Todd Cantwell goal v Rangers

Manager Michael Beale is “seeing really good signs” from his Rangers side but was left “frustrated” by aspects of his team’s play as they fought back to win at Motherwell in a six-goal thriller.

The visitors trailed early to a Kevin van Veen strike, but James Tavernier’s free-kick levelled before the captain delivered for Fashion Sakala to 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 dismissed.

“We recovered really well,” the Ibrox manager told BBC Sportsound. “I thought we were in control of the whole game, it was just whether we could up our quality.

“Again we’re frustrated there wasn’t a couple of more goals. I would like to see us score more. It’s becoming a little bit of a habit. This team are capable of scoring more goals.”

The win for Beale’s side temporality narrowed the gap on leaders Celtic to six points, but Ange Postecoglou’s men restored their nine-point advantage with victory at home to Hibernian later on Saturday.

Defeat for Motherwell, who remain ninth and are now winless in 55 top-flight games against Rangers, brings an end to Stuart Kettlewell’s four-game unbeaten start as manager.

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

And it was current talisman Van Veen who had the home fans dreaming as the Dutchman tucked in Max Johnston’s cross then wheeled away in front of a travelling support who protested against the Ibrox board pre-match.

Rangers toiled in their pursuit of an equaliser as rigid Motherwell made life difficult in their 5-4-1 shape, but Slattery’s wild challenge on John Lundstram on the edge of the box resulted in Tavernier to bending a free-kick over the wall, beating Liam Kelly far too easily.

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

From nowhere, Kettlewell’s side drew level when Rangers failed to clear their lines, allowing Mugabi to prod the ball in on the slide.

But Beale’s men had their lead back four minutes later when Cantwell smashed in from close range – his first goal for his new club – before substitute Tillman drilled a quickfire fourth with a fine strike from the edge of the area.

Motherwell were reduced to 10 men for the final 14 minutes when Slattery was shown a second yellow for a flailing arm on Cantwell, but the hosts were spared a heavier defeat as Rangers passed up further chances to add gloss to the win.

Player of the match – Todd Cantwell

Todd Cantwell goal v Rangers

Rangers respond after making life difficult again – analysis

Beale will leave Fir Park with positives as his side continue to rebuild momentum on the pitch after last month’s Viaplay Cup final disappointment.

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

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

The Ibrox side’s character to respond has to be lauded, but they have made games unnecessarily difficult for themselves by losing the first goal on too many occasions.

Rangers’ bluntness in the first half was partly down to Motherwell’s resolute shape, but perhaps if Kettlewell’s men were more adventurous they could have built on their goal advantage.

The Fir Park boss’ flexibility in how he has approached each of his five games in charge must be commended, though. Despite defeat, Motherwell fans will not have lost any hope in their side’s survival bid.

What did they say?

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell: “First and foremost, I’m pleased with the players. We never want to be glorious losers. We showed good discipline. But second half it started to open up slightly.

“We need some clarity [on Rangers’ third goal]. There’s a big call made. There seems to be a lot of confusion about how that decision comes about. I’ll stand corrected if I’m wrong but from the pictures I’ve seen [Fashion] Sakala looks offside.”

Rangers manager Michael Beale: “I understand [the fans’ protests]. It’s their life. Their voicing their frustration. I’d just like them to support the team, they team is doing well.

“It’s not easy to play in that environment when that’s in the air. I’d like them to show a little bit of trust if they can because I think there are good days ahead.”

What’s next?

After the international break, both sides return to Premiership action on Saturday, 1 April as Motherwell go to Hibernian, while Rangers host Dundee United (both 15:00 BST).

  • Line-ups
  • Match Stats
  • Live Text



Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Kelly
  • 22Johnston
  • 16McGinnSubstituted forMugabiat 53′minutes
  • 66Butcher
  • 52CaseyBooked at 20mins
  • 24Furlong
  • 8SlatteryBooked at 76mins
  • 27GossSubstituted forTierneyat 71′minutes
  • 18CorneliusSubstituted forMandronat 70′minutes
  • 9van VeenSubstituted forBlaneyat 84′minutes
  • 7Spittal


  • 2O’Donnell
  • 4Lamie
  • 5Mugabi
  • 13Oxborough
  • 17McKinstry
  • 20Blaney
  • 21Mandron
  • 26Tierney
  • 38Miller


Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 26Davies
  • 3YilmazSubstituted forArfieldat 71′minutes
  • 13CantwellSubstituted forKamaraat 78′minutes
  • 4LundstramSubstituted forSouttarat 78′minutes
  • 8JackBooked at 45mins
  • 14Kent
  • 9ColakSubstituted forMorelosat 65′minutes
  • 30SakalaSubstituted forTillmanat 65′minutes


  • 7Hagi
  • 16Souttar
  • 18Kamara
  • 20Morelos
  • 23Wright
  • 33McLaughlin
  • 37Arfield
  • 44Devine
  • 71Tillman
Nick Walsh

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamRangers
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 2, Rangers 4.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 2, Rangers 4.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Malik Tillman.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Kent (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Glen Kamara.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Malik Tillman with a cross.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Scott Arfield (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Malik Tillman.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ryan Jack (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Kent.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Ryan Kent with a cross.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Bevis Mugabi.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by John Souttar.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Shane Blaney replaces Kevin van Veen.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Scott Arfield (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Jack.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

  15. Post update

    Ryan Kent (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Blair Spittal (Motherwell).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. John Souttar replaces John Lundstram.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Glen Kamara replaces Todd Cantwell.

  19. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Callum Slattery (Motherwell) for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Todd Cantwell (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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Player of the match

GossSean Goss

with an average of 8.40
  • MotherwellMotherwellMotherwell
  • RangersRangersRangers


  1. Squad number27Player nameGoss
    Average rating


  2. Squad number9Player namevan Veen
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  3. Squad number22Player nameJohnston
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  4. Squad number52Player nameCasey
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  5. Squad number18Player nameCornelius
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  6. Squad number7Player nameSpittal
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  7. Squad number1Player nameKelly
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  8. Squad number24Player nameFurlong
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  9. Squad number66Player nameButcher
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  10. Squad number5Player nameMugabi
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  11. Squad number16Player nameMcGinn
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  12. Squad number8Player nameSlattery
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  13. Squad number20Player nameBlaney
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  14. Squad number21Player nameMandron
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  15. Squad number26Player nameTierney
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  1. Squad number71Player nameTillman
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  2. Squad number20Player nameMorelos
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  3. Squad number37Player nameArfield
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  4. Squad number16Player nameSouttar
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  5. Squad number18Player nameKamara
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  6. Squad number13Player nameCantwell
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  7. Squad number2Player nameTavernier
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  8. Squad number14Player nameKent
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  9. Squad number8Player nameJack
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  10. Squad number3Player nameYilmaz
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  11. Squad number9Player nameColak
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  12. Squad number30Player nameSakala
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  13. Squad number26Player nameDavies
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  14. Squad number4Player nameLundstram
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  15. Squad number6Player nameGoldson
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  16. Squad number1Player nameMcGregor
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