Monday , October 14 2019

Rangers 5-0 Hamilton Academical: Defoe nets hat-trick as Steven Gerrard’s side go top

Highlights: Rangers 5-0 Hamilton Academical

Rangers leapfrogged Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership as Jermain Defoe scored a hat-trick in a dominant win over Hamilton Academical.

Steven Gerrard’s men took advantage of Celtic’s defeat to Livingston earlier in the day to move two points clear going into the international break.

Connor Goldson and Borna Barisic also scored in the Ibrox rout.

It means Rangers have won their last three league games with an aggregate score of 14-0.

Gerrard’s side have also posted four wins in a row since their Old Firm defeat by Celtic.

For Hamilton, they remain in eighth with all four sides below them in the table failing to win at the weekend.

Determined Rangers turn on the style

Celtic’s shock defeat at Livingston handed Rangers the chance to hit the summit for the first time this season and they came out in determined fashion.

Hamilton had already survived several dangerous balls into their box before being cut open by Greg Stewart’s through ball, which Defoe chipped over the diving Owain Fon Williams to give them an early lead.

Accies survived a torrid opening 20 minutes without conceding again with Sheyi Ojo and Stewart coming close from long range, and they were riding their luck when Defoe volleyed against the post from four yards following a quickly-taken corner.

Goldson doubled Rangers’ lead when the centre-back started running, passing the ball out wide to James Tavernier from midway inside the opposition half, then diving to head home the cross from six yards.

Hamilton’s Ronan Hughes fired just over after Goldson’s goal, but following the break Rangers remained in complete control and Barisic curled in a free-kick from 25 yards.

Defoe turned Brian Easton two minutes later before slotting home and the striker slammed the ball high into the net to complete his treble after Stewart had been denied by Fon Williams.

There was a further positive for Rangers as Gerrard handed Jamie Murphy a first-team comeback as a second-half substitute, almost 14 months after the wide player suffered a serious knee injury at Kilmarnock.