Second-half goals from Mikael Mandron and Toyosi Olusanya helped 10-man St Mirren to a 2-0 home win over Dundee in the cinch Premiership.

James Bolton was sent off for the home side late on after Mandron had put them in front but the visitors could not capitalise on the man advantage and conceded a second goal to Olusanya late on.

The victory extended fifth-placed Saints’ advantage over Dundee to nine points albeit having played a game more.

Manager Stephen Robinson went with the same starting line-up that thrashed Hibernian 3-0 at the weekend, with returning Australia international Keanu Baccus named among their substitutes.

Dundee, in turn, made just one change from their defeat to Hearts, with former Saints striker Curtis Main replacing Amadou Bakayoko in attack.

Kick-off was delayed by 30 minutes after the Dundee team bus was caught in traffic on their way to the stadium from their hotel.

It was the home side who had the first real chance, with Mandron’s turn and shot well off target.

Elvis Bwomono then unleashed a long-range effort that similarly flew over the crossbar.

Dundee responded with a Jordan McGhee header that was also off target before Trevor Carson was the first goalkeeper called into action to save Mandron’s low effort at the other end.

Alex Gogic then came close to opening the scoring with a flicked header from Greg Kiltie’s corner but it drifted just wide of the far post.

James Scott launched a shot that nearly sailed over the stand as St Mirren turned up the pressure without giving the Dundee defence too much to worry about.

The visitors almost forged in front on a counter-attack following a St Mirren corner.

Luke McCowan sent Owen Beck running clear from just outside the Dundee box but he was tracked all the way by Hyeok-kyu Kwon, on loan from Celtic, who did well to block the Liverpool loanee’s shot. Beck then pulled his second effort wide.

Saints had the first chance of the second half but Bolton’s header from Caolan Boyd-Munce’s corner lacked the power to beat Carson.

Gogic then headed wide from Kiltie’s free-kick before Baccus’ drive from the edge of the penalty box touched the top of the crossbar before going over.

St Mirren’s pressure finally told after 73 minutes when they went ahead. Mandron’s strike looked to be covered by Carson but the Northern Irishman could only push his shot into the net.

Mandron then passed up a gilt-edged chance to double the home side’s lead before substitute Lewis Jamieson saw his low driven shot well saved by Carson and Kiltie blazed an effort wide at the far post.

St Mirren played out the last five minutes with 10 men after Bolton was sent off for a heavy tackle on Owen Dodgson before Olusanya sprang the Dundee offside trap to score their second goal in stoppage time.

Tony Docherty admitted he was baffled by the award of a pivotal penalty against Dundee as they lost 3-2 to Hearts at Dens Park.

The home side had opened the scoring in the first half through Jordan McGhee before the Jam Tarts equalised after the break with an Alan Forrest goal.

The Dark Blues took the lead once more with a stunning strike from Lyall Cameron before Hearts were awarded a penalty.

Referee Graham Grainger ruled that Lee Ashcroft had handled a Lawrence Shankland shot with the striker converting the spot-kick before scoring what proved to be a late winner.

However, Dundee boss Docherty questioned the penalty decision and why the official did not have another look at the incident on the pitchside monitor.

Docherty said: “I would love to come in after a game and talk about my team and how good they’ve been.

“But it seems to be the last five weeks all you do is talk about decisions.

“I just spoke to big Ash there, who is the most honest boy you could meet. What are you meant to do there?

“Are you meant to cut off a body part? What are you meant to do when you are a yard away from the player and it hits you.

“It was such a pivotal point in the game. We had gone from 1-1 to score a wonderful goal to go 2-1 up and I thought we were comfortable.

“Hearts are a really good side with a top striker in Lawrence Shankland. I thought we were handling it well but it was just that moment in the game that changed everything.

“Why doesn’t he go and check it? I don’t understand. He’s told me: ‘Had I seen it again…’ Why did you not go and see it again?

“We have invested as an industry and a football club in a piece of apparatus there that you can go and check.

“Yet you don’t do that. It is just galling for me.”

Shankland had been the subject of intense transfer speculation during the window with Jambos boss Steven Naismith admitting the Scotland front man showed exactly why he is such a key player for Hearts.

The manager said: “He is a top striker. He is somebody who we know is really important and that’s why we wanted to tie him down to a longer contract, that’s why we want him to be here as long as possible.

