Rangers 2-0 St Mirren

Alfredo Morelos opened the scoring with his third goal of the season for Rangers

Rangers overcame a first-half red card for Ross McCrorie to beat St Mirren and record their first Premiership win of the season.

Alfredo Morelos slotted home his third goal of the season from Jamie Murphy’s pass and Connor Goldson headed home a free-kick to put the hosts 2-0 ahead.

Rangers were reduced to 10 men for the second successive week when McCrorie brought down Nicolai Brock-Madsen.

Danny Mullen hit the bar for St Mirren but the hosts were largely untroubled.

Victory maintains unbeaten Rangers’ early-season momentum under Steven Gerrard as they prepare to take a 3-1 lead to Slovenia for Thursday’s second leg of their Europa League third qualifying round tie, before an away League Cup match at Kilmarnock next Sunday.

Promoted St Mirren, who beat Dundee 2-1 in their opening home league game, travel to face Aberdeen in the League Cup second round next Saturday, before returning to league action against Livingston on 25 August.

Rangers lost seven home league games last season – including to Hamilton, St Johnstone and Kilmarnock – and Gerrard had pinpointed the need for a change of mentality to avoid similar mishaps this season.

His charges, including new signing Borna Barasic making his debut at left-back, appeared to be heeding his words as they moved 2-0 ahead inside the first 24 minutes.

First Morelos stripped Jack Baird of possession and then ran on to Jamie Murphy’s pass to slot the opener past Craig Samson for his third goal of the season.

Then centre-back Goldson headed home powerfully from a Barisic free-kick to register his first goal in Rangers colours.

Connor Goldson’s first goal for Rangers doubled his side’s lead

But just as seven days ago at Aberdeen, when Rangers were forced to play with 10 men for 78 minutes after Morelos’ red card – subsequently downgraded to yellow – Gerrard’s men again found themselves a man down.

In the 31st minute, Murphy surrendered possession to Stephen McGinn and the St Mirren midfielder’s pass sent Brock-Madsen clear through with only Rangers keeper Allan McGregor ahead of him.

Referee Don Robertson had no hesitation in sending off McCrorie – starting in midfield with Scott Arfield rested – after he slid in to bring down St Mirren’s debutant striker.

Hayden Coulson could only fire the resultant free-kick into the wall, but buoyed by their man advantage, the visitors came close to scoring before the interval, Kyle Magennis sending a free-kick over and Mullen smacking an effort against the bar.

But Goldson flicked another header against the far post and Rangers remained composed, creating further chances to increase their lead on the resumption.

Ryan Kent, on loan from Liverpool, raced past two defenders on the left flank before finding Morelos in the box, but the Colombian striker could only fire wide.

Ovie Ejaria and Morelos, again, might have added a third before Rangers came under some late pressure.

Mullen’s shot from outside the box forced McGregor into another save and Cammy Smith twice went close to a consolation goal, but his deflected effort looped over McGregor and just wide, before his volley flew narrowly over the bar.

The only downside for the hosts was an apparent injury to midfield enforcer Lassana Coulibaly, who trudged off in injury time as Rangers finished the game with nine men.