sport news Rangers 4-0 St Mirren: James Tavernier at the double in emphatic win for hosts

Rangers 4-0 St Mirren: James Tavernier at the double as hosts score three penalties and miss one in emphatic win over visitors Rangers convert three of four penalties in convincing win over St Mirren  James Tavernier scored two spot-kicks and missed another in the victory  Jermain Defoe also registered a penalty with Ryan Kent adding a late fourth 

By Ronnie Esplin, Press Association Sport

Published: 17:55 GMT, 2 February 2019 | Updated: 18:12 GMT, 2 February 2019

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Skipper James Tavernier scored two penalties and missed another as Rangers overcame Ladbrokes Premiership bottom side St Mirren 4-0 at Ibrox.

The Light Blues defender got the home side off the mark in the third minute then struck the post with his next effort from 12 yards, a decision disputed vehemently by the visitors, before grabbing his second early in the second half.

Striker Jermain Defoe made it 3-0 in the 79th minute, also from the spot, before Ryan Kent added a fourth two minutes later.

James Tavernier scored two penalties and missed one during Rangers' win over St Mirren

James Tavernier scored two penalties and missed one during Rangers' win over St Mirren

The victory helps Rangers keep pace at the top, three points behind league leaders Celtic

The victory helps Rangers keep pace at the top, three points behind league leaders Celtic

Steven Gerrard's side moved to within three points of leaders Celtic, although Brendan Rodgers' men can restore their six-point lead against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Sunday as the title race keeps going.

MATCH FACTS 

RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Worrall, Katic, Barisic, Arfield, McCrorie (Jack 54), Davis (Candeias 64), Morelos, Defoe (Lafferty 83), Kent. SUBS NOT USED: Foderingham, Halliday, Coulibaly, Middleton.

GOALS: Tavernier 3 (pen), 55 (pen), Defoe 80 (pen), Kent 81 

BOOKINGS: McCrorie, Morelos 

ST MIRREN: Hladky, Baird, Ferdinand, Popescu, Paul McGinn (Corbu 77), Stephen McGinn, Lyons, Tansey, Erhahon (Muzek 56), Jackson (Nazon 76), Dreyer. SUBS NOT USED: Holmes, McAllister, Flynn, Mullen.

BOOKINGS: Baird, McGinn

REFEREE: Andrew Dallas (Scotland)

 ATTENDANCE: 49,463

As expected, Gerrard rang the changes from the William Hill Scottish Cup win over Cowdenbeath in midweek, with only new signings Steve Davis and Defoe and Nikola Katic keeping their places.

Saints, who had lost their previous four league games, made one change, with defender Anton Ferdinand in for Kyle McAllister

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