It might be said that this was never a contest, at least not in the way that two teams come together and demand that the other reveals something of the best of themselves. Motherwell were so forlorn, so lacking in the means to be competitive, that the home side established their dominance with a kind of casual disdain.
By the time Kenny Miller opened the scoring in the fifth minute, with a shot from 20 yards that curved so sweetly in off the underside of the bar that the striker seemed briefly astonished, Motherwell's defence was already disconsolate. They survived to half- time without conceding another but that, we could be sure, was down to Rangers' procrastination.
The second goal, when Steve Davis swept the ball into the box on the right and Kris Boyd stabbed a shot beyond John Ruddy, said enough of this game. It was smartly conceived, but far too cheaply conceded.
Within five minutes, they had scored another, this time Madjid Bougherra cutting through the frailty at the heart of Motherwell's defence with a long ball from the back that Miller touched beyond Ruddy before slipping into the net. By now, Rangers were blithely dominant, playing with an effortless accomplishment, but they were not flawless and Shaun Hutchinson was left unmarked to head home Tom Hateley's corner.
The goal felt like an aberration and Rangers responded by gathering another three themselves. First, Kirk Broadfoot surged into the box to cross for Kyle Lafferty to score, then DeMarcus Beasley scampered on to Miller's pass and outran Mark Reynolds before driving a shot beyond Ruddy. The final indignation was delivered when Beasely sent another long ball through Motherwell's defence which Lafferty poked beyond the goalkeeper into the net.
"We're probably creating more chances than we have dome for long periods," said Rangers manager Walter Smith. "We'll continue to try to meet the challenge [of defending the title]."