Rangers climbed back to the top of the cinch Premiership with a 3-1 win over Hibernian at Ibrox which had its fair of thrills and spills.

Scott Wright thought he had put Rangers ahead in the 21st minute when he slotted home after visiting keeper David Marshall had saved a James Tavernier penalty, but the Light Blues winger was penalised for encroachment and the effort was disallowed.

The home side did not have to wait much longer to get their noses in front though, with Gers skipper Tavernier making amends for his miss by firing in his 22nd goal of the season.

Myziane Maolida poked in a shock equaliser on the stroke of half-time, but Gers responded immediately with Cyriel Dessers putting the home side back in front with a header before the interval.

Second-half substitute Rabbi Matondo then drove in a wonderful third goal in the 85th minute to take Rangers two points ahead of Celtic having both played 30 fixtures.

The Hoops travel to bottom side Livingston on Sunday firm favourites to get the win which will set up nicely for next week’s Old Firm derby at Ibrox.

Every passing week brings more tension to the title race and Philippe Clement’s side knew what was at stake.

The Govan side, with left-back Borna Barisic and midfielder Todd Cantwell reinstated, took an immediate grip of the game against the unchanged Easter Road outfit.

Wright fired a shot just wide from the edge of the box then saw his close-range effort from a Dessers cut-back blocked by Hibs defender Jordan Obita before Marshall parried a long-range effort from Mohamed Diomande.

However, referee David Dickinson was then asked by VAR Andrew Dallas to check his pitchside monitor for a possible foul by Hibs’ Nectarios Triantis, with his arm on Gers defender John Souttar at a previous corner and he pointed to the spot.

Marshall blocked Tavernier’s penalty – as he had at Easter Road in the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup earlier this month – but Wright followed up to hammer in the rebound, only for VAR to confirm he had encroached and a free-kick was given to the visitors.

Five minutes later, Tavernier made up for his mistake when he volleyed in from 16 yards after John Lundstram’s cross had only been partially cleared, with Hibs defender Will Fish unable to keep the ball out.

Seven minutes were added on at the end of the first half and Hibs took advantage to level. Elie Youan set up fellow attacker Maolida inside the box and he beat Connor Goldson, got in front of Tavernier and prodded the ball past Jack Butland.

Tension immediately engulfed Ibrox but that was alleviated in the sixth minute of added time when Dessers, who had moments earlier saw an effort saved by Marshall, headed a Cantwell cross in off the bar.

Hibs had to withstand more pressure at the start of the second half with Marshall making saves from Cantwell and Dessers but at 2-1 there was still underlying anxiety among Gers fans, erupting when Dessers failed to hit the target from eight yards from a Tavernier cut-back.

The game flattened out for a spell as both sides used their respective benches to change things up.

In the 77th minute Gers substitute Tom Lawrence opted to cut the ball back instead of shooting when through on the angle against Marshall and a glorious chance was gone.

However, another Rangers replacement, Matondo, took matters into his own hands when taking possession 20 yards from goal, sending the ball fizzing past the helpless Marshall and any nerves were banished.

Rangers moved level on points with cinch Premiership leaders Celtic with a 3-1 win over Ross County but their profligacy prevented them going top.

The Light Blues took the lead in the fifth minute through striker Cyriel Dessers and the home side then hit the woodwork twice amid an onslaught.

However, the second-bottom Staggies, with Don Cowie in charge for the first time following the departure of Derek Adams last week, unexpectedly levelled in the 25th minute with a Simon Murray strike.

Dessers grabbed his second in first-half added time to placate the Gers fans frustrated at the missed chances but there were more opportunities passed up in the second half before defender John Souttar eventually headed in a third late on.

After eventually catching up on fixtures with Celtic, the Govan side are level on points and goal difference with the Hoops but have scored four fewer than their Old Firm rivals.

Another huge crowd rolled up to Ibrox knowing a three-goal win against a club who had never beaten Rangers in 23 attempts would see the lead at the top change hands.

Philippe Clement made seven changes from Saturday’s 2-0 Scottish Gas Scottish Cup win over Ayr United.

Ridvan Yilmaz, John Lundstram, Tom Lawrence, Ross McCausland, Todd Cantwell, Rabbi Matondo and Dessers all returned while Cowie brought in Eamonn Brophy, Michee Efete, Ryan Leak, Josh Reid and Victor Loturi.

