Dundee slumped to their second successive defeat in this one-sided contest against a rampant Rangers at Ibrox.
The Dark Blues were huge underdogs beforehand against the Glasgow side and it quickly became apparent exactly why as they were blown away in a three-goal opening blitz before 24 minutes had elapsed.
The home side stormed into the lead through former Dark Blues favourite Glen Kamara with James Tavernier quickly adding a second. Alfredo Morelos then netted the home side’s third with Dundee relieved to go in at the break only 3-0 down.
The visitors did regain some pride in the second half as they kept Rangers out until close to the final whistle before ultimately conceding the fourth with Jermain Defoe netting.
Dundee boss Jim McIntyre made two changes from the team that lost to Hibs at Dens last Friday night with Ethan Robson coming in for the injured Craig Curran while Darren O’Dea replaced Genseric Kusunga who dropped to the bench.
Rangers manager Gerrard also made two changes from the side that beat Hamilton on Sunday with Morelos and Borna Barisic being drafted in for Defoe and Andy Halliday.
Dundee got off to the worst possible start conceding in just the fourth minute – and to add insult to injury, it was a familiar foe who did the damage.
A low free-kick from the right from home skipper James Tavernier was volleyed home by Kamara from 10 yards past the exposed Seny Dieng in the Dundee goal.
The Dark Blues already had a mountain to climb and just four minutes later it became one of Everest proportions as Morelos was sent through on goal with Dieng saving his initial shot but Tavernier was on hand to gleefully rifle the ball into the empty net.
McIntyre’s men looked shell-shocked and struggled to emerge from their own half with Rangers totally dominating the game.
And it was no surprise when Gerrard’s side increased their lead even further in the 23rd minute. Scott Arfield sent a low cross inside the Dundee box across goal with the ball being diverted into the path of Morelos at the back post for a simple tap-in.
Shortly after, the Dark Blues finally had a shot but Scott Wright’s effort was well off target.
Rangers should have made it four in the 35th minute when the Dundee defence was carved open once more with Arfield again setting up Morelos but this time, the normally-clinical striker pulled his shot wide of Dieng’s right-hand post.
Shortly before half-time, Daniel Candeias tried his luck with a low strike from the edge of the Dundee penalty area but he was just off target and the ball flew past the post.
Rangers were quickly into their groove once more after the break, spraying the ball about well with Tavernier having an early long-range effort which he dragged wide.
Kamara was at the heart of things as Gerrard’s men carved out another opening in the 54th minute for Morelos but Dieng pulled off a stunning save low to his right to deny the striker.
Dundee then had an opportunity of their own when Wright sent a cross in from the right with Robson unable to get the ball out of his feet with Andy Dales stepping in but blasting his shot over the bar.
Back came Rangers and Ryan Kent was agonisingly close to extending the lead but his angled shot flew inches past Dieng’s left-hand post.
Morelos had yet another opportunity when the ball broke fortuitously into his path but his snap shot was straight at Dieng who easily gathered.
The Dark Blues then passed up a gilt-edged chance to pull a goal back when sub Kenny Miller’s shot was blocked by home keeper Allan McGregor with young Robson pouncing on the rebound but firing wide with the goal at his mercy.
Rangers came close once more though as Barisic hit a 20-yard free-kick that crashed off the underside of Dieng’s bar before the ball was cleared to safety.
There were further chances for Rangers but first Ryan Jack and then Barisic both shot over the bar.
It was incredible that the scoreline had not changed since that early blitz considering the openings for both sides in the second half.
However, Rangers finally made it four in the 89th minute with Defoe blasting past Dieng to send the home fans home happy.
Attendance – 48,852.
Rangers – McGregor, Tavernier, Worrall, Goldson, Jack, Kent (McCrorie, 72), Kamara, Morelos, Candeias (Defoe, 65), Barisic, Arfield (Davis, 45).
Subs not used – Foderingham, Lafferty, Katic, Coulibaly.
Dundee – Dieng, Ralph, Woods, O’Dea, Wright, R. McGowan, Robson, Dales (O’Sullivan, 86), P. McGowan, Curran (Miller, 68), Horsfield.
Subs not used – Parish, Kerr, Kusunga, Hadenius, Moore.
Referee – Don Robertson.