Ruthless Rangers recorded their biggest win under Steven Gerrard against Hamilton (8-0) to stay nine points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
Scott Arfield struck the opener, Kemar Roofe headed the second and Nigeria’s Joe Aribo’s deflected shot made it three. Aribo’s second also took a nick off a defender as bottom side Accies toiled. Roofe tapped in after the break before substitute Brandon Barker slotted in and James Tavernier contributed a penalty and another strike. Gerrard’s side have played two games more than nearest challengers Celtic and are yet to concede a league goal at Ibrox this season. The margin of victory makes it the biggest win since the top flight was rebranded as the Scottish Premiership in 2013, which was also the last year Rangers won a match 8-0 against Stenhousemuir. The hosts showed attacking intent from the outset and Connor Goldson, Ryan Kent and Tavernier were all denied by goalkeeper Ryan Fulton early on. The pressure told on 16 minutes when Jermain Defoe stole possession just inside the Accies half and released Kent with a reverse pass – the winger squaring for Arfield to apply the finish. Tavernier then crossed for Roofe to head his fourth goal of the season. And it got worse for Hamilton when Aribo worked the space to get a shot away, with the ball spinning off Scott McMann and Hakeem Odoffin into the net. There was no let-up from the home side and Roofe set up Aribo again, the midfielder’s shot diverted over Fulton by Will Collar. Arfield fancied another and drew a save from Fulton in added time and the keeper was called into action again early in the second period when Tavernier struck. McMann almost scored an own goal when preventing Kent’s cross reaching Defoe, the ball hitting the post and presenting Roofe with an easy chance for his second goal of the afternoon. Defoe set up Kent’s replacement Barker to slide home and the striker was then fouled by Odoffin to give top scorer Tavernier the chance to score his 11th goal of the season. And Tavernier soon made it 12 for the campaign, reacting quickest in the box after Fulton had blocked Roofe’s effort.