A sense of expectancy hung heavy in the air.

Dessers struck early, taking a pass from captain James Tavernier and fending off the attention of defender Leak before lobbing the ball over stranded Staggies keeper George Wickens and the Light Blues were up and running.

Wickens soon had to tip a powerful shot from Tavernier past the post for a corner, which the startled Dingwall side survived.

In the 10th minute Dessers latched on to a raking pass from left-back Yilmaz and beat Wickens only to see the ball rebound off the post.

Then Matondo raced onto a defence-splitting pass from midfielder Lundstram and curled the ball past the far post before Wickens tipped a shot from the wide man onto the bar and over.

Lawrence, Souttar, Tavernier and Dessers had further efforts of various quality before Murray stunned the home fans into silence with a confident volley from six yards from a delicious Brophy cross.

The mood inside the stadium darkened.

The Gers crowd looked on in astonishment as Leak stopped Dessers’ close-range shot after Wickens had spilled a Cantwell drive but the enigmatic striker made up for it by heading in a Tavernier cross seconds before the break which changed the atmosphere again.

January signing Oscar Cortes, the 20-year-old Colombian signed on loan from Lens, replaced Matondo at half-time and in the 52nd minute had a decent drive parried clear by the over-worked Wickens, who soon tipped a long-ranger from Cantwell past the post.

The pressure on the County goal was relentless but just after the hour-mark the Gers fans were relieved to see Efete head a County corner over the bar when he should have worked keeper Jack Butland.

Wickens made further saves from Lundstram, Lawrence and Dessers before the latter was replaced by Portuguese striker Fabio Silva.

In the 74th minute Cortes missed the target from 12 yards and, amid a myriad of attempts on the County goal, Wickens denied Cantwell and Cortes again.

But in the second of seven added minutes Souttar headed in a Tavernier cross but there was to be no later drama and the chance to strike a psychological blow was gone.

Rangers have announced the signing of Colombian winger Oscar Cortes from French side Lens.

The 20-year-old joins on loan for the rest of the season with Rangers holding an option to buy him in the summer.

The Light Blues are reported to have rebuffed interest from Galatasaray in Ridvan Yilmaz after missing out on an immediate bid to sign left-back Jefte from Fluminense, with the Brazilian’s loan club APOEL Nicosia reportedly intent on keeping him until the end of the campaign.

Reports from Italy also claimed Hellas Verona were set to launch a bid to sign striker Cyriel Dessers.

Mikey Johnston has left Celtic to join West Brom on loan as Brendan Rodgers trimmed his squad ahead of the deadline.

Marco Tilio rejoined Melbourne City on loan on Wednesday and David Turnbull was set to follow the two wingers out of Celtic Park with Cardiff expecting to wrap up a permanent transfer for the midfielder.

Celtic were still to announce the the loan signing of Norwich and Republic of Ireland striker Adam Idah as the transfer window moved into its final hours after the 22-year-old arrived in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Kevin van Veen is on his way to Kilmarnock on a loan deal until the end of the season after the Ayrshire club fended off competition from Motherwell and St Mirren for the Dutch striker.

Van Veen scored 29 goals for Motherwell last term but the Fir Park side missed out on taking him back after failing to match Killie and St Mirren’s financial input.

The 32-year-old scored five goals for Groningen earlier this season but lost his place in the team after a disagreement with the manager and was keen to return to Scotland to be with his family.

Hibernian signed two young centre-backs on loan, landing Nectarios Triantis from Sunderland and Owen Bevan from Bournemouth until the end of the season.

Dundee landed Norwich goalkeeper Jon McCracken on loan after a temporary spell was halted in August following the signing of Trevor Carson.

Midfielder David Carson joined Livingston on an 18-month deal from Inverness while Motherwell sealed a loan deal for Rangers full-back Adam Devine.

St Johnstone announced the signing of striker Adama Sidibeh, 25, for an undisclosed fee from Northern Premier League club Warrington Rylands. Jay Turner-Cooke has ended his loan spell in Perth and returned to Newcastle.

Aberdeen are said to have failed in late efforts to sign a centre-back while Hearts completed their business ahead of deadline day.

Ross County signed former Grimsby right-back Michee Efete on a deal until the end of the season.

Outside of the top flight, Queen’s Park head coach Callum Davidson believes he has pulled off “a bit of a coup” by signing 32-year-old former Liverpool, Rangers and Scotland defender Danny Wilson from Colorado Rapids.

