Football: Amato amasses a triple bonus

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The Independent Online
RANGERS LOOK in formidable form as they strive to complete a domestic treble and putting their old firm rivals, Celtic, in the shade by lifting the Scottish Cup on Saturday week. On Saturday their 5-1 win against Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League proved to be little more than a training ground romp.

However, for the rest of the Scottish Premier League it was a harsh reminder of the growing gulf between the haves and the have nots. Gabriel Amato's hat-trick provided the personal glory but Rangers will need to be far more clinical if they are to achieve the success in Europe which their coach, Dick Advocaat, demands.

Motherwell have not been in the best of form recently and their frail defence was weakened yet further by the loss of three key players. But the ease with which Rangers circumvented their creaking rearguard was ominously emphatic. Claudio Reyna and Giovanni van Bronckhorst were particular tormentors, providing a seamless link between defence and attack which drilled gaping holes in the Motherwell defence.

Celtic, their Cup final opponents, who beat Aberdeen 3-2, are presenting their head coach, Jozef Venglos, with a series of selection headaches ahead of the trophy game on 29 May. Tommy Johnson struck his third goal in two games in the 3-2 win over Aberdeen, while youngster Colin Healy demonstrated his potential on the right flank with a mature display beyond his 19 years.