Report: United 1 Rangers 2
Sat 1.5.2010 / 3 PM
Rangers faced yet another trip to Tannadice this season today. This was the FIFTH trip to Tannadice this season if you count the game that got abandoned at half-time earlier in the season. Three times in the league (four if you count the abandoned game) plus one in the cup. It just goes to show how ridiculous our current set up is.
Anyway, onto the game and Walter Smith made wholesale changes to the team that clinched the title against Hibernian last week. He could afford to do so with the pressure off and the league in the bag. Out went the suspended Sasa Papac who was replaced by Steven Smith. Out also went Allan McGregor, Lee McCulloch, Steven Whittaker, Steven Davis, Kyle Lafferty and Kenny Miller. They were replaced by Neil Alexander, Kirk Broadfoot, John Fleck, Nacho Novo, Kris Boyd and Andy Little.
Dundee United made a similar amount of changes which included youngster Craig Hill coming in for the ineligible Andy Webster who is on loan from Rangers. United perhaps resting a lot of players with one eye on the Scottish Cup final against Ross County later in the month. They could also afford to rest players as second place was already out of reach and third place is pretty much safe.
Rangers got off to the perfect start after only two minutes when John Fleck put Kris Boyd through. Boyd slotted the ball past Pernis into the corner of the net from about sixteen yards to give him is 100th SPL goal for Rangers at long last after a goal drought of about seven games. It is looking more likely that he could be off in the summer, so at least he got his 100th goal for Rangers in the SPL before he goes. A brilliant milestone for a brilliant striker.
Rangers got their second four minutes before half-time thanks to a superb solo goal from Nacho Novo. Another one who may be leaving in the summer unless he gets an offer of a new contract. Novo made Sean Dillon look like a fool before firing low into the net. Novo is one of Ranger's longest serving players, he clearly loves the club and is a fantastic squad player, making many of his appearances from the bench. I just hope that Rangers do offer him a contract because it would be well deserved.
There were no more goals for Rangers in the second half but United did pull one back with ten minutes to go making it a nervy finish. Damian Casalinuovo headed their consolation. Rangers held out though for a good three points. One setback though was that Kevin Thomson had to come off injured. He was replaced by DeMarcus Beasley, a player who will surely be on his way out of the club in the summer.
So a 2-1 victory for Rangers and there is now only two games left of the season. We have Celtic at Parkhead on Tuesday followed by our last home game of the season against Motherwell where we will be presented with the SPL trophy.