It sent a disgruntled support home content with the on-field performance and a 4-2 cinch Premiership win, although it will do little to quell the discontent that continues to be aimed at the hierarchy of the club. Ross Wilson and Stewart Robertson were once more the target of pre-match banners as the Rangers fans look to oust them from their respective positions as sporting director and managing director.
If it left the Rangers board twitching awkwardly before kick-off, it was nothing to how uncomfortable it got shortly after. Kevin van Veen’s goal with less than three minutes on the clock survived a VAR check with images showing that the backside of Connor Goldson had played Max Johnston, the architect of the goal, onside.
Motherwell’s Block E ultras would have missed it; they staged a protest of their own with a ‘Heavy Hands, Empty Seats’ banner in place of their attendance in the opening minutes as they showed their irritation at perceived poor treatment from the club.
For all that Motherwell's early eagerness was commendable – the tactic of unleashing Johnston in behind the rusty Ridvan Yilmaz looked to offer a route in behind in a couple of occasions before the fullback got wise to it – there was an inevitability about Rangers responding as they were allowed to dominate the ball.
Tavernier’s 15th goal of the season, though, will have irked Motherwell given the lack of pace and power on the free-kick that beat Fir Park goalkeeper Liam Kelly at his right-hand post. Having spotted the vast space left as Kelly trusted his wall to do its job, the Rangers captain simply floated an effort into the open space with the goalkeeper appreciating the danger too late.
It should have been fairly straightforward from there on in. Fashion Sakala headed Rangers in front straight after the break with Tavernier turning provider and, given the control, the Ibrox side, it looked like they were home and hosed. It said something, then, about the recently unearthed fight that has been discovered by Stuart Kettlewell that his side were able to force a way back into the game with a scrambled Bevis Mugabi effort from close range restoring parity.
They were unable to cope with Rangers upping a gear and blowing them away. Todd Cantwell restored Rangers’ lead just four minutes after Mugabi’s leveller before Malik Tillman netted the goal of the afternoon. Ryan Kent started the move with a clever release of Alfredo Morelos and although it looked like the Colombian had initially dithered on the ball and lost the chance, his cutback to Tillman on the edge of the box brought forth a rifled finish high into the top corner.
It sucked the life out of Motherwell and ended their recent momentum with this defeat their first in five outings. Callum Slattery’s second-half dismissal meant they closed the game with ten men and it could well have got messy as Rangers, firmly in command by that time, manipulated the space in the closing stages.