Rangers went top of the Scottish Premiership after beating Motherwell at Fir Park, despite having Alfredo Morelos sent off after gesturing to the home support following his goal.
After three games without a win, Steven Gerrard’s side claimed the three points which put them above erstwhile leaders Celtic, who host Hibernian at 15:00.
Nikola Katic and Morelos scored to move Rangers one point clear at the top, but the Colombian was shown a second yellow by Don Robertson in the immediate aftermath of that goal.
It is a first sending off of the season for Morelos, who was dismissed five times last term, albeit one of those was rescinded.
Motherwell, meanwhile, missed the chance to return to third spot in the division after a performance in which they rarely looked like taking something.
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It had been the biggest week in Gerrard’s Ibrox managerial career. Three huge tests on three different battle fronts. A place in the last 32 of the Europa League secured, but points dropped in the title race and a cup final lost.
Fir Park was another big obstacle. A Motherwell side that could have narrowed the gap on their opponents to four points if they could manage a first home win over the Ibrox side since 2002.
And the hosts threatened early, with Rangers captain James Tavernier’s intervention stopping Devante Cole adding the finishing touches to Christopher Long’s cut-back. But the visitors showed little sign of weariness from Thursday’s draw with Young Boys of Switzerland to get their noses in front after a spell of pressure.
Glen Kamara blasted over before Morelos twice forced fingertip saves from Motherwell goalkeeper Mark Gillespie, the second forcing a corner from which Borna Barisic picked out his fellow Croat Katic. The defender proved too strong for Bevis Mugabi, shrugging him off to bullet a header home.
Colombian striker Morelos was to be at the centre of everything after that. He had a strong case for a penalty when Mugabi barged into the back of him, but referee Robertson dismissed the claims.
He continued to pepper the Motherwell goal; Gillespie tipping another angled low drive away from the near post, then blocking his goal bound effort after the defence were caught napping.
Motherwell’s Declan Gallagher and Rangers’s Ryan Jack were shown yellow cards after a half-time confrontation, and Morelos soon received the first of his two yellows for a late challenge on Jake Carroll.
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Home goalkeeper Gillespie pushed away Ryan Kent’s drive, but it was at the other end where Allan McGregor had to produce heroics – throwing up an arm to push away Long’s header from two yards out.
And it was to prove crucial, with Morelos making it 2-0 when he collected Aribo’s cross, stepped away from Gallagher, and drove the ball into the net. But his final contribution was to be sent off seconds later after earning a second booking after gesturing towards the Motherwell fans during his celebrations.
There was time left for the hosts to get themselves back in the game, but they struggled to make an impact at the other end of the pitch, and only a fine save from Gillespie denied Barisic from a free-kick when he pushed his curling effort on to a post.