Lowland League side Albion Rovers sold striker Joe Bevan to Premier League Burnley for an undisclosed fee. The 19-year-old scored 15 goals for Rovers after joining from Camelon 12 months ago.

Cyriel Dessers again showed his growing importance to Rangers with the only goal in a narrow 1-0 win over St Mirren.

The 29-year-old striker was not initially a popular figure among the Rangers fans in his early months at Ibrox following his summer move from Cremonese.

However, he has slowly worked his way into the supporters’ good books, especially since the arrival of boss Philippe Clement in October, and he pounced after 14 minutes of the cinch Premiership game in Paisley to score for a third successive match.

The crucial strike took his tally to the season to 12 and keeps the Light Blues in pursuit of league leaders Celtic.

It was a tough afternoon for the Govan side in difficult conditions against a determined Buddies outfit who pushed them all the way.

Following the convincing 3-0 win at Hibernian on Wednesday night, Clement made four changes with defender Connor Goldson back from suspension and Dujon Sterling, Scott Wright and Dessers coming back in while Stephen Robinson returned captain Mark O’Hara and forward Lewis Jamieson.

The swirling wind was a difficult opponent for both sides but the visitors started better without unduly troubling Zach Hemming until Dessers struck.

Midfielder John Lundstram’s perfectly-weighted pass from the middle of the park allowed Dessers to run clear of the Saints defence and round the hesitant Buddies keeper before rolling the ball into the net and taking the acclaim of the travelling fans.

St Mirren were forced out of their shell and the response, led by striker Jonah Ayunga, was impressive.

In the 20th minute midfielder Kwon Hyeok-kyu, on loan from Celtic, blazed the ball over the bar from 12 yards to the groans of the home support.

Moments later, at the other end, Gers skipper James Tavernier clipped the outside of the post with a powerful drive from 20 yards.

However, the Ibrox side were struggling to build on their lead.

Light Blues keeper Jack Butland blocked a Jamieson drive with his foot after the Gers defence was breached again, albeit the offside flag went up.

And in the 37th minute Butland pushed a drive from Kwon round the post but the corner was defended.

St Mirren had edged the first half notwithstanding the goal and the visitors brought on Tom Lawrence and Ross McCausland for Scott Wright and Todd Cantwell at the start of the second half and it re-energised the Govan side.

Sterling headed a Tavernier cross over the bar in the 54th minute before Dessers smacked the base of the post with a left-footed drive.

Robinson needed another avenue towards the leveller.

Ayunga and Jamieson were replaced by Mikael Mandron and debutant James Scott, who signed initially on loan from Exeter in midweek with the deal becoming permanent in the summer.

In the 79th minute there was a VAR check for a possible St Mirren penalty for a handball in the Gers box following a corner but no action was taken.

A terrific block from Ibrox defender John Souttar denied Alex Gogic a strike on goal and, from the resultant corner, James Bolton headed off the post.

Rangers closed the gap on cinch Premiership leaders Celtic with an impressive 3-0 win over Hibernian at Easter Road.

Defender Ridvan Yilmaz hammered in the opener for the Light Blues on the half-hour mark before midfielder Todd Cantwell arrowed in an unstoppable shot seconds before the break.

The quality of the goals was at odds with the error-strewn first 45 minutes and striker Cyriel Dessers added a third in the 74th minute soon after climbing off the bench to take his tally for the season to 11.

Hibs spurned some chances but ultimately Philippe Clement’s side moved five points behind their Old Firm rivals with one game in hand.

The home side went into the game looking for their first league win in four games and new boy Myziane Maolida, who joined on loan from Hertha Berlin last week, made his debut with fellow new signings Luke Amos and Emiliano Marcondes on the bench.

Nick Montgomery made five changes in total with Kanayo Megwa, Dylan Vente, Dylan Levitt and Jordan Obita also coming in.

The visitors had to contend with the absence of suspended centre-back Connor Goldson, his place taken by John Souttar with number one goalkeeper Jack Butland taking over from Robby McCrorie and a first competitive start for new loan signing Fabio Silva, in for Dessers.

As the smoke still cleared from the pyros displayed by the Gers fans, Hibs attacker Elie Youan’s angled-drive from a Levitt pass was blocked by the legs of Butland at his near post for a corner which came to nothing.

