17.04.2024 23:44 h

Rangers' title bid dented by Dundee draw

Rangers' Scottish title bid suffered a major blow as they were held to a 0-0 draw against Dundee on Wednesday.

Philippe Clement's side were still reeling from losing to Ross County for the first time ever on Sunday and produced another lacklustre display at Dens Park.

In a game played at the third time of asking after the Dundee pitch was twice ruled unplayable, Rangers were booed off at the end of a damaging evening for their title ambitions.

With five matches left, including a trip to leaders Celtic, second placed Rangers are now three points behind their Glasgow rivals.

The Ibrox club have hit a rocky patch as just the wrong time, winning only two of their last eight games in all competitions.

They will look to bounce back in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts at Hampden Park on Sunday.

"We should have won this game, we were the best team by far. I was angry after the Ross County game because we lost our structure," Clement said.

"That was not the case today. We played attacking football with a lot of players in front."

On Rangers' fading title chances, Clement added: "If we win all the games, we still have our fate in our hands.

"In October, for all the fans the league was over. If we win the last five games, then they are going to be very happy.

"We are going to fight hard until the end to be decisive in the league."

Rangers threatened an early opener when Abdallah Sima's low drive was blocked by the foot of Dundee keeper Jon McCracken.

In the 22nd minute, Rangers keeper Jack Butland parried a Luke McCowan free-kick from 25 yards.

McCracken pushed a curling free-kick from Rangers skipper James Tavernier round the post, then saved a Connor Goldson header from the resulting corner.

Rangers stepped up the tempo at the start of the second half but a spark of creativity was absent and Dundee's defending was organised.

In the 56th minute, Clement tried a shake-up and Cyriel Dessers, Kieran Dowell and Rabbi Matondo replaced Kemar Roofe, Todd Cantwell and Fabio Silva.

McCracken soon had to save from Tom Lawrence's drive from a tight angle.

He pulled off a fine stop from Dessers' curling shot as the Dundee defence creaked.

But Rangers ran out of steam in the closing stages and a tame Tavernier header summed up a night to forget for Clement's spluttering side.