There was to be no early Santa present for Motherwell as they suffered a 2-0 loss to Rangers at a wet and windy Fir Park.
Rangers got the game underway against an unchanged Motherwell side that lasted all of four minutes before conceding the opener to the visitors. Shane Blaney opted not to clear from deep and Harry Paton failed to hold on to his pass. Seconds later Kieran Dowell drilled the ball low beyond Liam Kelly.
The goal did nothing for the home team’s confidence as passes went astray and possession rarely seemed comfortable. A second goal followed a simple cross from James Tavernier. Sima got the knock down and Todd Cantwell made no mistake from 15 yards.
Mika Biereth was the first ‘Well player with the ball at his feet inside the South Stand area after half an hour. His speedy run from the right was ended with a touch from Balogun that earned a corner.
Kelly produced an excellent save when his team was under lots of pressure just before the break but the dressing room was reached without further loss.
Bevis Mugabi remained inside as the second half began with Paul McGinn his replacement. A more adventurous approach was immediately evident and a chance presented itself to Broadie Spencer but his header form Biereth’s well placed cross was off target. The early promise soon wavered and opportunities came for the visitors.
Dessers had two goals flagged offside after tense VAR checks and a couple of penalty shouts for Motherwell were waved away. There was to be no spirited revival.
After the loss of two early goals Motherwell never looked like recovering and the horrible record against Rangers lengthens as does Mothewell’s winless run. Another chance for redemption comes at Pittodrie on Wednesday.
Motherwell 0 Rangers 2
Team: Kelly, Spencer, O’Donnell, Mugabi (McGinn 45), Blaney, Gent, Slattery (Bair 85), Zdravkovski, Paton (Shaw 62), Spittal, Biereth
Sunday 24 December 2023