Gers winger Rabbi Matondo just failed to get on to the end of a Yilmaz corner which had been flicked on to the back post.

The game drifted through the first half but burst into life when Gers midfielder John Lundstram picked out Yilmaz with a chipped pass and the Turkish left-back lashed a shot high past keeper David Marshall from 12 yards for his first league goal for Rangers.

Hibs had chances to level. Butland saved again at his near post, this time from Jair Tavares and then Youan headed a Joe Newell free-kick inches wide before testing Butland with a drive from the edge of the box which was tipped over for another fruitless corner.

Hibs were well in the game but their task became more difficult when Cantwell, who had been quiet, took a pass from winger Ross McCausland and thundered a drive from the edge of the box past the diving Marshall for his third goal in five matches.

The former Norwich player and Nico Raskin stayed in at the break, replaced by Tom Lawrence and Dujon Sterling but Rangers started the second half in a strong position.

However, in the 52nd minute Maolida should have reduced the deficit from 14 yards after Youan had set him up with a cut-back but his drive was saved by Butland.

Marcondes, who joined Hibs from Bournemouth on Monday, replaced Maolida to make his debut with Jimmy Jeggo on for Newell.

Before long midfielder Luke Amos, signed earlier in the day on an 18-month contract after leaving QPR at the end of last season, also came on to make his debut.

However, it was Gers substitute Dessers, just on for Silva, who trundled the ball over the line from 10 yards despite the efforts of defender Will Fish to clear, and there was time for Lawrence to stab the ball into the net from a Jack cross before being ruled offside.

Cyriel Dessers says scoring a winning goal for Rangers at Celtic Park on Saturday would be a dream come true for him.

The 29-year-old Nigeria striker had a slow start to his Gers career after joining from Cremonese in the summer but he will travel to Parkhead with increasing confidence after four goals in his last seven games, taking his tally in Light Blue to nine so far.

Dessers admits an Old Firm derby clincher in boss Philippe Clement’s first experience of the fixture would be “amazing” as Rangers go in to the match five points behind the league leaders but with two games in hand.

He said: “It would be a dream actually.

“When you sign here, you know the city, you know the clubs, you know the Old Firm.

“To score there as a striker, that is something you dream of as a kid and hopefully tomorrow it will be my first in an Old Firm game.

“The start was pretty rocky, individually and as a team. You can see if you look at the results in the last two months that things have been improving and that we are in a good place right now.

“As a team, we are playing more fluidly now. We have more attacks rolling, more chances.

“For myself, I have got a little bit more confidence and in better form. I am still growing and there is a lot more to come.

“As a striker, you know how it works, once you get the goals flowing then you can follow them up and normally they keep going.”

Rangers moved to within two points of cinch Premiership leaders Celtic with a comfortable 2-0 win over 10-man St Johnstone at Ibrox.

Philippe Clement, who had picked up his first trophy as Rangers boss on Sunday after the 1-0 Viaplay Cup final win over Aberdeen at Hampden Park, watched helplessly as luckless striker Kemar Roofe went off after just 16 minutes with another injury.

However, replacement Cyriel Dessers fired the Light Blues ahead in the 28th minute before Saints forward Diallang Jaiyesimi was almost immediately sent off for a hefty challenge on midfielder John Lundstram following a VAR intervention.

The dominant Light Blues doubled their lead in the 84th minute with a penalty from skipper James Tavernier, who had scored the winner at Hampden, and Rangers moved tantalisingly closer to the Hoops with a game in hand.

As expected Clement shuffled his pack again.

Kieran Dowell made just his third start of the season in midfield as John Souttar, Ridvan Yilmaz, Sam Lammers and Roofe made up the five changes from the starting line-up at Hampden while Saints boss Craig Levein brought back Andy Considine, Oludare Olufunwa and Sven Sprangler.

After barely a minute of a strangely low-key start to the match, Souttar required a lengthy spell of treatment for a facial injury after clashing with Max Kucheriavyi but there was more distressing injury news soon on its way for the home side.

Roofe, making his first start since October 8, had a couple of attempts on goal before he had to go off and the striker looked distraught, with Dessers taking over.

Rangers had the bulk of possession with the game played in the Perth side’s half but the Saints defence looked organised and disciplined until Olufunwa missed a cross from Tavernier which allowed Dessers to knock the ball past goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov and a VAR check confirmed there was no offside.

