Motherwell 1-6 Rangers extras: Jack Simpson anguish and the nine-game blot for Steven Gerrard

Rangers moved four points clear at the top of the Premiership with a demolition job in Lanarkshire.

Rangers hat-trick hero Fashion Sakala celebrates with the match ball after the 6-1 win over Motherwell at Fir Park. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Player of the match

Rangers had several strong performers in one of their best displays of the season so far but no-one would lay claim to upstaging Fashion Sakala as their top man on the day.

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The Zambian international striker has taken time to settle down in Glasgow since his summer move from Oostende but this may come to be reflected upon as the match in which his Rangers career took off.

Sakala’s pace and movement were a constant thorn in the side of the Motherwell defence and he showed a genuine goalscorer’s instinct with his finishing.

Biggest letdown

With his team trailing 3-1 and under increasing pressure from Rangers, Motherwell captain Stephen O’Donnell did his team-mates no favours when he made the needlessly rash challenge on Calvin Bassey which earned him his second yellow card of the afternoon.

It left the short-handed hosts trying to plug gaps in the closing half-hour as Sakala completed his hat-trick in between goals from Glen Kamara and substitute Kemar Roofe.

Turning point

Rangers are having to create many more turning points than manager Steven Gerrard would care for this season, having now conceded the first goal in nine games.

The moment which turned this match in their favour was a thing of beauty from James Tavernier as the Rangers captain celebrated his 30th birthday with a magnificently struck equaliser two minutes before half-time.

Ref watch

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander felt his team could have had a penalty while 1-0 up for handball against Leon Balogun but it would have been a harsh call against the Rangers defender.

The hosts could have no complaints about the 67th minute dismissal of O'Donnell who, having been booked for pulling Sakala’s jersey in the first half, went into that ill-advised challenge on Bassey.

Gave us a giggle

Jack Simpson didn’t see the funny side at the time but it was hard not to chuckle at the anguished reaction of the big defender, on as a substitute for Balogun, as he was denied his first goal for Rangers in stoppage time.

His header from a Tavernier corner had beaten Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly and was going in before Kemar Roofe popped up to apply the finishing touch on the line.

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