20 Aug Miller time
Kenny Miller rescued victory for Rangers as his stoppage-time strike handed the Light Blues a dramatic 2-1 L adbrokes Premiership win over Motherwell at Ibrox.
Motherwell boss Mark McGhee claimed his side would not have it as tough as they did while shipping five goals against Celtic in the Betfred Cup two weeks ago, and he was right as Gers toiled to break the visitors down.
His side even took the lead after 19 minutes when Scott McDonald tapped home from close range.
But the outcome ended up the same as Miller slotted home late on after Harry Forrester’s 64th-minute equaliser to claim the points for Rangers.
Both bosses went with unchanged line-ups, although there was disappointment in the home ranks that new £1.5million signing Joe Garner had not arrived in time from Preston to feature.
Their mood did not improve when the action got under way as Rangers failed to assert themselves on their opponents.
Their only real opening of the first half came 12 minutes in and even then it was a Motherwell mistake which let Mark Warburton’s team in as Miller pounced on Lionel Ainsworth’s errant back-pass
The former Scotland frontman found himself clean through on Craig Samson but blazed his shot.
And with Rangers’ standards slipping, a Motherwell side showing no fear were more than eager to take advantage.
There was a warning when Ainsworth was allowed to collect a long punt from Samson on the edge of the Gers box before firing wide.
But Rangers would not be so lucky 60 seconds later. Marvin Johnson drove down the left flank before cutting back on to his right to cross. His delivery bounced off Rob Kiernan’s leg before dropping to the unmarked McDonald to tap home from two yards out.
Rangers were booed off at the break but there was more urgency about them as they returned after the break.
Andy Halliday twice failed to convert getting on the end of fine deliveries from Tavernier and Lee Wallace, however, while t he lapses at the back were still evident and only Wes Foderingham’s reactions kept McDonald from scoring again as he palmed the striker’s volley away.
Danny Wilson headed over before Warburton acted, throwing on Joe Dodoo and Niko Kranjcar as he sought some added impetus.
And that is what he got as Croatian playmaker Kranjcar lobbed a sublime ball over the top for Miller as he galloped into the box. Samson rushed from his line to save but could do nothing as Forrester tucked away the rebound.
Motherwell had been right in Gers’ faces in the first half but now it was the hosts snapping into tackles.
The second goal was proving hard to come by, though, and there was a reminder of Well’s threat when Foderingham had to push away Johnson’s 20-yard effort.
It appeared Rangers were set for more home frustration after their opening day draw with Hamilton but then Miller struck to finally send the Ibrox crowd into raptures.
Joey Barton robbed McDonald on half way before feeding Kranjcar. His lay-off was fluffed by Rangers substitute Michael O’Halloran but Miller made no mistake as he rammed home the winner at the back post.