“A big bit of pressure on his penalty but again he shows his quality.”

Aberdeen boss Barry Robson remained in bullish mood after a 1-1 cinch Premiership draw with Dundee saw the pressure on his position ramped up further.

Chants of “We want Robson out” were among the cleaner of those heard around Pittodrie at the end of another disappointing performance, though the clouds briefly cleared after Bojan Miovski converted a first-half spot-kick.

Ester Sokler saw a second goal ruled out five minutes after the interval but from consecutive corners, Lee Ashcroft was first denied by Kelle Roos before then turning home from a second delivery.

The result leaves Aberdeen in eighth place, while Dundee move ahead of Hibs into sixth.

And Robson said: “I thought we looked a bit leggy in the game – it’s the fourth game in 10 days.

“As well as the penalty, if Graeme [Shinnie] had scored then I think we’d have been in a great position to be 2-0 up, and Jamie McGrath misses a great chance to score early in the second half.

“I don’t think we were really good, but I thought we were alright and had enough in the game to win it.

“The fans were applauding when I came and some of them will sing these kind of songs, which is OK. I accept that and I signed up for the job.

“All I can focus on is coming in tomorrow and try to make us better and try to win the next game”.

Dundee boss Tony Docherty, the former Aberdeen assistant manager, admitted his greed after saying he was disappointed to only take a point from the match.

With eight men out for the game, his squad was boosted by the return of defender Owen Beck on loan from Liverpool until the end of the season after a successful first half of the campaign and the youngster could have netted an injury-time winner.

Docherty said: “We’re back into the top six which is progress for us, I can’t credit the players any more.

“There’s a real good spirit and mentality. There’s a toughness that makes me proud as a manager.

“It’s important that we put in a good 45-minute performance tonight, but I’m looking for more. We need to make Dens Park a real difficult arena for anyone to visit.

“To go into that fixture tonight with eight men out and come away disappointed we’ve not won is testament to the players and shows where we are at the moment.”

Lee Ashcroft’s back-post header earned Dundee a point to move them into the cinch Premiership top six in a Pittodrie draw that will do nothing to ease the pressure on Aberdeen boss Barry Robson.

The Dons’ hopes of matching last term’s third-place finish have been all but extinguished before January is out, with their form being patchy at best.

And while Bojan Miovski’s first-half penalty provided some brief hope of an improvement, Aberdeen ultimately served up the kind of insipid performance that has some sections of the Dons support calling for the manager’s head.

The crowd’s nerves would not have been helped by an early Dundee attack that saw Zach Robinson’s low cross only narrowly missed by the sliding Amadou Bakayoko.

A Kelle Roos clearance would later come off the on-loan Forest Green Rovers man but, fortunately for the Aberdeen keeper, spun away to safety.

Aberdeen had chances of their own in between, Miovski seizing on a short pass from returning Dundee loanee Owen Beck only for Trevor Carson to save well.

Captain Graeme Shinnie should have done better when he latched onto a long ball over the top but, in trying to lift over Carson, put the ball well wide of target with just the keeper to beat.

Miovski gave his side the lead from the spot, stroking into the bottom right corner after former Don Joe Shaughnessy had taken Ester Sokler’s standing leg in attempting to clear a Jack Milne cross.

Another Milne cross saw Sokler this time head into the arms of Carson before the half ended with a late VAR check on Leighton Clarkson’s foul on Lyall Cameron, with no further action taken.

A smart near-post finish by Sokler seemed to have put the Dons 2-0 up five minutes after the interval only to be denied by the offside flag, and that lifted Dundee.

Roos saved Ashcroft’s back-post header from a left-wing corner but after Beck trudged across the park to take from the other flank, his delivery found the same man who this time turned home to level the scores.

From there the match descended into a bore draw; neither keeper was threatened and the main route forward was the long ball, a tactic that has long fed into the criticism of Robson.

With matches against both halves of the Old Firm up next, he will fear the chants of “sacked in the morning” doing the rounds at Pittodrie – as Cameron flashed a late Dundee chance wide – may not be far off the mark.

Steven Naismith was delighted with the character shown by Hearts as they recovered from a “terrible” first half to tighten their grip on third spot in the cinch Premiership with a 3-2 victory over Dundee at windswept Tynecastle.

