  10. squad number3player nameYilmaz

  11. squad number9player nameColak

  12. squad number30player namesakala

  13. squad number26player nameDavies

  14. squad number4player nameLundstram

  15. squad number6player nameGoldson

  16. squad number1player nameMc Gregor


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button