Almost straight from kick-off Jaiyesimi crunched Lundstram and VAR checked for serious foul play after referee Alan Muir gave the Englishman, on loan from Charlton, a yellow card.

The official checked the pitchside monitor and upgraded the yellow to a red, with Chris Kane soon coming on for Sprangler as Levein reshuffled.

Mitov saved a decent drive from Dessers in the 36th minute and Tavernier fired wide of the far post in added time but there was no sustained pressure on the Saints goal.

Lundstram stayed inside at the interval – where Santa got cheered from the Light Blues fans when he came out with the Viaplay Cup – with Dujon Sterling taking over and within minutes Rangers attacker Abdallah Sima volleyed a Tavernier corner just past the post before Mitov made a series of fine saves from Lammers, twice, and Dessers.

Sima missed the target with another effort in the 66th minute before being replaced by Scott Wright with Todd Cantwell on for Lammers.

There were further efforts from Cantwell and Tavernier before Mitov clearly brought down Dessers inside the box with the Rangers captain slamming the spot-kick low into the corner.

Philippe Clement claims his Rangers side demonstrated their growing team ethic in coming from behind to beat Dundee 3-1 at Ibrox after playing the second half with 10 men.

Striker Amadou Bakayoko scored after just five minutes but the Light Blues responded with a strike from forward Cyriel Dessers, a penalty from skipper James Tavernier after a VAR intervention, and a header from attacker Abdallah Sima.

Gers midfielder Jose Cifuentes was sent off after another VAR prompt saw a yellow card for a foul on Bakayoko upgraded to red, a decision which will cost him his place in the Viaplay Cup final against Aberdeen next week.

The Belgian was pleased with the way his side dealt with the second half and said: “The team showed that they are a team.

“I see this dressing room growing week by week in that way. That is crucial. I know you need a really strong dressing room where everybody fights for one another, where everybody is available for the team.

“Everyone sees in the last few weeks this team sticking together in every sense. Players coming in, playing out of position and doing a job for the team.

“We played to create in the second half, not just sitting it out. If you look back, we had the best chances in the second half.

“You can also see the physical levels of the players growing. We need to get more players fit and we need to continue to work but if the mentality stays like this then we will take more points.”

On the red card incident, Clement said: “I’ve not seen the images back. Jose told me he lost the ball and wanted to win it back.

“He wanted to block the ball but the other guy is a split second faster and tackles through the ball, there’s contact.

“Jose tries to avoid it, he didn’t go through it, so I want to see things back to have a clear and good opinion so we can make an assessment in the next few days (on a possible appeal).”

Tony Docherty was far from impressed at the way the VAR check worked against his team for the penalty.

The Dundee boss said: “I’m hugely disappointed with the decision to give the penalty kick and VAR’s involvement in it.

“The image presented to Kevin Clancy favours the penalty being given but the reality is there is bustling in the box, Sima has hold of Aaron Donnelly’s shirt and Kevin Clancy deemed that to be OK.

“He then gets shown an image in a real pivotal moment of the game at 1-1.

“You need things to go for you and that one went against us.

“I’m really disappointed because we started the game really well, everything I was looking for.

“Lyall Cameron almost scores and then we score from the corner so a good start.

“Rangers come back into it with an unforced error by us then such a big decision goes against us.

“I had a conversation with Kevin Clancy and I thought he had a really good game.

“It’s difficult because we are re-refereeing games. Kevin Clancy’s positioning is good and it’s not a clear and obvious error.

“My problem with it is the image he gets shown. If I see that image I’d give a penalty kick but you need to take it into context.”

James Tavernier missed a penalty and scored another as Rangers maintained their encouraging start under Philippe Clement with a comfortable 2-0 win away to struggling Livingston on Sunday.

Cyriel Dessers set the Ibrox men on their way to victory in the first half with his sixth goal of the season before captain Tavernier sealed the points with a second-half spot-kick after he had sent his earlier attempt from 12 yards out wide of the post.

Clement has now overseen seven games unbeaten – six of which have brought victories – since replacing Michael Beale last month.

After four consecutive defeats left his side bottom of the table prior to the visit of the on-form Ibrox men, Livi boss David Martindale made five changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Dundee last Sunday.

Goalkeeper Jack Hamilton, Miles Welch-Hayes, Jason Holt, Danny Lloyd and Stephen Kelly all dropped out to make way for Shamal George, Cristian Montano, Mo Sangare, Bruce Anderson and Luiyi de Lucas.

