Motherwell 1-3 Rangers: 'Well unable to capitalise on early Rangers red card for Balogun

Despite Rangers having Leon Balogun sent off after just 28 minutes, Motherwell were beaten 3-1 in Saturday’s Scottish Premiership battle at Fir Park.

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Referee Nick Walsh flashes red card for Balogun (out of picture)
Referee Nick Walsh flashes red card for Balogun (out of picture)

Prior to the Nigerian international’s straight red card for a lunge on Dean Cornelius in midfield, the champions had taken a 14th minute lead in bizarre circumstances when home keeper Liam Kelly palmed the ball into his own net after a back post header by Rangers defender Connor Goldson.

But the Steelmen – lifted by Balogun’s dismissal – levelled on 35 minutes when Ross Tierney headed home Jake Carroll’s cross from the left.

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With the score 1-1 at half-time and Motherwell playing against 10 men, hopes were high among home supporters that their favourites could get a winner in the second half and end a hugely depressing run which has seen them fail to beat the Ibrox giants in a league game for 20 years.

'Well's Ricki Lamie tackles Scott Wright of Rangers

But the joy of seeing Tierney’s header hit the net was as good as it got for ’Well by a long way.

Rather than push back their 10-man opponents after the interval, it was Motherwell who were under pressure most of the time with away keeper Allan McGregor untested in the second 45 minutes.

Just two minutes into the second period it was 2-1 for the visitors.

Fashion Sakala rampaged forward and passed the ball through to Scott Wright who impressively shot past Kelly and into the far corner.

Leon Balogun lunges in on Dean Cornelius to earn a straight red card (Pics by Ian McFadyen)

The one way traffic continued and the home team were officially put to the sword after 62 minutes when ’Well centre back Bevis Mugabi was penalised for clipping Sakala in the box – at first glance the decision by referee Nick Walsh looked harsh on Mugabi – and James Tavernier stepped up to comfortably beat Kelly from 12 yards.

A series of substitutions followed for both teams but the remainder of the game was largely uneventful with Motherwell unable to create any meaningful chances.

The final result of 3-1 for Rangers continues ’Well’s hugely depressing run against the Ibrox giants which has now been extended to no Motherwell wins in the last 52 league fixtures against Rangers.

Tierney header on its way towards Rangers net
Kaiyne Woolery tries to cross under pressure
Striker Connor Shields in action for the Steelmen
Ross Tierney celebrates after heading Motherwell equaliser
Graham Alexander's Motherwell side were defeated 3-1 by Rangers at Fir Park (Pic by Ian McFadyen)