The Jambos were booed off at the break as they trailed to strikes from Jordan McGhee and Lyall Cameron, but they roared back in the second half to claim a sixth win in seven matches through goals from Calem Nieuwenhof, new recruit Dexter Lembikisa and substitute Yutaro Oda.

It was the second time in successive homes games Hearts had fought back from two down after they salvaged a 2-2 draw with Ross County last month and they are now eight points clear of nearest challengers Kilmarnock in the battle for third.

“Our second-half performance was really good,” he said. “We got chances early and scored a good goal, and we used that momentum and pressure.

“For most of the second half it was attack v defence and we made the right choices when we got good opportunities

“The first-half performance was terrible. We were laboured, slow and played into Dundee’s hands. At half-time this place was toxic.

“The players knew it wasn’t good enough, we knew it wasn’t good enough and the fans let us know it wasn’t good enough, so you are in a really tough spot.

“For us to come back to win is a really good strength to have, that’s twice we’ve been 2-0 down here and we’ve taken points from both games. That probably wouldn’t have happened in previous seasons.”

Hearts captain Lawrence Shankland saw a penalty saved by Trevor Carson at 2-1 down. It was the 18-goal forward’s third consecutive spot-kick miss, but Naismith is adamant he will continue to take them.

“No, because up until three penalties ago it was brilliant,” he said when asked about Shankland’s recent penalty woe.

“It’s the same as when he wasn’t scoring goals at the start of the season and then he went through two months of scoring nearly every week. He’ll keep taking them and he’ll start scoring again.”

Naismith is hopeful that Scott Fraser’s loan move from Charlton will be finalised in time for Saturday’s match at home to Aberdeen.

“No update, we’re still waiting,” he said. “I’m hoping it can be cleared for the weekend but basically we’re sitting waiting for Charlton to sign it off.

“I’ve not got a clue what the issue is but he’s been in here, he’s been about, so hopefully it’s something that doesn’t take too long.”

Dejected Dundee manager Tony Docherty admitted his Dundee team lost their way after the break.

“It feels like I witnessed two teams out there,” he said. “I couldn’t be more happy with the first half, they executed the game plan to the letter.

“I thought we started the second half well but we got caught up. They will learn the hard way from this. It’s important to make key decisions but that cost us tonight.

“We were the architects of our own downfall but we have to focus on the positives and learn to manage games better.”

Yutaro Oda scored a late winner as spirited Hearts produced a rousing fightback from two goals down to beat Dundee 3-2 and move eight points clear in third place in the cinch Premiership.

The Jambos looked in trouble when they trailed at the break through goals from Jordan McGhee and Lyall Cameron.

But they turned things around with second-half goals from Calem Niewenhof, recent recruit Dexter Lembikisa and substitute Oda.

Captain Lawrence Shankland would have been particularly relieved with the outcome as he saw a penalty saved by Trevor Carson at 2-1 down.

Shankland was back to lead the team after he missed Saturday’s Scottish Cup win at Spartans through illness, while goalkeeper Zander Clark was restored to the starting XI after being rested at the weekend to allow the fit-again Craig Gordon to get a first outing in 13 months under his belt after injury.

Dundee goalkeeper Carson returned after missing the Scottish Cup defeat at Kilmarnock, while on-loan Burnley left-back Owen Dodgson made his first start after a debut appearance off the bench at Rugby Park.

After a cagey opening 10 minutes in which both sides tried to adapt to the swirling wind around Tynecastle, Hearts pair Kenneth Vargas and Nieuwenhof threatened in quick succession with shots from the edge of the box.

Stephen Kingsley then glanced a free header wide from Alex Cochrane’s corner in the 15th minute.

Dundee went ahead in the 19th minute, just seconds after Clark had pulled off an excellent save to keep out Zach Robinson’s header from an Amadou Bakayoko cross.

Former Hearts player McGhee pinged a lovely finish beyond the Jambos keeper from just inside the box after Bakayoko cushioned Dodgson’s cross back into his path. The goal was initially ruled out for offside but allowed to stand after a VAR check.

Shankland and Vargas both spurned good chances to bring the hosts level before Dundee doubled their lead in the 38th minute.

Dara Costelloe seized on some loose play from Hearts and nicked the ball off Lembikisa just outside the box before slipping a pass through to Cameron who slotted low past the exposed Clark.

