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Kilmarnock vs Rangers. Scottish Premiership.

The BBSP Stadium, Rugby ParkAttendance9,576.

Kilmarnock 1

  • D Armstrong (11th minute pen)

Rangers 2

  • J Tavernier (55th minute)
  • T Lawrence (59th minute)

Kilmarnock 1-2 Rangers: Scottish Premiership leaders come from behind to maintain two-point lead in title race

Match report as Rangers come from behind to win 2-1 at Kilmarnock; Danny Armstrong's penalty gave the hosts an early lead; James Tavernier levelled after the break with Tom Lawrence scoring three minutes later; Rangers remain two points clear of Celtic in the Scottish Premiership

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Kilmarnock and Rangers

Rangers avoided another Kilmarnock shock as they came from behind to win 2-1 and maintain their two-point lead in the Scottish Premiership title race.

Philippe Clement's side arrived at Rugby Park on the back on nine straight league wins, but were stunned by an early Killie opener.

Danny Armstrong fired in from the penalty spot after John Lundstram's handball as the hosts, who upset the odds on the opening weekend, targeted another win against the Gers in Ayrshire.

Rangers were frustrated as the rain swirled around the stadium, but James Tavernier curled in a perfect free-kick after the break to pull them level.

Tom Lawrence completed the turnaround three minutes later when he smashed in from Cyriel Dessers' deflected ball.

With 10 league games remaining - five before the split - Rangers remain two points ahead of Celtic, while Kilmarnock are fourth.

Rangers show no signs of stopping

Rangers have won their last 10 Premiership matches
Image: Rangers have won their last 10 Premiership matches

Fabio Silva had the first effort on goal after five minutes, his close-range shot deflected for a corner from which Rangers defender Connor Goldson's header was pushed behind by Killie 'keeper Will Dennis.

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Liam Donnelly came close with a header at the other end as Killie responded, but moments later Lundstram blocked an Armstrong cross with his arm and referee David Dickinson pointed to the spot.

Armstrong confidently beat Jack Butland with his penalty and yet another upset was on the cards.

Daniel Armstrong fired Kilmarnock ahead from the penalty spot
Image: Daniel Armstrong fired Kilmarnock ahead from the penalty spot

Clement's men appeared ill at ease as the route-one first-half unfolded further and Kilmarnock continued chasing and harrying.

There was some controversy in the 40th minute when Mohamed Diomande appeared to prevent Liam Polworth from cleanly latching on to his short pass, but Dickinson played on and was not required by VAR to check his pitchside monitor, to the ire of the home players and supporters.

Team news

Rangers manager Philippe Clement made three changes with Borna Barisic, Ross McCausland and Fabio Silva coming back in while the home side were unchanged.

Dessers and Ridvan Yilmaz replaced Silva and Borna Barisic for the start of the second half - Dujon Sterling would replace Ross McCausland - but Butland soon had to make a fine one-handed save to prevent Matty Kennedy stroking in a second from six yards out.

Kilmarnock paid for that miss after defender Lewis Mayo fouled Lawrence 25 yards from goal, with Tavernier stepping up to send his curling shot past the diving Dennis.

Tom Lawrence celebrates after scoring to make it 2-1
Image: Tom Lawrence celebrates after scoring to make it 2-1

Rain continued to swirl around the ground as Rangers went for the second, which came when Lawrence pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the box and guided his shot low past Dennis and into the far corner for his first goal of the season, sparking wild scenes of delight in the stand behind the goal which housed the visiting fans, some of whom spilled out.

The game had swung towards the rejuvenated Ibrox men and Dessers hit the bar from a Tavernier corner.

In the 70th minute, Oscar Cortes limped off with what looked like a hamstring problem to be replaced by Scott Wright and the game was still in the balance.

Rangers Oscar Cortes was forced off at Rugby Park
Image: Rangers' Oscar Cortes was forced off at Rugby Park

Diomande curled a shot past the far post from 16 yards as play sped from end to end and Dessers got tangled up as he tried to capitalise on a mistake by Killie centre-back Stuart Findlay.

Six minutes were added on but there were no more goals which meant a crucial three points for Rangers, but Celtic's stunning win over Dundee confirmed there is still plenty left in the title race.

Clement: A massive win

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Rangers boss Philippe Clement praised his team's fighting qualities as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Kilmarnock to remain top of the Scottish Premiership

Rangers manager Philippe Clement spoke to Sky Sports at full-time:

"In the last 15 games Kilmarnock have played they've only lost two times and that was against us, so that's a really huge thing.

"We go 1-0 down then Kilmarnock are sitting on the sofa waiting for us to make mistakes and on this pitch it's difficult to play your normal football, but our reaction in the second half was really strong.

"It's a massive win to do it here after going behind and keeping this spirit.

"The guys showed again a lot of resilience and a lot of mentality.

"I was not happy with everything in the first half and they had a good reaction in the second half and that's what I want to see."

McInnes: Disappointment shows how far we've come

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Derek McInnes reflects on Kilmarnock's 2-1 defeat at home to Rangers and felt his side should have had a second penalty at Rugby Park

Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes:

"Hugely disappointed not to take anything from it. I thought we were good in the game, I thought we were worthy of something.

"We were energetic, we used poise at the right time, we had good discipline to stop Rangers playing through us.

"We had good moments in the game and obviously take a good bit of encouragement from the first goal, and I thought we were bright and had a good chance to get the second goal in the first half.

"When you've got that chance, particularly against a team of Rangers quality, you've got to try and take them.

"We're an extremely disappointed club at the moment, a disappointed bunch of lads who have put a lot into the game.

"It shows you how far we've come that we've got so many disappointed players."

What's next?

Sunday 3rd March 11:00am Kick off 12:00pm

Kilmarnock's next Scottish Premiership match is away to Dundee on Saturday, while Rangers host Motherwell.

Both games kick off at 3pm.

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