Boyd treble sinks Terrors

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Kris Boyd netted a hat-trick as Rangers comfortably disposed of Dundee United at Tannadice to move to within three points of second placed Hearts.

Celtic may have disappeared over the horizon, but there is much for Rangers to play for - notably securing second place and a spot in the UEFA Champions League.

Alex McLeish's men set about their task with relish and Thomas Buffel and Boyd wasted a couple of decent openings.

Dado Prso hit a post with a header from a corner but, just before Rangers looked like getting frustrated, the powerful Croatian broke the deadlock.

It was some goal too, as he teased three defenders on the edge of the box before slamming home from 20 yards.

United had hardly had time to regroup when the second goal came, with a slick passing move involving Prso, Peter Lovenkrands and Barry Ferguson presenting Boyd with the simplest of chances which he gobbled up with relish.

Collin Samuel was the biggest threat for the home side and he forced Ronald Waterreus into a fine low save.

Boyd wasted a gilt-edged chance when scooping a shot over the bar in first half injury time, but he made amends on 52 minutes when getting on the end of Prso's excellent cross.

Boyd was denied a third by a fantastic save from Derek Stillie and Samuel gave United hope when capitalising on some poor defending to reduce the arrears 23 minutes from time.

The home side could not find a second to set up a grandstand finish and Boyd duly completed his hat-trick with a fine low volley seven minutes from time.