Colak’s double gives Rangers narrow win over spirited Dundee United | Scottish Premiership

Antonio Colak celebrated his 29th birthday with a double as Rangers ended a three-game losing streak with a stodgy 2-1 win over bottom side Dundee United at Ibrox.

The returning Croatia striker took only eight minutes to fire in the opener but the home fans were unimpressed by their side’s frustratingly pedestrian play for much of the rest of the game.

Colak doubled the Light Blues’ lead four minutes after the restart but still there was a lack of real urgency and United’s Liam Smith reduced the deficit in the 59th minute to ensure a nervy last half-hour.

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Roundup: Montano fires Livi up to third after beating Kilmarnock


Livingston moved up to third in the cinch Premiership after Cristian Montano’s goal was enough to seal a 1-0 win over Kilmarnock at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

The Colombian headed home in the 25th minute to take his goal tally for the season to three and hand the Lions three successive league home wins for the first time since 2020.

It was no less than they deserved as the West Lothian side celebrated a third consecutive victory over their Ayrshire opponents for the first time in their history.

But their manager, David Martindale, is not getting carried away. “It’s decent to be in third spot,” he said. “There is a lot of belief in the changing room and most years we are value for money. We’re up there, punch above our weight and hopefully we can do that again this year.

Josh Campbell struck two second-half goals as Hibernian fought back to beat 10-man Aberdeen 3-1 at Easter Road.

The visitors went in front after only four minutes through Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes but then had Liam Scales sent off for two bookings in quick succession late in the first half.

Martin Boyle levelled with a penalty before Campbell landed a double as Hibs dominated the Dons in the second half.

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson hailed his side’s quality in possession following their 0-0 draw with Ross County at McDiarmid Park, despite resorting to a starting line-up that included “two or three” players who missed training during the week. Neither side could break the deadlock in a match that lacked any real spark in the final third, despite the woodwork being struck by both sides in the first half.

The two sides could only conjure one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes, despite both setting up with relatively attacking formations.

The McDiarmid Park manager said: “I thought we were good and worked it in good areas in the first half. We passed the ball quite well. The game plan worked.

Ross County’s manager, Malky Mackay, was content with his side’s point, knowing how precious away points can be.

He said: “Hard-fought point, good clean sheet. Probably in the first half it was a bit of basketball, both teams attacking each other, we hit the bar and they hit the post. 

“I thought in the second half we came out with real intent and pushed St Johnstone back a bit, and I thought we ended up quite dominant in the wide areas.”

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Rangers manager, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, referred to the “big win” that moved them to within two points of in-form leaders Celtic, who travel to St Mirren on Sunday, but they will need to find much better form after the international break.

United, once again under the charge of caretaker manager Liam Fox, are still seeking a first league win of the season but will take encouragement from aspects of their play.

Before the game United fans disrupted the minute’s silence in memory of the Queen. Boos and chanting emanated from the corner of the stadium which housed several hundred Terrors supporters.

Rangers pounded the United defence from the kick-off and Ryan Kent and Scott Arfield missed chances before Colak struck.

Dundee United’s Liam Smith celebrates scoring United’s first goal with team-mate Ross Graham.
Dundee United’s Liam Smith celebrates scoring with teammate Ross Graham. Photograph: Steve Welsh/PA

Captain James Tavernier drove forward after robbing Ian Harkes and picked out the striker, who took a touch into the penalty area before driving low past United keeper Carljohan Eriksson for his eighth goal of the season.

The expected onslaught failed to materialise.

Back came United again, to the exasperation of the home fans, and Allan McGregor used his foot to stop Glenn Middleton’s drive.

There was a United penalty claim early in the second half when Tony Watt went down under pressure from Rangers left-back Borna Barisic but referee Kevin Clancy took no action.

Barisic was then involved in the second Rangers goal, his cross from the left knocked in by Colak.

Moments after Sadat Anaku replaced Middleton, the United substitute was involved in the build-up to their goal with Jamie McGrath playing in Smith, whose low drive came off McGregor and flew high into the net.

Anxiety gripped Ibrox and groans were audible. Van Bronckhorst took action and Arfield and Jack were replaced by Scott Wright and Malik Tillman in the 69th minute and, as the play stretched, Eriksson made saves from both newcomers but it was Rangers who were glad to hear the final whistle.

“You always fear the worst going 2-0 down at a place like this but the players stood up, showed character, and we pushed right to the end,” Fox said post-match.

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