Mols gives Dunfermline no chance to get up again

Rangers 4 Dunfermline 0
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The Independent Football

Whatever Dunfermline Athletic's pleas in mitigation about their wretched record against Rangers, they now have a 45 that no one would want in their collection.

That is the number of games they have now gone without a win against the Scottish Premier League leaders - stretching back to 1972 - as a team who have been accused of lying down on the job when it comes to Ibrox meekly succumbed to allow Steven Thompson, Michael Mols, Shota Arveladze and Nuno Capucho to inflict more misery on them.

Dunfermline's last visit to Ibrox had been on the final day of last season, when their 6-1 humbling proved decisive in the destination of the title and earned the scathing rebuke from Celtic's Chris Sutton that they had "lain down" and had been complicit in Rangers' coronation as champions.

Jimmy Calderwood's team bristled over the accusation from Sutton that they lacked professionalism, yet similarities between that occasion and this began to emerge after just six minutes.

There was no threat when Mikel Arteta played a ball into the feet of Thompson, but defender Scott Wilson - an ex-Rangers player - needlessly dived in and allowed Thompson to bend a sublime right-foot shot beyond goalkeeper Derek Stillie.

It was Thompson's first League goal since, you've guessed it, that turkey shoot here in May, but it underlined a striker whose confidence and stock soared after his excellent performance for Scotland in the 2-1 defeat against Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday.

Sadly, an ankle knock signalled an untimely end for Thompson after just 18 minutes. Dunfermline seemed to emerge through the worst of the early pressure, and if Gary Mason had been a few inches taller, then he would have equalised from Steve Crawford's searching ball across the face of goal in 26 minutes.

However, six minutes later Rangers doubled their advantage when fortune again deserted Dunfermline. Mols was five yards offside, at least, when he gathered a pass from Henning Berg, but in the absence of a flag, the Dutch striker advanced and beat Stillie from an acute angle.

Three minutes before the interval, Arveladze ensured the game was out of reach. The Georgian striker displayed perfect awareness as he met a free-kick from Arteta and clipped in a right-foot shot to make it 3-0.

The second half was simply a training exercise for Rangers, though with VfB Stuttgart due in Glasgow on Tuesday night on Champions' League business, that was not something that would trouble Alex McLeish.

His team stroked the ball about with ease, with Arteta at the core of everything, but it is Mols who often injects the vital element of surprise in the final third, as the Dutchman illustrated in the 65th minute when he set up the fourth goal.

A clever twist was enough to take Mols clear of Wilson and he then surged down the right before supplying a perfect ball for Capucho to claim his first goal since signing from FC Porto in the close-season with a crisp volley.

Rangers 4 Dunfermline 0
Thompson 7, Mols 32, Arveladze 43, Capucho 66

Half-time: 2-0 Attendance: 49,072