Football

Jelavic double guides Gers to win

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Nikica Jelavic grabbed a double as Rangers steered their Clydesdale Bank Premier League title bid back on track by moving to within five points of Celtic again with a 4-0 win over St Johnstone.

Kyle Lafferty and Sasa Papac were also on the scoresheet on what was a comfortable afternoon at Ibrox, after Celtic had lost at Motherwell earlier in the day.

With two games in hand over the SPL leaders, the victory over Saints means the destiny of the championship is again back in Rangers' hands - if they can take maximum points from their outstanding fixtures.

The match was just four minutes old when the Scottish champions surged into the lead. Maurice Edu saw his shot blocked and Jelavic was the first to react and pounce on the loose ball before dispatching an unstoppable volley past the grasp of Peter Enckelman.

Rangers were threatening again when Lafferty whipped a cross into the box from the left, which was missed by Jelavic and fell for David Healy, but his shot was blocked well by Enckelman.

Lafferty then squandered a great chance to leave the net bulging when he collected a lovely pass from Steven Davis only to hook well over when he should at least have tested the goalkeeper.

Lafferty eventually succeeded four minutes before the break when he rose above everyone else in the box to meet Gregg Wylde's corner and send a firm header into the back of the net.

There was no way back when Papac exchanged a one-two with Jelavic, which involved a cheeky backheel from the striker, before slotting into the back of the net with 81 minutes gone.

Rangers could have had a penalty a couple of minutes later when Fleck went to ground under pressure from the goalkeeper, but his pleas were ignored by referee Steve McLean but the net was bulging again anyway with seconds to go when Jelavic sidefooted home from 10 yards to seal the victory.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Steven Davis
Kyle Lafferty
Football
Peter Enckelman
Southampton
Premier League
Steven Davis
David Healy
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