WHAT would Rangers do without Alfredo Morelos?

St Johnstone went out to frustrate and perhaps even anger the Colombian. He refused to get involved, despite much provocation, and instead of seeing red, as would have happened before, kept his cool and walked out of Perth the hero.

Steven Gerrard knows he has a match-winner. What a great Ranger the 23-year-old has become.

But St Johnstone were denied a goal with minutes to go, the ball crossed the line, and Rangers scored their third on the break.

The first half produced no goals and left the Rangers manager puzzled. His side had almost all the possession and yet should have been behind.

Rangers’ first opportunity came on 11 minutes when an exquisite Ryan Jack pass gave Morelos a clear sight at goal inside the St Johnstone box. The Colombian would have backed himself to score, but keeper Zander Clark got off his line quickly to make a fine stop.

Sheyi Ojo, his goalscoring hero from the Feyenoord win, then forced Clark in a save with a shot that travelled almost in slow motion towards the Saints goal. Another shot curled just past as Rangers completely controlled the game.

And then out of nothing, St Johnstone came with a whisker of taking the lead.

With ten minutes to go before the break, a long punt from Clark wasn’t dealt with by Filip Helander and he headed the ball into Michael O’Halloran’s path under pressure from Stevie May. O’Halloran was free – James Tavernier switched off - and with Allan McGregor to beat and the keeper brilliantly saved with his foot.

It was a fine piece of keeping but it should have been a goal. Morelos made his former team-mate pay.

Within a minute of the restart, St Johnstone won a corner. It was defended, Jack got on the ball outside his own box and intelligently passed 50 and more yards to Morelos. He then superbly used his strength to shrug off his shadow Scott Tanser, bore down on goal before producing an outstanding finish. It changed everything.

The game was over before the hour. Tavernier had one cross blocked, he made no mistake with his second effort and Connor Goldson impressively guided a header past the despairing Clark.

But with minutes to go, Tommy Wright and his players were left rightly furious.

Referee Andrew Dalls said the ball didn't cross the line from Murray Davidson's shot. Steven Davis made his second goal-line block but the ball did seem to be just over. Rangers broke up the park and Jermain Defoe ignored the arguments and got on the scoresheet. Salt was rubbed into the would when Defoe made it four and even then the home side appealed for offside.