Steven Gerrard paid tribute to Alfredo Morelos after the Rangers striker scored his 100th goal for the club to help the champions secure a 2-1 win against St Mirren.
The striker, signed in 2017 from HJK Helsinki, had been stuck on 99 since scoring against Hibernian earlier in the month but, just before the break, after a Kemar Roofe penalty had cancelled out a fourth-minute strike by the St Mirren midfielder Connor Ronan, Morelos headed in a cross from the captain, James Tavernier, for his landmark goal.
Gerrard, whose side moved three points clear at the top of the cinch Premiership, said: “That’s what we want our No 9s to do, run through the goal. We know we have the service from the sides.
It was a fantastic cross from James but 100 goals at any level for any club is a magnificent achievement. I said last week he will smash 100 and hopefully go on and get many more for Rangers.
“Kemar Roofe, 50th appearance, 26 goals, we’ve got two poachers/goal-scorers in our armoury now which is fantastic for me. Over the course of a campaign it is not always going to be pretty, you are not always going to find your style and passing rhythm. The conditions weren’t really for us today but what we did was find a way to win. All in all a lot of positives but they all came after the first 25 minutes because St Mirren were better in the opening period.”
St Mirren’s manager, Jim Goodwin, was unhappy with the two goals his side conceded. “Really disappointed not to have anything to show from what was a decent performance,” he said. “We were comfortable and the disappointing thing for me was the manner of the goals we conceded.”
The visitors were still trying to get to grips with the game when Ronan got away from John Lundstram and fired a curling shot from 30 yards high past the diving Jon McLaughlin.
A St Mirren fan came out of the crowd to join in the celebrations but was dumped on his backside by unimpressed home defender Conor McCarthy.
In the 35th minute Ianis Hagi had an attempt on goal, which went wide. However, when he was tripped just inside the box by Alan Power, who had given the ball away, the referee Steven McLean pointed to the spot. Roofe slotted the penalty past Jak Alnwick, who went the right way, and then there was bedlam when Morelos headed in a Tavernier cross. He which McCarthy missed, then jumped into the Rangers fans behind the goal to earn a booking.
Having used all three substitutes, St Mirren played out the closing minutes with 10 men after Jamie McGrath was taken off on a stretcher with a hip problem.