Kenny Miller’s third goal in two games helped Rangers ruin Partick Thistle’s historic week as they claimed a 2-0 Ibrox win.
The Jags have been in celebration mode since clinching a first-ever top-six slot last weekend, while Tuesday’s announcement that the Firhill club are to build a new £4million training ground has raised Alan Archibald’s hopes that his team can turn that feat into lasting success.
But the only Ladbrokes Premiership side yet to have taken points off the Light Blues so far this campaign were left disappointed again as Miller followed up last Sunday’ Aberdeen double with the first-half opener.
Jon Toral put Pedro Caixinha’s men two ahead early in the second period as Gers ensured they did not let the Dons increase their nine-point lead in the race for second.
Yet the Govan side initially looked in for a difficult afternoon.
If Rangers’ failings under Mark Warburton were that the Englishman favoured possession over penetration, then the problem under new boss Caixinha is that precision often goes out the window in their effort to get the ball forward rapidly.
The hosts’ hastiness, combined with Thistle’s pressing and work-rate, saw the opening half-hour descend into a chaotic scrap.
The best Gers could manage in that time was a couple of Myles Beerman efforts which were both deflected wide.
But when their passing finally clicked, Jags struggled to compete.
Rangers came close in the 35th minute as Toral’s strike arrowed its way towards the bottom corner. Thankfully for the visitors Mustapha Dumbuya was well-placed on the goal-line to hack clear.
Danny Wilson then muscled his way onto a Barrie McKay corner but his firm header was pushed away by Tomas Cerny.
However, the Czech stopper was finally beaten six minutes before the break. James Tavernier’s cross from out on the right was deep and menacing and Miller made the most of it as he steered his header back across the goalkeeper and into the net.
Yet Thistle should have gone in at the interval level after McKay’s misplaced pass put in Ryan Edwards, but the Australian’s low shot fizzed across goal.
And they would rue that miss as Gers netted within nine minutes of the restart - and it was a thing of beauty.
Cutting in from the right, Emerson Hyndman exchanged passes with Toral before making a fool out of Liam Lindsay with a dip of his shoulder as he drove into the box. The American could have shot himself from 10 yards out but unselfishly squared for his Spanish team-mate to finish off a sublime goal.
Two fingertip saves from Cerny prevented Martyn Waghorn and Miller adding a third, while Jags substitute Kevin Nesbit came close to handing his side a life line after turning quickly in the box to shoot.
Chris Erskine did at least test Wes Foderingham when he took aim from 18 yards out but none of his team-mates were able to take advantage of the rebound as the Rangers number one parried clear.