RANGERS fell 10 points behind Celtic after Kilmarnock came from behind to beat them 2-1 at Rugby Park. Scott Arfield’s spectacular first-half goal put Steven Gerrard’s men in front but they were pegged back by Stephen O’Donnell’s 77th-minute equaliser and then sunk by Eamonn Brophy’s 88th-minute winner.  

Here’s what else we learned from this evening’s game in Ayrshire.


There are no points awarded in football for aesthetic merit. At this stage in the title race all that matters for both Celtic and Rangers is that they keep winning. How that is achieved doesn’t really matter.

Rangers were far from their fluent best on the Rugby Park artificial surface as they struggled to put the contest to bed. Arfield’s goal seemed to give them a platform to go on and rack up a few more.

Instead, they allowed Killie to come back into the contest, with the home side eventually making that pressure count by claiming an equaliser. It would get worse for Rangers when Eamonn Brophy lashed in what proved to be the winner two minutes from time.

Championships are often won and lost on evenings like this. Rangers have given themselves a mountain to climb and are running out of matches with which to do it.


On a night when Alfredo Morelos was off the boil – and perhaps lucky not to be sent off – then Gerrard would have been within his right to ask others to do their bit to help out.

Arfield again stepped up with his fifth goal in the space of a month but too few of his team-mates showed an eagerness to also get themselves into the box, to take shots on goal or put the Kilmarnock defence under any real pressure.

Rangers need goals from all around the team if they are to maintain their pursuit of Celtic and Arfield is certainly doing his bit. Gerrard now needs others to do so too before it is too late.


All eyes were on Andy Halliday as he deputised for the injured Barisic at left-back. On his first league appearance since September, the 28 year-old found himself in direct opposition to former Ibrox favourite Chris Burke, still a Kilmarnock regular at the age of 36.

Halliday’s first venture forward didn’t augur well as he sent over a cross that sailed straight out the park and there was no doubt Rangers missed Barisic in that department, with the Croat often their most creative outlet with his balls in from the left. Halliday was solid, certainly, in a defensive sense but couldn’t emulate the attacking presence Barisic usually brings to the side.

In a tight contest of few chances, Rangers could have done with having that extra attacking dimension at their disposal. In the end it proved costly.


If there was any consolation for Rangers on a night like this it was the return of their best midfielder from injury.

It probably isn’t a coincidence that his side haven’t been at their best during his enforced lay-off. His importance was underlined again here with Gerrard sticking Jack straight back into the starting line-up upon his return to fitness.          

There are few more consistent central midfield duos than Kilmarnock’s Alan Power and Gary Dicker, making Jack’s reappearance a timely one. After a slow opening to the match, the 27 year-old chose to take matters in to his own hands, motoring forward from midfield at one point to try to energise his side.

Beyond that this was another quietly efficient shift in the middle of the park. Rangers are undoubtedly a better team with him in it, even if it may take some time before he’s back operating at full speed. In the end, though, even Jack couldn’t drag Rangers to victory.


Alex Dyer’s side went into the game on the back of a three-game unbeaten run and looking for the victory that could – if other results had gone their way – have lifted them in to the top six. Defensively they looked well-marshalled, reducing Rangers to barely a handful of chances, but at the other end they initially struggled to get anything going despite forcing a number of corners early in the second half.

They continued to plug away, however, and got their reward when O’Donnell was alert to redirect Niko Hamalainen’s mis-hit shot beyond Allan McGregor and then sealed an incredible night as Brophy bagged the winner.