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Rangers 5-0 Dunfermline: Roofe catches fire as Peter Grant’s porous Pars are hammered

Victor: Gerrard
Victor: Gerrard

There’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded Bear — and Dunfermline were savaged by one at Ibrox.

However, some of the Pars’ defending was akin to lathering themselves in honey.

Rangers took advantage of sloppy passing, poor goalkeeping and a 3-4-3 formation which was ripe to be exploited down the flanks by the rampant Gers.

In short, it was deja vu after the Fifers’ 3-0 capitulation against Partick Thistle on Saturday — but with better opponents punishing them more severely.

Scorer: Hagi

John Lundstram, Scott Wright, Ianis Hagi and a Kemar Roofe brace did the damage as the hosts took out their recent frustrations on Peter Grant’s porous Pars.

This is exactly what Steven Gerrard’s side needed after three successive defeats and a chastening Champions League exit.

Dunfermline, by contrast, require a response against Raith Rovers next Friday.

Another evening like this in Kirkcaldy is unthinkable for the Pars faithful.

Nightmare start

The scale of the task facing Dunfermline was underlined by a cursory glance at their recent record at Ibrox.

The Fifers last six trips to Govan had resulted in an aggregate score of 24-4 to Rangers.

The last time Dunfermline won away to the Light Blues was an iconic, Jim Leishman-inspired 4-3 triumph back in 1972.

So, as Willie Collum’s first whistle blew, it is fair to say the 850 buoyant, boisterous travelling fans were making a fine old racket more in hope than expectation. This was, after all, their first away day since March 2020.

And Dunfermline’s first priority was always going to be: keep it tight in the opening stages.

They lasted two minutes.

Graham Dorrans contrived to slip a wayward pass into the path of Calvin Bassey in the Fifers penalty area. The grateful left-back’s subsequent cross was inch-perfect for Lundstram to slam home via the underside of the bar.

It was going to be a long night.

Rampant Rangers

Rangers doubled their advantage through Wright, with the waspish winger scampering onto a through-ball, turning Paul Watson inside-out and firing a clinical shot past Mehmet.

Hagi made it 3-0 when he nodded a Bassey delivery in at the back-post, taking advantage of Mehmet — in a carbon copy of Kevin Holt’s goal for Thistle at the weekend — flapping at fresh air.

Owain Fon Williams should start against Raith.

Mehmet was beaten for a fourth time when Roofe latched onto a sumptuous flick from Joe Aribo and lashed the ball into the net from 14 yards.

Grant switched to a 4-4-1-1 formation at the interval, bringing on Dom Thomas and Ryan Dow, and were immediately more robust.

Of course, that is partly down to Rangers taking their foot off the gas — but it was also a shape far more conducive to shackling the myriad threats posed by Rangers.

However, the Gers did extend their lead as the hour-mark approached. Dorrans, enduring a lamentable outing against the club for whom he played between 2017 and 2019, felled Roofe in the box.

Roofe dusted himself down to convert the spot-kick and, mercifully for Dunfermline, conclude the scoring for one night.

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: The inside story of Dunfermline’s takeover during a global pandemic

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