Rangers eased to a comfortable 2-0 victory against a typically tough and obstinate Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Goals from Joe Aribo and Alfredo Morelos in each half separated the sides but the scoreline flattered the men from West Lothian who were second best from the start.

Rangers were at their pressing, harrying best from the opening stages and clearly went out with the intention of matching their opponents' physicality and desrire.

It's an old cliche that you have to first win the battle in Scottish football to claim the right to play your game but it's a truism and Steven Gerrard 's men delivered an archetypal battling away performance sprinkled with enough quality to get them three points.

Aribo struck on the 33rd minute after a brilliant team move on the counter attack saw him slipped through on goal by Scott Arfield. The Nigerian made no mistake with a deadly finish into the top right hand corner.

 

The second came just after half time, when a lovely ball from Borna Barasic found Morelos on the edge of the box, well wide of goal. It looked a situation bereft of danger but such sentiment is to neglect the quality and ingenuity of the striker.

The Colombian controlled the ball, twisted inside the defender and hit a firm low shot on the angle that had arrow-like precision into the bottom corner.

The strike killed the contest although Rangers could have scored more with Barisic's deflected drive going closest after bouncing back off the bar.

With Celtic defeating Motherwell, there remains a gap of a single goal between the two bitter rivals at the top of the Premiership.

The evident gulf in quality between the big two and the rest suggests this title could be won and lost by a wafer thin margin.

3 talking points

Aribo get his revenge

The Nigeria international has obvious quality but finding the way to extract it from him on a consistent basis has been a bit of a struggle.

He's been a goal threat in the Europa League but today's excellent strike was only his first league goal of the season.

After the events of his last visit to the Tony Macaroni he will have been delighted to get on the end of Scott Arfield's precise through ball and lash it past Matija Sarkic.

It wasn't an easy finish, having to take the ball first time with the pass coming across his body but he hit it with a surety and venom that left the keeper with no chance.

Rangers beat significant competition to land the player and if they can adopt tactics that keep him in attacking areas where his skills can make the difference he will become a huge asset for the club.

Morelos Magic

We are starting to run out of superlatives for the Colombian.

He had a tough, physical battle against Livi's imposing defenders but came out on top as he so often does.

Morelos out-muscled the much larger Hakeem Odoffin for his goal and had absolutely no right to score after receiving Barasic's ball near the byline.

The power, skill and composure he displayed was a showcase of the skills that combine to make Morelos a top striker at this level.

With 22 goals already, you wonder how big his tally will be by the end of the season, assuming he's still at Ibrox by then given the level of interest that is surely brewing.

Referee watch

Gerrard's pre-match plea for protection meant all eyes were on ref Nick Walsh.

Gerrard was concerned with the number of head knocks his players took on their last visit to West Lothian, with Aribo receiving a particularly nasty gash following a robust challange from Ricki Lamie. 

The midfielder required 20 stitches but the big defender wasn't even booked for his part in he incident, a situation that infuriated the Gers boss. 

Walsh handled the game well though with both sides giving as good as they got. 

Jack McMillan's studs up challenge on Glen Kamara could have seen red being flashed but a yellow was probably the right decision - just!