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Caixinha delighted as Pena double sees off 10-man Saints

St Johnstone 0 Rangers 3

By Andy Newport

Boss Pedro Caixinha described Rangers' 3-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win at St Johnstone as the best collective performance of his tenure.

A Carlos Pena double and a late strike by Graham Dorrans gave the visitors a scoreline which was perhaps flattering.

Rangers, however, certainly took advantage of the extra man when at 1-0 in the second half, Saints skipper Steven Anderson was sent off by referee Don Robertson for picking up the second of two yellow cards for a foul on Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos.

Caixinha said: "I think it was the best collective performance since we arrived. Everybody knew what they needed to do.

"Quality and keeping possession, attacking spaces when it was needed and fighting collectively and defensively.

"And the cherry on the top of the cake is a clean sheet. We want the team to perform like this all the time."

The Portuguese coach believes the win sets his side up for the Betfred Cup semi-final against Motherwell at Hampden Park next Sunday - although first comes a break.

He said: "Now the moment is for the boys to enjoy, they're going to have three days off. So am I.

"Tuesday and Wednesday, we have all the information on Motherwell and will work on that. The desire is there in both teams to win. The opponents will be tough."

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright was "really happy" with the display but not the outcome, with Anderson's dismissal pivotal.

He said: "I thought up to 70 minutes we were slightly the better side. They put one cross in the box in the first half and we should deal with it better.

"We had numerous opportunities getting behind them but the final ball or finish wasn't good enough and up until the sending off we were dominant.

"The red card totally changes the game.

"I have seen the first yellow card and if there is a level of consistency there should be a dozen yellow cards at corner kicks," he said.

"Steven Anderson backs into Bruno Alves which he is entitled to do and he pulls him out of the way so he is the aggressor.

"Ando is then blocked and the referee decides it is two yellows when probably he could give them a warning.

"The second yellow, Ando should know better."

St Johnstone: Mannus, Comrie, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Easton, Wotherspoon, Millar (Paton 69), Davidson, Scougall, MacLean (Johnstone 81), Cummins (Craig Thomson 74). Subs not used: Tanser, Clark, Gordon, Craig.

Sent Off: Anderson (71).

Booked: Anderson, Paton.

Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, Fabio Cardoso, Bruno Alves, John, Candeias, Holt, Dorrans, Windass (Nemane 90), Pena (McCrorie 85), Morelos (Herrera 90). Subs not used: Dalcio, Hodson, Alnwick, Barjonas.

Booked: Windass,John,Dorrans.

Goals: Pena 27, 78, Dorrans 86.

Attendance: 6,887

Referee: Don Robertson (Scotland).

Belfast Telegraph

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