Date: 20th April 2011 at 2:46am
Written by: Vital Arabs

Dundee United finished with only eight men as Rangers extended their lead at the top of the SPL with an easy 4-0 victory at Tannadice.

The recalled Mihael Kovacevic, Sean Dillon and Morgaro Gomis each received their marching orders from referee Willie Collum and Rangers took full advantage with Steven Whittaker converting a couple of penalties and also missing a third.

That was never going to prove costly, however, as Nikica Jelavic and Kyle Lafferty were also on target for the visitors.

Rangers had the ball in the net on sixteen minutes but Steven Naismith was pulled up and instead cautioned for handball.

Naismith though received a more favourable verdict when sent over inside the area by Kovacevic after Dusan Pernis had blocked from Lafferty.

The Swiss defender was immediately dismissed and Whittaker struck his penalty into the corner.

Pernis then denied both Naismith and Lafferty, while Garry Kenneth screwed a volley wide at the opposite end.

Following the break Jelavic twice missed when well-placed before being brought down right on the edge of the area by Dillon after substitute Barry Douglas had misjudged a backpass.

The verdict was another sending-off and penalty from which Whittaker calmly converted on the hour.

Twelve minutes later it got even worse for the hosts as Jelavic netted after Pernis had done well to deny Steven Davis from 25-yards.

Pernis also prevented a possible Douglas own goal before Gomis became the third home player dismissed when bringing down Rangers substitute El Hadji Diouf.

This time Whittaker spurned a hat-trick as he blazed over from the spot.

But Lafferty’s deflected effort still made it four with seven minutes remaining before Pernis once again saved from substitute David Healy’s late free-kick.

Dundee United: Pernis, Dillon, Kenneth, Severin, Kovacevic, S. Robertson, D. Robertson (Douglas 24), Swanson (Buaben 65), Gomis, Goodwillie (van der Meulen 62), Russell

subs (unused): Banks, Conway, Daly, Shala

Rangers: McGregor, Hutton (Diouf 34), Weir, Bougherra, Papac, Whittaker, Edu, Davis, Naismith (Fleck 62), Lafferty, Jelavic (Healy 79)

subs (unused): Alexander, Foster, Wylde, Kerkar

Goals: Whittaker (pen 22, pen 60), Jelavic (72), Lafferty (83)

Ref: W. Collum

Att: 11,626

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