Livingston's unbeaten run ended at five as they were beaten 3-1 at home by Rangers.

The away side struck twice in the opening 16 minutes after the snow was removed from the Tony Macaroni Arena playing surface but a valiant Lions effort ensured it would be no walk in the park in new Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhort's first league game in charge.

LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Livingston staff out clearing the pitch during a Cinch Premiership match between Livingston and Rangers at Toni Macaroni Arena, on November 28, 2021, in Livingston, Scotland.

Scott Arfield's chip over the keeper on eight minutes was added to by a terrific sweeping strike from Joe Aribo less than 10 minutes later.

But Livi looked a constant threat when they got the ball forward and were rewarded on 29 minutes as Anderson reacted the quickest to the rebound after Alan Forrest's effort had been parried by Allan McGregor.

Both teams searched for further goals but none arrived until 12 minutes from time as Fashion Sakala powered a header home from James Tavernier's corner to wrap up the points.

The defeat sees Livi remain in 10th place ahead as they prepare for a trip to Aberdeen on Wednesday night.

David Martindale named just one change to the side that had drawn away to St Mirren last time out with Forrest recalled at the expense of Andrew Shinnie.

One thing, no doubt, he emphasised in his pre-match team talk was to keep things tight defensively in the opening stages so it would have been particularly disappointing that they dug themselves into a two-goal hole before proceedings had barely gotten underway.

The visitors took the lead with the game's first effort as Arfield ghosted behind the back-line to race on to James Tavernier's pass and delicately looped the ball over Max Stryjek for his third goal of the season.

LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Livingston's Bruce Anderson (not pictured) to beat Allan McGregor to make it 2-1 during a Cinch Premiership match between Livingston and Rangers at Toni Macaroni Arena, on November 28, 2021, in Livingston, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

The Lions threatened an immediate leveller as Odin Bailey's fizzing effort from 20 yards was parried by Allan McGregor but the Rangers defence were able to clear the danger with as Bruce Anderson tried to race onto the rebound.

Rangers doubled their lead in beautiful fashion on 16 minutes. Neat play down the left flank saw Ryan Kent feed Alfredo Morelos who in turn teed up Aribo just inside the box with the Nigerian international sweeping the ball across goal and into the far corner off the underside of the crossbar.

This Livingston side isn't one to throw in the towel, though, and it was game on just before the half hour mark. Alan Forrest raced onto a ball over the top from Nicky Devlin with McGregor pulling off a terrific save to prevent the former Ayr United man from finding the net - only for Anderson to lunge forward and nod home as McGregor tried frantically to get a hand on the ball.

The hosts went searching for an equaliser and should have found it three minutes before the break as Bailey's cross from the left found Forrest at the back post. He appeared certain to find the net only for McGregor to produce a wonderful save to palm the winger's effort over the bar.

There was a delay to the start of the second half as Rangers fans pelted Livi keeper Stryjek with snowballs resulting in the penalty box needing cleared of the snow before play could resume.

LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Livingston's Mak Stryjek clearing snow during a Cinch Premiership match between Livingston and Rangers at Toni Macaroni Arena, on November 28, 2021, in Livingston, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Once play was back underway, the Polish keeper was called into action early doors when he got down low to prevent Ianis Hagi's effort from finding the net as the Gers looked to restore their two goal lead.

The stopper was required once more on 58 minutes as Aribo's rasping effort from 20 yards was tipped over.

After a frantic first half, the game somewhat petered out as Livi were unable to threaten an equaliser while Rangers struggled to break down an organised Lions defence.

Their resolve was broken 12 minutes from time, though, as substitute Fashion Sakala emphatically headed home a James Tavernier corner to put the game beyond doubt.

Livingston: Stryjek; McMillan (Penrice 59), Devlin, Fitzwater, Parkes, Montano; Bailey (Kabia 79), Holt, Omeonga, Forrest; Anderson (Shinnie 59). Subs not used: Maley, Longridge, Sibbald, Panayiotou.

Goal: Anderson (29).

Rangers: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic; Kamara, Aribo; Hagi (Patterson 73), Arfield, Kent (Sakala 73); Morelos (Defoe 90). Subs not used: McLaughlin, Lundstram, Davis, Wright

Goal: Arfield (8), Aribo (16), Sakala (78).