Hearts – booed off at the break – began the second half with renewed intensity and purpose, however, and got themselves back in the game in the 57th minute through a low 25-yard drive from Nieuwenhof.

The Jambos were given the chance to equalise in the 65th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Dodgson was deemed to have shoved Shankland as he tried to get on the end of a Kingsley cross, but Shankland missed his third spot-kick in succession as Carson got down to his right to make the save.

Hearts were not to be denied, though. They eventually got themselves level in the 74th minute when Lembikisa – making his first start since joining on loan from Rotherham – headed home Alan Forrest’s cross from the left.

And the winner came in the 86th minute when substitute Oda turned and fired high past Carson, with the aid of a deflection off Joe Shaughnessy, after being fed by Forrest just inside the box.

Derek McInnes urged Kilmarnock to fight to the final whistle in their Scottish Gas Scottish Cup tie against Dundee after suffering a double disappointment against the Dens Park side in the cinch Premiership this season.

The Dee grabbed a last-gasp equaliser through captain Joe Shaughnessy in the 2-2 draw in Ayrshire on December 30 after the home side had taken the lead with a Rory McKenzie goal in the third minute of added time.

Killie had also succumbed to Dundee late in the game in September when Zak Rudden’s added-time goal for the 10-man hosts gave Tony Docherty’s side a point in a 2-2 draw.

McInnes, happy to add striker Greg Stewart to his squad on Thursday after the 33-year-old arrived from Indian Super League side Mumbai City, reflected on the two late setbacks against his former assistant Docherty as he looked forward to the fourth-round tie on Saturday.

He said: “We score in the 93rd, 94th minute and you automatically feel that’s the game in the bag, but the people who can’t think that way are the players and you’ve still got to see the job through.

“Dundee have scored a lot of goals from set-plays so the one thing you can guarantee in any game is the ball is coming in your box so you’ve got to withstand that.

“I think in open play we’ve been pretty comfortable against them. They do carry a threat at set-plays with the size they’ve got and both equalising goals were from corner kicks in the dying embers of the game.

“That’s allowed us to drop four points in the league which always nags away at you. I think it’s important that we try and focus on the good when we’ve played Dundee and just remember that we’ve got a job to see it through if we’re in a similar position, but we’re going to have to work hard to get ourselves in front.

“I think it will be a tight match, a competitive match, a lot of good players in both teams. It’s a cup tie and we want to do well in the cup, we see the importance of the cup as well as having a strong league campaign.”

Rangers midfielder Jose Cifuentes will miss the Viaplay Cup final after losing his appeal against the red card shown to the Ecuadorian during Saturday’s victory over Dundee.

The 24-year-old was initially booked by referee Kevin Clancy after catching Amadou Bakayoko late with his studs after the Dundee forward slid in to win the ball midway through the Gers’ 3-1 win. But he was then sent off following a VAR review.

A fast-track tribunal has upheld Clancy’s final decision and Cifuentes will start a two-match domestic ban when Rangers meet Aberdeen in Sunday’s Hampden clash.

The Ibrox club have also been missing the injured Tom Lawrence, Nico Raskin and Ryan Jack from their midfield in recent games.

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.”

Substitute Conor Wilkinson’s stoppage-time strike snatched 10-man Motherwell a 3-3 draw at home to Dundee.

Stuart Kettlewell’s side went in front through Mika Biereth only for the visitors to hit back through first-half goals from Lyall Cameron and Owen Beck.

Bevis Mugabi drew Motherwell level midway through the second half before Harry Paton was shown a straight red card for serious foul play.

Dundee took advantage of the extra man when Zach Robinson scored with two minutes remaining, only for Well to hit back in time added on to claim a point.

The result stretches Motherwell’s winless sequence to 11 matches, while Dundee still move back into the top half of the table despite the concession of that late equaliser.

The home side went in front with the first real chance of the game after seven minutes. Blair Spittal’s effort was blocked but fell to Biereth and the Arsenal loanee’s driven effort hit both posts before landing in the net. It was the first time Kettlewell’s side had taken the lead for three months.

Motherwell were then suckered when Dundee equalised with their first chance of the match.

The home side had two attempts to clear a corner but could not, with the ball eventually looping through to Cameron who headed past Liam Kelly.

