Date: 10th May 2011 at 10:05pm
Written by: Vital Arabs

Dundee United’s hopes of repeating last season’s third-place finish finally disappeared with a 2-0 defeat at leaders Rangers.

Two goals during a five-minute spell midway through the first-half proved enough to move the Glasgow side within one victory of the SPL title.

Rangers visit Kilmarnock at the weekend, although it would be all over before then anyway if rivals Celtic lose at Hearts on Wednesday evening.

Nikica Jelavic headed in a Steven Whittaker cross on 21 minutes and Kyle Lafferty soon added another from an assist by Steven Naismith.

Jon Daly was earlier relegated to the bench for the visitors despite a hat-trick against Motherwell at the weekend.

After Keith Watson had driven an early attempt over the hosts took charge with the unmarked Jelavic heading wide from Maurice Edu’s cross and Lafferty sweeping a shot against the inside of the far post from the edge of the area.

Jelavic soon lifted another attempt over the crossbar before opening the scoring with a looped header into the far corner.

Four minutes later Lafferty crashed a second after a low drive from the edge of the penalty area.

Manager Peter Houston introduced Daly for the start of the second-half, but it was Lafferty then almost converting a Jelavic cross.

However, the visitors were now having more of the game and Scott Robertson’s header forced Allan McGregor into action before Croatian striker Jelavic struck a free-kick over at the opposite end.

Back came the Taysiders for Daly to have a strong drive parried by McGregor and fellow substitute Stuart Armstrong to find the outside of a post during the final ten minutes.

Rangers: McGregor, Weir, Papac, Whittaker, Bougherra, Wylde (McCulloch 65), Edu, Davis, Lafferty (Foster 90), Naismith, Jelavic (Diouf 86)

subs (unused): Alexander, Fleck, Healy, Hutton

Goals: Jelavic (21), Lafferty (25)

Dundee United: Pernis, Dixon, Severin, Kenneth, Watson, Conway, S. Robertson (Buaben 70), D. Robertson (Armstrong 75), Gomis, Goodwillie, Russell (Daly 46)

subs (unused): Banks, Dillon, Douglas, Shala

Ref: C. Murray

Att: 49,267

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