Antonio Colak scored twice on his 29th birthday as Rangers ended a three-game losing streak in the Scottish Premiership with a win over Dundee United.
Cola struck early in each half to make it nine goals for the season.
United, still without a league win this season, hit back when Liam Smith’s shot beat Allan McGregor.
The visitors pressed in the latter stages without testing McGregor again, while Rangers wasted good openings to make the contest more comfortable.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side remain second, two points behind Celtic – who visit St Mirren on Sunday – while United remain bottom.
There was an angry reaction from the fans inside Ibrox as a minute’s silence was observed before the kick-off.
After suffering three consecutive defeats against Celtic, Ajax and Napoli, the hosts made a whirlwind start amid a lively atmosphere, with Ryan Kent and Scott Arfield wasting big chances in front of goal.
However, Cola, who lost his place up front in midweek’s Champions League loss to Napoli, showed how it’s done after eight minutes when he drilled home the opener after excellent work from James Tavernier.
The Rangers captain robbed Ian Harkes deep in his own half and raced down the right before picking the perfect moment to lay the ball on the edge of the box.
United were pegged back for long periods but had a chance to see a goal in when Glenn Middleton’s shot was deflected wide of goalkeeper McGregor’s feet.
Cola struck again early in the second half, dispossessing Charlie Mulgrew to tap in a Borna Barisic cross.
It looked like the game was over, but the visitors came out of their defensive shells and soon reduced the lead.
Substitute Sadat Anaku made an immediate impact, playing a smart one-two with Tony Watt before finding Jamie McGrath on the edge of the box. McGrath then overlapped Smith and the defender’s shot went into the net after a McGregor touch.
United were committing more men going forward and the home fans were becoming increasingly frustrated with Rangers not regaining their two-goal cushion.
Charlie McCann, making his first league start, was guilty of a free-kick and goalkeeper Carljohan Eriksson made saves to thwart Scott Wright and Malik Tillman, with late clearances twice denying Colaki a hat-trick.
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- 2bartenderBooked in 37 minutes
- 38the kingBooked in 83 minutes
- 31BarisicBooked in 84 minutes
- 8Jackreplaced byTillmanin 70′minutes
- 37Arfieldreplaced byWrightin 70′minutes
- 19the areas
- 30The jackal
- 4MulgrewBooked in 84 minutes
- 6Grahamreplaced byMcMannin 69′minutes
- 15MiddletonBooked in 42 minutesreplaced bymy sonin 58′minutes
- 32Wattreplaced bySix Cudjoein 88′minutes
- 20my son
- 28Six Cudjoe
- Kevin Clancy
Match ends, Rangers 2, Dundee United 1.
Second half ends, Rangers 2, Dundee United 1.
Attempt blocked. Blocked by Mathew Anim Cudjoe (Dundee United) right wing from the right wing.
Corner, Dundee United. Pressed by Leon King.
Corner, Rangers. Scott McMann scores a basket.
The attempt has been saved. Sadat Anaku (Dundee United) header from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aziz Behich with a cross.
Offside, Dundee United. Liam Smith tries to score, but Mathew Anim Cudjoe is caught offside.
Change, Dundee United. Mathew Anim Cudjoe replaces Tony Watt.
Offside, Rangers. James Tavernier tries a through ball, but Scott Wright is caught offside.
Malik Tillman (Rangers) wins a free kick.
Tony Watt (Dundee United) commits a foul.
Charlie Mulgrew (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.
Borna Barisic (Rangers) has been shown the yellow card.
Leon King (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Leon King (Rangers).
Jamie McGrath (Dundee United) wins a free kick.
Corner, Rangers. Carljohan Eriksson has scored.
The attempt has been saved. Malik Tillman (Rangers) right footed shot misses the center of the goal. Assisted by Connor Goldson with a header.
Corner, Rangers. Charlie Mulgrew scores.
Attempt blocked. Tony Watt (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the center of the goal. Contributed by Jamie McGrath.