Glasgow (AFP) – Steven Gerrard challenged his Rangers side to “leave a legacy” after a 3-0 win at Livingston on Wednesday left the Scottish Premiership champions on the brink of an unbeaten league season.
James Tavernier scored his 19th goal of the season from the penalty spot before Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi were on target at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Rangers have gone 37 top-flight games without defeat so far this season, piling up 99 points along the way.
They now need only a draw to take them to the 100-points mark — something the club have never achieved before — to complete a Premiership campaign lacking a defeat when they face Aberdeen at Ibrox on Saturday ahead of a trophy presentation in front of their fans.
Wednesday’s victory saw Rangers record their 25th clean sheet of an impressive league season, breaking he Scottish record for a 38-game schedule set by Celtic in 2014/15.
And if they avoid conceding two goals against the Dons at the weekend, Rangers will better the British season record goals-against tally of 15 set by Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea back in 2005.
– ‘Incredible campaign’ –
“I think the boys have got an opportunity not just to be champions but to leave a legacy from the season,” said Rangers manager Gerrard after his side’s 31st win in 37 league games.
“Tonight we get the clean sheet record and Saturday gives us the opportunity to go break 100 points, which will round off an incredible league campaign.”
Second-placed Celtic, 25 points adrift of Glasgow arch-rivals Rangers, marked Scott Brown’s final home game for the Hoops ahead of his move to Aberdeen with a 4-0 thrashing of Covid-hit St Johnstone.
“That was the motivation for us, when you come to the end of the season and there’s not a lot to play for, that was easy for us with Scott leading the team out for the last time at Celtic Park,” said Hoops interim manager John Kennedy.
David Turnbull gave Celtic a 23rd-minute lead and barely a minute later Brown’s diagonal ball allowed Odsonne Edouard to make it 2-0.
Further goals from Kristoffer Ajer and Karamoko Dembele, his first for the club, completed a comfortable win.
Meanwhile Saints boss Callum Davidson feared his plans for the Scottish Cup final against Hibernian on May 22 could be wrecked by the coronavirus outbreak at the club.
Already without four self-isolating players before Sunday’s semi-final win against St Mirren, Davidson only had a 16-man squad at Parkhead.
“It’s very concerning,” he said. “We’ll get three or four of the players back tomorrow (Thursday), which is great…We must try to stamp it out and we can’t let it fester until next week.”
Christian Doidge’s goal saw Hibernian to a 1-0 win over Aberdeen that ensured the Edinburgh club would finish the season in third place.
Hamilton were all but relegated after a 2-1 loss at Ross County.
But County were still left battling to avoid the drop after fellow strugglers Kilmarnock drew 3-3 with St Mirren.