Rangers blew their chance to move five points clear of Celtic in the Premiership after a historic win for Motherwell at Ibrox. Goals for Theo Bair and Dan Casey, either side of a James Tavernier equaliser, earned the visitors their first league victory over Rangers in more than two decades.

Tavernier moved ahead of John Greig’s goal tally of 121 for Rangers with a second half penalty. It proved to be in vain, though. Philippe Clement’s side had their chances but there was no dramatic comeback this time around.

Rangers paid tribute to club legend Steven Davis before kick-off as the Northern Irishman returned to Ibrox. A series of banners were unfurled in the Broomloan Stand and John Bennett and James Bisgrove made a presentation on the pitch to mark an incredible career for Rangers.

A twist in the title tale

It has been quite the week in the Premiership title race. Rangers had made a statement of intent with the 5-0 hammering of Hearts here last Saturday and then shown their mettle by coming from behind to beat Kilmarnock in midweek. On the same night, Celtic stormed to victory over Dundee.

This match was not quite taken for granted, but few would have predicted that Motherwell would come here and cause an upset. Stuart Kettlewell’s side deserve huge credit for the way they approached this fixture. Few teams have caused Clement’s men as many problems this term.

The Belgian has long spoken about there being twists and turns to come at the top of the table. He would not have seen this one coming, though, and he will be furious at the performance and the result. Given what is at stake right now, this was a dreadful afternoon for Rangers as they blew the chance to move five points clear of their Old Firm rivals.

The focus is on themselves, and it has to be. But Rangers will now look at what unfolds at Tynecastle on Sunday and wonder what might have been. Time will tell how significant a setback this is.

An entertaining Ibrox affair

The opener was a mixture of substance and style. Jack Vale was rewarded for his endeavour, forcing John Souttar into a mistake as he failed to deal with a ball into the channel. He picked out Bair and the finish into the far corner was composed. Going behind nine minutes in was not in the script and Motherwell found themselves in promising positions on a number of occasions in the first half. Blair Spittal should have done better with an effort from the edge of the area and then forced Jack Butland into action later in the half.

Rangers were not short of chances of their own. Mohamed Diomande and Ridvan Yilmaz, twice, were denied from distance. Cyriel Dessers headed wide and was then blocked from close range and Fabio Silva should have scored after collecting a ball over the top from Connor Goldson.

It was the visitors who had the first chance after the interval. If Spittal’s effort had not struck the bar, Rangers may well have been beaten. Minutes later, they were right back in it. A lengthy VAR check finally saw Alan Muir award a penalty after Stephen O’Donnell had fouled Silva. Tavernier did the rest with a clinical spot-kick high into the corner of the net.

It should have been the spark for Rangers. Instead, an end-to-end encounter continued and Clement’s side had no control. Motherwell were bold and brave and had their reward when Casey converted at the back post. It proved to be the winner.

Souttar couldn’t convert late headed chances and Paul McGinn cleared off the line from Silva before Tavernier fired over from a free-kick. There was no Ibrox hero this time.

Raskin fails to grab his chance

This was an important afternoon for the Belgian and this was his chance to impress. It could be some time before he is given another. On his first start since the win at St Mirren four weeks ago, Raskin looked well off it. To be fair, he wasn’t the only one in that regard.

It has been a difficult campaign for the midfielder. He has struggled for form and had fitness issues and he returned from a lengthy lay-off at a time when Clement was not short of options in the central areas. If everyone is fit and firing, Raskin is not a starter in this side at present.

A home fixture with Motherwell should have been the sort of fixture that saw him able to re-establish himself. Instead, he just couldn’t find his rhythm alongside John Lundstram and he had no real influence or impact during a low-key first half.

The sight of Tom Lawrence going through a warm-up late in closing stages and then being put through his paces while Clement’s side were in the changing room told its own story. The Welshman was on at the break and slotted in beside Lundstram as Diomande remained in the number ten role. He was an improvement, but he wasn't a match-winner for Rangers.

Injuries starting to take a toll again

Rangers have not had their problems to seek over the course of the campaign in terms of injuries. Once again, Clement must be cursing his luck. He will not use a lack of options as an excuse but his squad is starting to look thin, especially in the final third.

The boss was unable to provide a full update on the extent of the injury to Oscar Cortes at his media conference on Friday afternoon. When he spoke to RangersTV pre-match, he confirmed that the Colombian could require surgery after a ‘severe’ injury and the club are in discussions with Lens over the situation.

At a time when Abdallah Sima and Rabbi Matondo are still out of action, the news on Cortes was a real blow for Rangers. The situation escalated before the break here. Ross McCausland started on the left but didn’t make the interval after a challenge from Casey, who somehow escaped punishment from the erratic Muir. It summed up a woeful showing from the whistler. McCausland received treatment on the pitch and headed straight down the tunnel.

It saw Silva enter the action and positioned on the flank. Clement had been eager to avoid having to utilise the Portuguese there given his importance as a rotation option with Dessers. With the numbers depleted, Clement has to take risks and hope there are rewards to come. The injury worries are mounting once again.

Ibrox can’t inspire Rangers to victory

The slogan of ‘Everything from Everyone’ has become a key message from the club and amongst the support over recent months. The words from Clement on Friday had been clear. He had rebuilt the relationship between those on the pitch and those in the stands and he wanted the efforts of his players to be matched by the fans. That involves staying for 90 minutes.

The topic of the ‘Subway Loyal’ has been debated and discussed for some time. Clement was certainly right to raise it again. While some have to head for the exits early, the exodus from Ibrox has become all too regular an occurrence. It has to stop.

There were boos audible around the ground as Rangers trudged off at the break. When Tavernier made it 1-1, Ibrox finally found its voice. It was stunned when Casey put the Steelmen ahead.

The closing stages were a mix of anger and frustration and the nerves were palpable on and off the park. Many stayed until the end. They were left shocked and stunned.