Look up the dictionary definition of a routine 2-0 win and you’ll find Rangers’ victory over St Johnstone last night in the Scottish Premiership.

Although reduced to 10 men in the first half it took Craig Levein’s men until the 90th minute to attempt a shot of any kind, ending the game with 0.04xG. For the second game running Jack Butland did not have a shot on target to save.

Philippe Clement was left “boiling” at a challenge on John Lundstram which could keep him out until the new year. Reflecting on the game in hindsight, the Belgian manager will be satisfied with another three points that cut the gap at the top of the Scottish Premiership to a slender two points with a game in hand.

The Rangers Review picks apart the key lessons from the game below...

Trendline and match momentum 

Ibrox was slightly nervy up until James Tavernier’s penalty confirmed all three points last night because 1-0 wins are never comfortable. However, unlike a recent home win over Dundee, the support had no reason for concern. Rangers didn’t even concede a dangerous attack all game, let alone a threatening shot on goal. As the second half wore on so did the regularity of the home side’s efforts. Statistically, the likelihood of the home side even dropping points if this game, were it to be played 100 times, was a mere four percent.

Shots and saves

Rangers’ average chance quality wasn’t extraordinarily high and although Dimitar Mitov is a very capable shot-stopper at this level, most of the saves he was called to make were relatively routine. Tavernier attempted the game’s highest number of efforts, five, well ahead of his 1.23 average per 90. The right-back was often inverting in the final third to provide a box presence, allowing Ross McCausland to dribble from the touchline and provide a one-on-one threat out wide. Tavernier's six touches in the opposition penalty box was the highest total of his season.

The Rangers captain also attempted the game’s highest number of key passes, five, notably for Dessers’ goal and also this early lobbed cross from a narrow position which could’ve earned Abdallah Sima an opener had Kemar Roofe not reached the ball first.

St Johnstone's two speculative efforts from range towards the end of the game came nowhere close to troubling Butland.

Passing and positions 

What’s immediately noticeable when looking at the average passing location of each Rangers player is how frequently the home side played in the wide zones. With two wingers and full-backs starting wide and each centre-midfielder taking up the position at the bottom of the wide triangles. Sima operated closer to goal than McCausland while Ridvan overlapped more frequently than Tavernier in response.

READ MORE: Abdallah Sima is already playing as a No.9 for Rangers - here's the proof

Further to the topic of Tavernier’s role, compare the location of his received passes to where McCausland picked up possession. Notice the right-back’s touches gradually arriving in narrower positions as he moves up the pitch in contrast to the winger ahead of him, instead situated wide in the final third to stretch play.

Kieran Dowell impressed in his first start under Clement demonstrating an eye to break the lines when moving onto his favoured left foot, as shown in his pass map below. No Rangers player made more pressures (20) or defensive actions (6) than the midfielder who could be key in the upcoming weeks given Lundstram's injury. 

The away side started the game in a low block that only retreated further after Diallang Jaiyesimi's red card.

Dessers' upturn under Clement

Dessers’ strike was his ninth of the season. Despite such a tricky start to life at Ibrox, the Nigerian forward now has six league goals, five of which have come under Clement’s management. Dessers, in a small sample size of 4.9 90 minutes, has the best goals per 90 record in the league since Clement joined the club averaging 1.02 goals per 90. It seems as though he's played his way into form right when Rangers have required such numbers.

All five of those league goals under Clement have come from Dessers running onto the ball on the left-hand side. Four of the goals have come on his left foot.

That was the case once again last night, just like in recent matches with Dundee and Livingston. As Tavernier prepares to deliver his through ball look at the position of Dessers - between St Johnstone’s centre-back pairing and right in the eyeline of Olufunwa, blocking his view of the cross. 

When the cross is played, Dessers adapts his run to move behind Olufunwa and in doing so confuses the defender, who must now track his marker in his blindside and react to the flight of the ball.

The defender ends up stopping neither. Dessers' movement is perfectly timed to allow the ball to pass beyond the defender, then finishing through the legs of Mitov to open the scoring. 

Speaking in a recent press conference, Dessers suggested he was a striker who was “strongest with my face towards the goal". 

It's taken him time to build any notion of momentum at Ibrox but is now averaging a goal per game under Clement in the league. Rangers will be hopeful that the forward's purple patch continues heading into four more vital league matches before the winter break.