Clement freshened up his Rangers team for the trip to West Lothian, making four alterations to the XI that started Thursday night’s 2-1 win at home to Sparta Prague in the Europa League.

Ben Davies, Todd Cantwell, Sam Lammers and Danilo dropped out to be replaced by Leon Balogun, Dessers, Tom Lawrence and Ross McCausland, who was handed his first Gers start.

After enjoying a bright opening, the Ibrox side thought they had gone ahead in the 16th minute when Connor Goldson had the ball in the net from close range.

However, the goal was ruled out following a VAR check after Dessers was deemed to have been offside and interfering with play as he darted in at the near post and tried to get a touch on Tavernier’s inswinging free-kick. The wrong-footed Livi keeper George then pushed the ball out to Balogun, who in turn nodded it into the path of fellow centre-back Goldson.

Rangers created a good opening with a rapid counter-attack three minutes later but McCausland shot over after bursting on to a Lawrence pass.

The 20-year-old winger’s pace caused more problems for the Lions midway through the first half when he won a penalty after being brought down by George as he ran on to a Tavernier pass.

Tavernier, however, sent his spot kick wide of the goalkeeper’s left-hand post.

Rangers had been well on top and they made a deserved breakthrough in the 26th minute when a lovely pass from Lawrence released Nigerian forward Dessers, who got away from Sean Kelly to slot the ball behind the advancing George.

McCausland thought he had scored his first senior goal for Rangers when he fired the ball high into the net just before half-time but the goal was disallowed for a foul by Abdallah Sima.

Rangers continued to dominate after the break but – after struggling to create many clear chances – they had to wait until the 74th minute to put the game beyond their hosts.

Following a VAR check, it was deemed that the ball struck the arm of Michael Devlin as the Livi captain challenged Rangers forwards Danilo and Sima in the air while trying to defend a cross from the left from Borna Barisic.

This time Tavernier made no mistake in tucking the ball to the right of the helpless George as Rangers continued their strong start to Clement’s reign and left Livi at the foot of the table on goal difference from Ross County.

Philippe Clement thanked the Rangers supporters for backing their team in the 5-0 win over Dundee at Dens Park but asked them to leave the pyrotechnics at home in future.

The match was delayed by 45 minutes after the Rangers team bus was held up in traffic and then suspended for 18 minutes after the travelling fans let off a large number of flares that triggered fire alarms under the stand.

Rangers were unaffected by either delay as they ran out comfortable winners thanks to goals from Ryan Jack, Danilo, Sam Lammers, Cyriel Dessers and James Tavernier.

Clement was pleased with his players’ focus but hoped there would not be future firework displays from the Rangers fanbase.

The Belgian said: “I expect a team that’s always ready no matter what happens, even if they say we have to play in the car park.

“We need to be ready because we play this game to win, so we must always be ready to adapt to the situations.

“The players were ready and after going inside again it was the same. Because you have five minutes in the dressing room it doesn’t mean you lose your focus.

“They need to be winners so whatever circumstances, whatever pitch, whatever weather, we are there to win games. That’s the mentality I want.

“I hope that the club does not face sanctions. You come here in the warm-up and the stand is full, everyone is chanting and supporting the players, giving a lot of energy.

“Those are very important things. We feel also the dynamic between fans and players is changing and it’s because of both sides.

“It was good the team started bright again, but I think everyone will understand that it’s really good to have all this support, all these songs and all this energy – I love it – but keep the fire outside of the stadium.”

Dundee boss Tony Docherty admitted he thought the game was going to be abandoned when referee Kevin Clancy took the players off the pitch.

He said: “It was a bizarre night and at one stage I thought the game wasn’t going to go ahead. I was trying to keep the boys focused.

“Then we start the game and because of the pyros we get brought in again. There’s a debate on whether there’s a place for that but the game was almost abandoned.

“The police took control and I didn’t think we were going to go back out again. That affects focus. When it’s almost causing matches to be abandoned I think we need to address it.”

Cyriel Dessers believes Rangers will go from strength to strength after new boss Philippe Clement began his tenure with a 4-0 win over Hibernian on Saturday.

The Belgian took over the hot seat last Sunday and was given a huge ovation before the game, which provided instant encouragement for the Ibrox faithful.

Rangers played more direct and with tempo and got their rewards after 17 minutes when attacker Abdallah Sima scored his seventh goal in seven games with a fine finish.

