Kris Boyd scored his second straight double as Rangers cruised to a 3-0 victory over St Johnstone at Ibrox.

The striker capitalised on poor defending from a makeshift Saints backline to net twice in the first half - the first after only 30 seconds.

Nacho Novo netted on the rebound after the break as Rangers narrowed the gap on Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders Celtic leaders back to two points following their rivals' earlier win at Motherwell.

A bad mistake by Graham Gartland deep inside his own half allowed Boyd to open the scoring just 30 seconds into the game. The Irishman gave the ball straight to DaMarcus Beasley and he fed Boyd to slide the ball into the corner of the net with his left foot from 18 yards.

St Johnstone enjoyed a good spell of possession but Rangers almost put the game beyond them in the eighth minute. Madjid Bougherra stepped out of defence and fed Kenny Miller on the edge of the box, and his volley on the turn was acrobatically pushed wide by Graeme Smith.

Beasley's deflected strike looped just over before Neil Alexander pulled off an excellent diving save from the recalled Chris Millar after a half-cleared corner fell for the Saints midfielder 25 yards out.

However, the Perth side gifted Rangers another goal in the 27th minute. Steven Anderson was short with a passback and Novo intercepted just before Smith got there to bring him down. Dougie McDonald pointed to the spot and Boyd fired the penalty low into the corner.

Rangers moved three ahead in the 51st minute when Novo finished off a counter-attack. Kirk Broadfoot started the move by helping the ball up the line for Beasley, who got away from Danny Grainger and crossed for Miller inside the box.

Smith pulled off a great one-handed save from Miller's effort but Novo ran on to stroke the ball home.

Alexander dived low to save Chris Millar's header after sub Kenny Deuchar had flicked on a Kevin Moon cross but Rangers otherwise strolled through the second period without finding the finishing touch.

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