RANGERS have moved to within three points of Celtic at the top of the table once again after coming from behind to beat Livingston at Ibrox.

Steven Lawless gave Gary Holt’s side a shock lead early in the second half but James Tavernier pulled the Light Blues level before Lyndon Dykes saw red.

Alfredo Morelos put Rangers ahead and Brandon Barker made sure of the points after he had earlier replaced Ryan Kent as his first appearance since joining from Liverpool came to a premature end.

Boss Gerrard would have expected his side to show real intent from the off as they looked to put their Old Firm defeat behind them but chances were hard to come by for Rangers in a surprisingly flat and sluggish opening 45 minutes.

A neat move involving Kent and Joe Aribo gave Morelos his first sight of goal after ten minutes but the Colombian curled a strike just wide of the top corner.

There was another let-off for Livingston when a Scott Arfield effort clipped the underside of the bar and rebounded to safety but a couple of Tavernier crosses came to nothing as Morelos looked to open the scoring. A tame attempt from Sheyi Ojo was easily held by Ross Stewart.

The loss of Kent – the winger limping off with a hamstring injury - five minutes before the break was a blow for Gerrard but it gave Barker a chance to show the Gers fans what he could do on his home bow.

It was the visitors that struck after the break, though. A needless tackle from Arfield on Dykes saw referee Willie Collum point to the spot.

And Lawless made no mistake from 12 yards as he sent keeper Allan McGregor the wrong way to give Livingston the lead.

Rangers needed an instant reaction and Morelos fired just wide after spinning on the edge of the area as he once again came close.

The equaliser arrived after 55 minutes. Tavernier’s free-kick from wide on the left curled into the area and evaded everyone before, thankfully for Rangers, finding the corner of the net.

That gave Ibrox reason to celebrate and try and inspire their side but it was the Lions that came closest to the third goal of the afternoon. Chris Erskine saw a header come back off the bar from a Keaghan Jacob’s corner, before McGregor made a smart low stop to deny Dykes.

The closing stages were set up to be tense and tetchy for Rangers but Morelos changed the mood as he nodded Gerrard’s side in front. Tavernier’s corner was flicked on by Aribo and Morelos was on hand to beat Stewart with a powerful header.

Before Livingston could regroup, their task got even more difficult. Dykes had performed admirably up top but he was shown a second yellow card for catching Connor Goldson with an elbow and was sent off by Collum.

With 12 minutes remaining, Barker made sure of the points for Rangers. Ojo was the architect with a drive towards the Livi defence before he slipped the ball to his left.

Barker collected it and steadied himself before finding the top corner as he marked his debut with a well-taken goal. It clearly meant a lot to the former Manchester City kid.

And it was hugely significant for Gerrard as well as Rangers avoided what would have been a costly stumble at Ibrox.