Rangers’ 5-0 win over Dundee is marred by delays with kick-off pushed back 45 MINUTES due to visitors’ late arrival… before game is stopped after chaotic pyrotechnic display triggers a fire alarm in the away end at Dens Park
- Rangers’ 5-0 win over Dundee was hit by a series of chaotic delays at Dens Park
- The clash kicked off 45 minutes late after Rangers were held up in traffic
- Game was then stopped for 19 minutes because of pyrotechnics in the away end
Philippe Clement urged Rangers fans to leave the pyrotechnics at home as he lauded his players for scoring five times on a night of chaos at Dens Park.
Severe traffic congestion caused by an accident meant the Ibrox team bus didn’t arrive at the ground until 7.25pm, forcing the kick-off to be pushed back by 45 minutes to 8.30pm.
The game had just begun, however, when a display of flares by away supporters in the Bob Shankly Stand seemingly triggered a fire alarm. Police took control of the situation, with referee Kevin Clancy eventually taking players and staff back up the tunnel.
After a 19-minute delay, Rangers were dominant when play restarted — and took an early lead through Ryan Jack. Second-half goals from Danilo, Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers then followed before a 90th-minute penalty from skipper James Tavernier put the seal on an impressive away win.
While full of praise for the vocal backing his team received from the travelling fan base, Clement hopes there will be no more pyrotechnic disruption in the future.
Rangers’ 5-0 win over Dundee was hit by a series of chaotic delays at Dens Park with a pyrotechnic display bringing the game to a halt
James Tavernier (left) and Dundee’s Owen Beck battle for the ball with a fiery backdrop
Rangers fans light up the Bob Shankly stand before the fire alarms are set off
The huge pyro show saw referee Kevin Clancey take players off the pitch on Wednesday
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‘I hope that the club does not face sanctions,’ said the Ibrox boss. ‘You come here in the warm-up and the stand is full, everyone is chanting and supporting the players, giving a lot of energy.
‘Those are very important things. We feel also the dynamic between fans and players is changing and it’s because of both sides.
‘The supporters are positive to the players and the players are doing the right things on the pitch. Those things we need to continue doing and not pyro things, because going inside is not a good thing.
‘We started the game brightly with pressing from Danilo and you can break the rhythm of the team like that.
‘It was good the team started bright again, but I think everyone will understand that it’s really good to have all this support, all these songs and all this energy — I love it — but keep the fire outside of the stadium.’
A third straight Premiership win for Clement kept his side within five points of Celtic ahead of this Sunday’s Viaplay Cup semi-final against Hearts.
The game was stopped for 19 minutes which saw police step in and take control of the situation
Play continues as the Bob Shankly stand at Dens Park is lit up by pyrotechnics
Rangers stayed in St Andrews pre-match but found themselves stuck on the Tay Bridge when attempting to reach Dens Park.
‘We always leave early so that we are at the stadium at least one and a half hours before the game, normally one hour 45 minutes,’ reflected Clement.
‘That way we don’t take any risks. Our kitman also comes before us so they will tell us if there’s trouble on the roads. He got here within 20 minutes, while it took us more than two hours because of an accident. That’s life. You need to stay calm and focused. All the players did that. There was no stress on the bus.
‘We came here and had a talk with the coaches of Dundee and with the referee about when to start. Everything was really correct. The players were ready and, after going inside again, it was the same. Because you have five minutes in the dressing room, it doesn’t mean you lose your focus.
‘They need to be winners so whatever circumstances, whatever pitch, whatever weather, we are there to win games. That’s the mentality I want.’
Dundee manager Tony Docherty felt the disruption took a toll on his side and admitted fearing the game would be abandoned due to the pyrotechnic problem.
‘There’s a debate on whether there’s a place for that but the game was almost abandoned,’ said Docherty.
Ryan Jack was one of five scorers for Rangers in a game that was hit by several delays
Rangers boss Philippe Clement (left) urged Rangers fans to leave the pyrotechnics at home
‘The police took control and I didn’t think we were going to go back out again. That affects focus. When it’s almost causing matches to be abandoned, I think we need to address it.’
Admitting Dundee were well beaten on a ‘bizarre’ night, Docherty was perplexed by the fourth goal Rangers scored.
Luke McCowan was accidentally impeded by referee Kevin Clancy at the opposite end of the pitch, but play continued. Rangers swept forward and Dessers netted.
‘I don’t understand the explanation,’ added Docherty.
‘The referee fouled Luke McCowan and I’m expecting it to be brought back.
‘But it can’t be unless the referee touches the ball.’
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