Football: Rampant Rangers close on title

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Motherwell 1 Arnott 68 Rangers 3 McCall 5, Andersen 43, Gascoigne 58 Attendance: 13,128 Celtic's hopes of catching Rangers had rested heavily on Motherwell scraping at least a point yesterday, but what ensued merely underlined the champions' superiority. Where Celtic had failed to break a goalless deadlock, Rangers finished off three chances, squandered a penalty and conceded only a late consolation goal.

Jamie Dolan had terrorised Celtic on their visit to Fir Park, a torrent of testosterone down the right wing. Rangers, however, handled him like a judo black belt, allowing him to attack and then using the force of his own energy to expose him.

The first goal came down the left from the unlikeliest of combinations, as Stuart McCall collected half-way and played one-twos with John Brown, then David Robertson, before shooting low into Scott Howie's bottom right corner from outside the box. Dolan soon moved inside but was eventually replaced, pride shattered, on the hour.

Only six minutes had passed before the first goal in a rampant opening spell, and soon Willie Falconer was shooting high and heading wide as he failed to equalise for the home side. Paul Gascoigne, booked for a challenge from behind on Paul Lambert, was as influential as ever in the midfield and had a hand in their second goal two minutes from the break. Trevor Steven received a short corner from him and found Richard Gough who headed across goal. Erik Bo Andersen could barely miss as he nodded in his sixth goal in four games for Rangers.

Nine minutes into the second half, Gordon Durie was clattered in the box by Brian Martin but pushed a weak penalty into Howie's arms. Then Gascoigne found the net after Brian Laudrup squared inside the area.

Dougie Arnott restored some Motherwell pride but it was all too late. Rangers need only to beat Aberdeen next week to win their eighth successive title.

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