Just four minutes later and Dundee were ahead. It was a moment of magic from Beck, the on-loan Liverpool full-back showing great composure after taking a pass from Zak Rudden then finishing neatly.

Motherwell had the first real chance of the second half. Paton found Jon Obika and his left-foot shot slid beyond the far post when a pass to Biereth might have been the better option.

Mugabi then tried his luck from distance, with the defender’s 30-yard effort touched over by Trevor Carson.

But the same player would not be denied just moments later as Motherwell drew level, getting the final touch on Spittal’s cross to glance a header past Carson.

This was referee Iain Snedden’s first Premiership match and he was called to the screen shortly after that goal by VAR Nick Walsh. The official had a look at the footage and showed a red card to Paton for a high tackle on Luke McCowan.

Wilkinson then had a great chance to put the home side back in front but blazed his shot high over the crossbar.

That looked to be costly when Robinson, just minutes after coming off the bench, finished low into the corner but Wilkinson made amends by firing past Carson.

Dundee boss Tony Docherty will take little heed of Livingston’s poor form ahead of their cinch Premiership clash on Sunday.

The Lions have won only one of their last nine games in all competitions and went down 2-0 to the Dark Blues in West Lothian last week, before a narrow 1-0 home defeat to Hearts on Wednesday night.

On the same evening, Dundee lost 5-0 at home to Rangers and their first defeat in five games left them ninth in the table, one point ahead of second-bottom Livi.

Docherty acknowledged the clash on Tayside will take place on grass rather than an artificial surface but also how difficult David Martindale’s side normally make it for their opponents.

He said: “I watched a game against Hearts and they were all-out, full of energy and it was a typical Livingston performance, a really strong performance where they were coming out fighting.

“So I wouldn’t look at form, I look at performances and I’m sure their manager will be buoyed by the way they approached that game, and I expect no less from a Livingston team coming here.

“They’ll be hard-working and difficult to play against as they always are. And we know as a team how tough that challenge is going to be but hopefully we’re ready for it.

“Last week we trained on Astroturf because we were going into a game on an artificial surface, this week we trained on grass because it’s a game on grass.

“So that’s the main difference in preparation but everything else – we do the same for every opponent.

“We obviously analyse their games and we make sure that as a squad we look at strengths, weaknesses and we analyse our team so the preparation is very much the same game-by-game but the only difference is the surface we train on.”

Tony Docherty revealed his Dundee players are back in a “buoyant” mood following their comprehensive midweek defeat by Rangers as they prepare for the visit of Livingston on Sunday.

The Dark Blues lost 5-0 at home to the Light Blues on Wednesday night and their first loss in five games left them ninth in the cinch Premiership, one point ahead of second-bottom Livi whom they beat 2-0 in West Lothian last weekend.

The Gers 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.

Boss Docherty has consigned an unusual evening to history to concentrate on Livi and the challenges they will present.

He said: “We’ve addressed that, we’ve analysed it and we move on from it. It’s now Livingston at home and our sole focus is on that.

“I think the way we can identify that was this morning’s training.

“They came in the door and as a result of the game the other night, they are not feeling the best but when they leave they’re feeling really good about themselves.

“We had a really good training session and we’ve done a session analysing the game and they went back out the door all fully prepared for that Livingston game.

“So I think you can gauge it that way, the way the players are, and they were really buoyant going out the door after a healthy training day.”

Docherty’s newly-promoted side lost 3-0 to Celtic last month before going on a four-game unbeaten run against Kilmarnock, Hibernian, Ross County and Livingston and he is looking for a similar reaction following the loss to the other half of the Old Firm.

He said: “I would say the Rangers game was probably below the standard that the players have set.

“The last time we had a game against Celtic we lost 3-0 and I said to the players, these Old Firm games won’t determine our fate, but it is important how we react.

“After the Celtic game, we had a draw at Easter Road, a draw at home to Ross County and we beat Livingston so the reaction from the last game against one of the Old Firm was really good and so I am hoping and confident I will get the same reaction from the players this time.”

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.”

Rangers crushed Dundee 5-0 in a cinch Premiership match that was delayed due to traffic and then briefly suspended following flares in the away end.

