Rangers defeated Motherwell 3-1 at Fir Park after a Scott Wright double and James Tavernier penalty.

It was a routine win but for a while didn't look like it would be after Leon Balogun was sent off in the first half before Ross Tierney equalised.

But the Ibrox men came out after half-time and dominated, lifting their level of performance despite their one man disadvantage.

A tale of two challenges 

Leon Balogun was rightly sent off for awild, over the ball lunge and he left his teammates struggling with 10 men against a feisty Motherwell side. You'd expect more from such an experienced international player and it’s unlike the Nigerian who tends to be composed and level-headed. He will now miss the Celtic match which further weakens a defensive roster already damaged by the loss of Filip Helander to injury. Motherwell should have also lost a man when moments later Juhani Ojala came careering into Scott Wright. It was another poor challenge that endangered his opponent and while not quite as high as Balogun’s was certainly out of control given both feet were off the ground and he launched himself in. It would have proven to be a highly controversial moment had Rangers been unable to get back into the lead. 

The pressure is on Celtic 

Ange Postecoglou’s side are facing the defining game of their season at Ross County tomorrow. Win and the title is all but theirs. Lose or draw and it’s very much squeaky bum time. Rangers have done their part in reducing the deficit to three points and turning the heat lamp to full power. It’s not always been the case in the last few years when the Ibrox men have failed to throw down the gauntlet. Their rivals wouldn’t have relished that trip to the Highlands, but especially now they know how pivotal a moment it could be. All eyes on Dingwall tomorrow. If there's any slip up, blood will be smelt.

Scott Wright lays down a marker 

Often dismissed as ‘not good enough’, the former Aberdeen squad man has proven useful at the most important of times. His first showcased both a willingness to get into good positions and the bravery to throw his body in where it hurts to get a goal. The second was pure finesse, a wonderful low drive with arrow-like trajectory into the corner after Fashion Sakala’s mazy run. And it wasn’t just the double that marked out a fine game for the forward. He worked his socks off, ran at defenders and showed no end of pace and ingenuity in forward areas. Wright has now set the standard future games will be measured by. 

Michael Beale’s 4-3-2 remains effective 

This group have shown time and again they are extremely drilled and effective when going a man down and today was no exception. Former coach Michael Beale was the architect of a 4-3-2 system that worked effectively at Pittodrie, Parkhead and Ufa over the years and so it proved again here. Rangers were terrific in the second half despite being a man short and it was Motherwell who were left chasing shadows despite the numerical advantage.