By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Rangers closed the gap on arch-rivals Celtic with an emphatic 4-1 triumph at Livingston.Rangers closed the gap on arch-rivals Celtic to four points again with an emphatic 4-1 triumph at Livingston.
An impressive second half display wrapped up the points for Alex McLeish's men, who had forged ahead late in the first period through Peter Lovenkrands.
Nacho Novo extended the lead before Craig Easton brought Livi back into the contest, only for Steven Thompson and Hamed Namouchi to put the game to bed.
Namouchi had an early chance which he headed wide while Fernando Ricksen's free kick was deflected narrowly off target as Rangers dominated the first half.
In-form Spanish striker Novo then forced Livi keeper Roddy McKenzie into a super save as he latched onto Lovenkrands' cross.
On 37 minutes, The Gers took the lead as Lovenkrands steered the ball into the net after the hosts failed to deal with a corner.
After the break, Rangers continued their dominance with McKenzie producing another fine stop to thwart the energetic Namouchi.
Rangers doubled their lead on 55 minutes when Novo scored his eighth goal in seven SPL appearances by tapping in Ricksen's corner at the far post.
Livingston briefly threatened a fightback on 61 minutes when Easton took advantage of sloppy play from Gregory Vignal and Stefan Klos to score.
But just six minutes later, The Gers were back in control when Thompson planted a header beyond McKenzie from Ricksen's corner.
With six minutes remaining, Namouchi netted a deserved goal with a precise finish from Vignal's pass.
Hearts leapfrogged Aberdeen into third place in The SPL after Paul Hartley's penalty earned The Jambos a 1-0 win at Pittodrie.
Hartley struck on the hour mark after Kevin McNaughton was sent off for deliberate handball after stopping Ramon Pereira's header.
Aberdeen had a chance to equalise but were denied by the woodwork as Phil McGuire's stinging 25-yard drive thudded off the post.