Football: Guivarc'h makes instant impact

St Johnstone 0 Rangers 7
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RANGERS YESTERDAY swept aside a poor St Johnstone team with their most powerful performance of the season which included two debut goals for the substitute Stephane Guivarc'h.

With the League Cup final between these two clubs approaching, Saints' only chance is to embody the theatrical adage that a disastrous dress rehearsal presages an im-provement on the night.

Dick Advocaat, the Rangers coach, chose the occasion to rest young Barry Ferguson, the midfielder who has come to prominence this season. After 22 games he was deemed in need of a break.

Sergio Porrini, the Italian full-back, was also missing but the side lost none of its recent fluency for their absence.

Rod Wallace and Jonatan Johansson continued a scoring streak with a goal apiece before half-time, and Jorg Albertz added a third to underline Rangers' superiority.

Wallace was at the far post to chest the ball over the line after an 11th-minute corner. Although the ball was cleared from goal the assistant referee indicated it had crossed the line.

The Perth side has shown great improvement since the arrival of Sandy Clark as manager but they were clearly rocked on their heels by the loss of a second goal in 25 minutes. Wallace crossed the ball to Giovanni van Bronkhorst whose shot was parried, but Johansson was on hand to side foot the rebound into an unguarded goal net.

Worse was to follow for Saints. Within five minutes Paul Kane clipped Van Bronkhorst as the Dutchman was on the verge of shooting. His trip resulted in a penalty to Rangers and a red card for Kane. Albertz swept the spot-kick home.

Rangers added a fourth goal from Andrei Kanchelskis in the 66th minute. They then introduced Guivarc'h to Scottish football and within a couple of minutes he turned and lifted the ball over the goalkeeper for Rangers' fifth goal.

The sixth came from the same player chasing down a cross and slamming the ball into the net. Albertz completed St Johnstone's humiliation with a goal from the penalty spot with five minutes remaining.

Goals: Wallace (10) 0-1; Johansson (29) 0-2; Albertz (31 pen) 0-3; Kanchelskis (64) 0-4; Guivarc'h (70) 0-5; Guivarc'h (79) 0-6; Albertz (85 pen) 0-7.

St Johnstone (4-4-2): Main; McQuillan, Kernathan, Dods, Bollan; McMahon (McLuskey, 71), Kane, Dasovic, O'Neil; O'Boyle (Grant, 83), Lawndes (Griffin, 45). Substitutes not used: Simao, Ferguson (gk).

Rangers (4-4-2): Niemi; Vidmar, Hendry (Wilson, h-t), Amoruso, Numan; Kanchelskis, I Ferguson, Van Bronckhorst, Albertz; Wallace, Johansson (Guivarc'h, 69), Substitutes not used: Amato, Miller, Brown (gk).

Referee: K Clark (Paisley).

Sending off: St Johnstone: Kane. Bookings: St Johnstone: Bollan, Grant. Attendance: 9,636.