Midfielder Nicolas Raskin doubled the lead just before the break with a drive from distance, Sima added a third in the 65th minute and Dessers got his close-range goal 10 minutes from time to complete a comprehensive win.

The 28-yearold Nigeria international told RangersTV:  “The manager wants us to play with energy and show it as well to the fans; high pressing, play aggressively and forward.

“We showed some bits of this, but there’s still a lot of growth left for us.

“I’m sure we’ll do that, and we’ll then be a team that is difficult to stop.

“It’s a part of the game that I like to do. I’m still growing to my best level, but this was a step towards it.

“I hope with the new energy inside the dressing room, with the new staff and the fans, that we can push on.”

Dessers praised substitute Todd Cantwell for setting him up for his goal which rounded off probably Rangers’ best performance of the season so far.

He said: “When Todd came on you could see his quality. I saw Tav (James Tavernier) making the run as he always does, and he pulled two defenders with him, so I became free at the last moment.

“It was an unbelievable pass from Todd to find me, I faked the shot, before putting it into the corner. I’m really happy about the goal.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable. The gaffer said at half-time that we had the fans behind us, that we need to keep up the energy, and we picked some early balls up in the second half and it got the crowd going.

“You can then see what’s possible at Ibrox and it was a nice afternoon to be playing with 50,000 people.”

A powerful Rangers performance ended the Easter Road side’s six-game unbeaten run – five under Nick Montgomery – and the Hibs boss said: “I genuinely thought we quietened them down at the start, played some good stuff, but the first goal is really important.

“After that it takes a bit of pressure off them, they get into the game a bit more. The second goal really did come at a time when we could have got back in the game.

“At 2-0 down, you have to come out and try to play. If you just sit back, you’re not going to score a goal.

“But we weren’t great in the final third. And a couple of sloppy mistakes at the back against clinical players cost us. That was the disappointing thing for me.”

Cyriel Dessers believes Rangers’ early performance in the 2-1 Champions League qualifying win over Servette is “only the beginning” for Michael Beale’s new-look side.

The Light Blues boss and his team were widely criticised following the 1-0 defeat at Kilmarnock in the cinch Premiership opener at Rugby Park on Saturday.

There was a marked improvement in the first half of the third qualifying round first leg against the Swiss side at Ibrox on Wednesday night, with skipper James Tavernier scoring a penalty in the sixth minute.

Dessers tapped in a second eight minutes later for his first Gers goal since signing from Cremonese to experience an “amazing feeling”, although a handball by the Rangers new boy just before the break allowed Servette attacker Chris Bedia to pull a goal back from the spot.

The Light Blues were less effective after the break despite the visitors being reduced to 10 men in the 59th minute after David Douline picked up a second yellow card.

Speaking about the importance of the quick start and the demands of the Gers supporters, Dessers, 28, said: “That’s what we wanted. Of course after the loss on Saturday we were not a s*** team or anything like that.

“We knew we had to come out strong and show the fans what we can give them and what we can do as a team and especially the first half hour I think we showed that.

“That’s only the beginning. We are going to grow in fitness and relationships and as a team and it looks very promising.

“At Feyenoord, a similar club, the fans can react very emotional. But that’s what you want, you don’t want to be at a club where everybody just shrugs it off after a loss.

“You want an intense club and you get it in a positive way like Wednesday when you play good. That’s what you need after a tough loss and you get a reaction and at a big club like Rangers, that is normal.”

On his own performance, the Nigeria international said: “Of course I came to Rangers later so I still need some time.

“This was the first time I played more than 60 minutes. Overall, I had some really good moments, sometimes sloppy but that is all part of it.

“I am happy with this performance.”

Dessers acknowledged how difficult the return game in Switzerland next Tuesday night will be against a side who knocked Genk out in the previous round but remains confident of progressing through to the play-off where Rangers would face either PSV Eindhoven or Sturm Graz.

He said: “Overall it was a good night for us. Servette is a good team, a tricky team. I saw them over two nights against Genk and Genk are a really good team and they knocked them out.

“We dominated, we could have scored more maybe but this will keep us on your toes for next week.

“Of course if you can choose you want to go with a bigger lead but like I said, this will keep us on our toes.

“You cannot take anything for granted in Europe and we will need to go there strong and need a good performance to hopefully knock out Servette.”

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