Ryan Jack’s strike had the visitors in front at half-time before four goals after the break from Danilo, Sam Lammers, Cyriel Dessers and James Tavernier extended their unbeaten run under new manager Philippe Clement to three games.

Dundee offered little as an attacking force, with Amadou Bakayoko seeing his second-half effort well saved by Jack Butland.

Kick-off was delayed by 45 minutes after the Rangers team bus was caught up in traffic congestion crossing the Tay Bridge.

Play was then suspended not long after kick-off for a further 18 minutes after flares lit by the visiting supporters set off fire alarms in the stand, with referee Kevin Clancy taking the players off the pitch.

Dundee made three changes following their win away to Livingston. In came Ricki Lamie, Bakayoko and Scott Tiffoney, with Jordan McGhee, Lyall Cameron and Zak Rudden dropping out.

Rangers, in turn, made four changes from the team that defeated Hearts. Out went Nicolas Raskin, Todd Cantwell, Ben Davies and Dessers, replaced by Jack, Leon Balogun, Scott Wright and Danilo.

Rangers started brightly when the game finally got going and Abdallah Sima slid a chance just wide after being played in by Ridvan Yilmaz.

The Light Blues, though, moved in front with their next attack. Balogun sent Danilo running in and when Trevor Carson spilled the Brazilian’s cross, Jack was on hand to sweep in the rebound.

Dundee replied through a Tiffoney cross that Balogun did well to head away from danger.

Carson partially redeemed for his error with a point-blank range save from Danilo, although the offside flag would likely have ruled the goal out in any case.

Malachi Boateng then had a go at the other end but Butland, in the Rangers goal, made a comfortable save.

Danilo ought to have put Rangers two in front early after the restart but, after doing well to create a shooting chance from a long ball, he blazed his effort well off target.

He was far more clinical after 51 minutes when the visitors doubled their lead. Sima teed him up and Danilo finished well beyond Carson into the far corner.

At the other end Butland pulled off a double save to deny first Luke McCowan and then Bakayoko as Dundee looked to narrow the deficit.

Instead it was Rangers who pulled away, scoring three more times.

Lammers claimed the first with a stunning long-range effort before teeing up Dessers who finished well despite Dundee protests for a foul in the build-up.

Tavernier claimed the fifth from the spot after Cameron was adjudged to have fouled Dessers.

Dundee manager Tony Docherty paid tribute to Joe Shaughnessy after the Dark Blues captain’s late double earned the visitors a deserved 2-0 victory at Livingston.

Shaughnessy struck twice as Dundee finally made their pressure count against 10-man Livingston, who had Cristian Montano sent off for violent conduct following a coming together with Malachi Boateng in the 70th minute.

And Docherty was thrilled by defender Shaughnessy’s contribution in the final third.

He said: “I have never seen Joe score two goals in a game before.

“I’ve worked with him since he was a kid and I’ve not seen that in a reserve game, a youth-team game or anything.

“I’m delighted for him, he’s the epitome of what the team is. He was my first signing and leads by example.

“He does that every day and it’s good to see players like him get their rewards.

“I was also pleased for Trevor Carson, that’s four clean sheets now.

“We have good young players but the bedrock is the experience and they’re so important.”

Only two points separate Dundee in fourth and 11th placed Ross County but Docherty is delighted his top-flight newcomers, who face Rangers in midweek, are heading in the right direction.

He added: “Fourth place? That’s good. Before the game we did say that if we can pick up three points who knows where it’s going to take us.

“I’m surprised by that but we won’t get giddy or get ahead of ourselves. That’s us now played nine games and we’re in a decent position but we have a tough game to come on Wednesday night.”

Shaughnessy broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute when he turned in an effort at the front post from Aaron Donnelly’s long throw before then getting on the end of Owen Beck’s corner three minutes later.

Livingston manager David Martindale said: “The sending off definitely does not make the game any easier, it’s a bad decision by Cristian, it’s a red card all day long and I’ll be speaking to him on Sunday about it. It’s a moment of madness really.

“We’re reduced to 10 men but to concede two set plays it does not matter if you have 10 men on the park, you still have 10 men behind the ball.

“We’ve gone and lost two very poor set plays from second contacts, we lost two set plays last week and I think you can see that we miss big Ayo Obileye.

“Did the 10 men have something to do with it? Probably not. I think we have to take responsibility, I’ve got to take responsibility.”

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